What is the best diet for contortion?Health & Fitness
You may have tuned into this article, seen the title and expected to find a list of rules, do’s and don’ts, foods to eat, foods to avoid, etc. Well, this is not the case!
Everyone is different
The truth is that there is no set diet for a contortionist. Setting a diet that has specific rules and restrictions that applies to everyone makes the assumption that every contortionist is the same. Each contortionist’s body is different and has their own differences. These can include height, weight, gender, whether they naturally fall into the category of front bender, back bender, etc. As no contortionist is exactly the same, this means everyone’s nutrition will be the same.
This does not mean I can’t give any guidance. There are some tips I can offer to aid in a contortionist’s performance nutrition. The tips are there to aid the contortionist in aspects of their training such as energy, recovery, etc. They will then need to be adjusted to each individual contortionist to suit their genetic/body composition, lifestyle, food likes/dislikes, training volume/intensity, etc.
The three main macronutrients
Everyone, including contortionists, need to consume foods from the three macronutrients. These are carbohydrates, protein and fats.
These are our bodies’ main source of energy. There are two main types of carbohydrates, these are simple (fast energy, for just before training or during training) and complex (slow, longer-term energy). It is advised to consume carbohydrates before training to provide you with energy to perform at your best. You also should consume carbohydrates after exercise to aid recovery. This is because our glycogen stores get used during exercise so need to be topped up afterwards to enable us to recover optimally.
Protein is needed to help build and repair muscle. It can also be used to slow down the speed of energy release from carbohydrates. For these reasons, it is important to consume protein in combination with carbohydrates after training. You can also consume some protein prior to training to aid that slower energy release from carbohydrates.
These are our bodies’ secondary source of energy after all of our carbohydrate stores are depleted. Fats get a bad reputation but they are a vital part of our diet as they aid in the functioning of our brains and have anti-inflammatory properties – which will aid in the recovery of exercise and injury. The key is opting for the best fats. These are unsaturated fats – one of these being Omega 3 fatty acids. Some people may find fats difficult to digest around training sessions so it would be best to avoid them at these times and add a source in other meals.
As well as these macronutrients, you may also want to think about micronutrients. These are your vitamins and minerals. Each of these micronutrients serve a purpose for our health such as Vitamin C aids immunity and healing while iodine aids thyroid function.
All of these elements are important for your diet but the amount each person will need are completely individual to each person. The sources of these nutrients may differ from person to person depending on things such as allergies and intolerances, dietary preferences e.g. vegetarianism, religion, medication interactions, etc. There are so many reasons why no two contortionists can have the same diet plan.
The take home message is you will not be able to find a set diet plan that will suit all contortionists. Each contortionist needs to find what is suitable for them and what allows them to perform to their fullest.