Parkour training is a great way to improve both mental and physical fitness. Overcoming its challenges will boost your athletic ability and grow your confidence and self-esteem. However, to perform optimally and safely, you’ll need the best nutritional support for your training.
There are several key elements you need to consider when building strength for Parkour training. The basis of any performance-enhancing diet is built upon a solid foundation of protein, fats, and carbs. It’s important to make sound choices with all your food and drink choices as well.
You must have enough protein in your diet to build the proper fat-to-muscle ratio. Too little can reduce your muscle mass and harm your performance. But how much is enough? Bodybuilders are recommended to eat one gram of protein for every pound of body weight, regardless of sex.
When it comes to protein sources, the amount varies. Chicken, steak, and turkey provide some of the highest protein content in foods. For example, a three-ounce piece of skinless chicken contains 28g of protein.
However, the safety of eating large amounts of red meat has been a source of controversy over the last 10 years. Recent research shows that people who regularly eat processed or unprocessed red meat every few days have a slightly higher risk of cardiovascular disease.
The best choices for protein include lean animal meat, fish, casein, and whey protein products. To have a well-rounded diet, you can also add in a healthy selection of nuts, legumes, and protein-rich vegetables such as spinach or broccoli. If you need to avoid gluten or caseins, consider a low FODMAPS diet rather than Keto or Paleo. Oftentimes, there are plenty of protein sources that are also rich sources of healthy fats.
Just like protein, healthy fats are not only an essential nutrient for our bodies, they are also an important source of energy. Healthy fats increase testosterone that contributes to lean muscle mass development.
Healthy fats benefit your body by supplying an abundant source of energy to fuel your workout. But that’s not all they do! They are critical for several important body functions, the development of your body and brain, and help absorb certain vitamins. They can even maintain a healthy cholesterol level.
According to Healthfully, “…your primary sources of fats should be unsaturated and monounsaturated fats.” These include the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, as well as in walnuts, avocadoes, and olive oil. Saturated fats, which are found in foods that come from animals, and coconut or palm oil, can also provide energy for your body but should be eaten in moderation.
Although some may demonize this necessary nutrient, we all need carbohydrates to build muscle and keep performance levels high. If anything, you should simply distinguish between unhealthy and healthy carbs through research.
Most “unhealthy carbs” are simple carbs, which are often high in sugar and are processed very quickly by the body. Many people consume them for energy before a workout. Unfortunately, that blood sugar spike can become addictive, leading to future health problems.
Complex carbs, on the other hand, including whole-grain foods like brown rice, certain vegetables, nuts, and legumes, are a better choice. These carbs take longer for the body to break down. They also provide nutrients that your body needs such as fiber, vitamins, and phytochemicals.
Foods made from refined grains, like white flour, are complex carbs too but are not good choices. Oftentimes, they are loaded with sugar and very few nutrients. While a healthy athlete can indulge from time to time, these should never be the mainstay of your carb intake. Without balancing your carbs with other nutrients, it’ll be harder for your body to protect itself during high-intensity parkour sessions.
Protecting Your Body
In addition to eating for optimal performance, Parkour athletes should pay attention to protecting their bodies while training. Injuries can happen to anyone in training and Parkour is no exception. However, there are nutritional choices you can make to safeguard your health.
One of the most important ways to keep your bones healthy is to protect them with a diet rich in calcium, along with vitamins C and D to help calcium absorption. Calcium intake should be up to 2000 or more milligrams per day for weight training. You should also reduce sodium, coffee, and white flour in your diet as these can eliminate calcium in your body, putting your bones at risk.
Another issue to think about when eating for sports is dehydration. Some experts recommend drinking half your body weight in water; others recommend even more than that. You should, however, drink water or sports drinks before, during, and after an intensive workout.
Finally, it’s important to avoid unhealthy foods to maintain your body’s overall fitness, including cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems. Abstaining from unhealthy fats, like fried foods, and alcohol is a good way to stay fit and reduce your chances of reflux and other GI problems. For smoother digestion, eat smaller plates of food consistently throughout the day rather than eating larger meals sporadically.
Finding The Right Supplements To Support Your Health
Even with the right diet and bodily protections, a challenging and regular fitness regimen may leave you depleted of nutrients. Sore muscles, aches, and pains can also derail your workout. The right supplements can help you avoid these problems.
For example, if you are low on protein, a good whey supplement drink is an ideal option. Fish oil capsules are also a great choice to add fatty acids into your diet. If you can’t get enough calcium or vitamins, a high-quality multivitamin can certainly boost your nutrients.
Supplements can also help when you are feeling sore or run down after a workout. Broad-spectrum CBD oil, for example, may aid muscle recovery. Some studies suggest that CBD oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce pain. Choose your oil wisely, as some brands have been found to have less CBD content than advertised.
Proper nutrition is important to maximize your performance so you can succeed and conquer plateaus while training for Parkour. Choosing the best foods, drinks, and supplements will provide the energy you need to help you to achieve and surpass your goals.