Weight loss.

Weight loss for karate sport competitions (to have some kind advantage) is not relevant. Power and reach does not give anyone a big advantage (like in boxing or wrestling), more important is speed and agility. That’s why you must try to keep your natural weight by following proper nutrition. Nothing specific to our sport, just follow “Health Canada‘s” Food Guide to Healthy Eating.

If you still decided to drop weight start a month before the tournament not at the last moment it will give stress to your body and break yourself mentally.

A. Balance calorie intake at proportion: carbohydrates-55%, fat-25%, Proteins-20 %

B. Eat lots of fruits and veggies.

Some foods help with weight loss: green tea, low fat milk, beef, and lamb.

C. Avoid artificial sweeteners, products with refined carbs and processed foods.

Followed balanced nutrition, start reducing amount of food you intake. Try not to do it dramatically otherwise you will lose energy to do workout and will be short in nutrition for proper recovery. Teenagers must be very careful with losing weight because their body’s grow. My suggestion -1 kg per week this is optimal. Also your training must include some weight training .If you don’t include this you have chance to lose not only fat but also muscle mass in amount which can affect your sporting performance and energy level. After class, you must take some power bar or protein powder (30 grams) and around 100 grams of carbs: could be a banana, apple, grapes, juice. Track your progress regularly- step on the scale to see where you are at this point. If you are still not making your weight, at time of tournament then we go to the next article- “Cutting weight”.

Cutting weight.

A month before the tournament you already should do your best to come close to your needed weight. If you still have 3-5 kg left then time to prepare yourself for weight cutting. Before weight-in (4-5 days) increase water intake (2 liters or in this range) .Your body starts to excrete more urine then usually. Reduce your sodium (salt) intake with food. Sodium keeps water in your body, this is what we are trying to avoid. Some people using diuretics and laxatives. (This is a wrong-unhealthy way).

Two days before weight-in cut water in half, also cut sodium from nutrition.

Final day - 24 hours - no fluids, no sodium.

The healthy way is not to exceed 5 % of total body weight.

The first way to cut is losing through exercising in a sweat suit or simply put on your body garbage bags and track suit over it. Simple shadow fight, easy cross-training is the best option. If your energy level is not high choose a sauna. Stay in sauna no more then 15-30 minutes with breaks to check your weight on scale. If you followed the procedure then you should not have a problem at weight-in.

After weight -in you must rehydrate back. You must constantly drink liquid containing carbs, protein, and sodium. But remember you can not rehydrate faster then 1,5 liters per hour. Food also can be eaten but carefully-small portions (not to upset stomach) and not later the 2 hours before event starts. Best way to rehydrate is sport drinks or vegetable juices (v 8) and water. Replenish water without listening to signs of first- it’s not accurate at this stage. You will be done and then your urine be will clear color. Be careful with experimenting before tournaments some routine might not work or give unexpected results.

During this entire period, less stress and adrenaline- the better!

Weight gain.

1. First of all you must add proteins to your nutrition.

At this point ratio should be: 50% - carbohydrates, 30% - proteins, 20% - fats.

2. Also total calorie intake should be increased by 500 kcal.

3. Weight training should be added to your routine (two times a week).

Must have a meal after training as soon as possible. This meal should include; Proteins (30 grams), carbohydrates - 100 grams. Basically, the same in the case of losing weight routine. The idea here, is not to lose muscle mass after a hard routine and fast calorie intake stops the body from using proteins from muscles as energy source, (because all carbs are already used at this point during workout).

If you start gaining unnecessary fat with muscle gain then you should start cutting on carbs. By playing with calorie intake you will see what is best for you. Don’t forget when you start routine -commit to it and be persistent. Constantly check your progress. Proper nutrition and training are keys in proper lean muscle gain.

Here some foods good for muscle building;

1. Beef, chicken breast, pork tenderloin, tuna, turkey breast (meat group),

2. Eggs, low fat buttermilk, skimmed milk, cheese (diary and egg product group),

3. Almonds, peanuts, walnuts (nuts seeds and oils group),

4. Bagel plain, whole meal pita (grains and breads),

5. Soya beans, tofu (legumes),

6. Artichokes (vegetables),

7. Apricots (fruits)

(Main groups to get protein from food are first two.) Rest of the groups gives some variety in your nutrition.

Recovery nutrition.

1. Hydration.Lost amount of water from body should be recovered. If you lost during routine 5 kg- you should recovery 5 liters of water. Don’t forget that water recovery should not exceed 1,5 liters per hour (otherwise you just give your body extra stress without any benefits).Give your body time to absorb water (1 cup of water every 15-20 minutes)

2. Carbs. It is important to refuel your body’s muscles with glycogen as fast is possible (1 gram per 1kg of weight).This also helps to start rebuilding muscles (right after routine)

3. Proteins. Is key building block to repair muscle tissue damaged during intense workout .If it’s possible have around 30 grams of proteins (to help muscle recovery)-right after workout. Daily intake of protein for regular person-1 gram per kilo of weight (for our sport could add 50% more to this.)

Good choice, for after routine recovery, to have; protein shake with fruit, or power bar, or simply chocolate milk (0, 25-0.5L).

Rest nutrition you will start getting 1 hour after training.