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Taekwondo Nutrition: Fueling Your Body for Optimal Performance

As a parent of a child involved in taekwondo, you must understand the importance of nutrition in fueling your child’s body for optimal performance. Taekwondo is a physically demanding sport that requires strength, agility, and endurance. Therefore, a well-balanced and nutrient-rich diet is essential to support your child’s growth, development, and training needs. In this article, we will explore the key aspects of taekwondo nutrition, and provide you with valuable insights into how you can support your child’s journey towards success in this dynamic martial art.

1. Hydration:

Proper hydration is the foundation of good nutrition, aiding in muscle function, joint mobility, and overall performance. Encourage your child to drink plenty of water throughout the day, not just during training sessions. Hydration should start well before training or competitions to ensure optimal performance. Avoid sugary drinks, as they can cause energy crashes and hinder performance.

2. Carbohydrates:

Taekwondo is an intense sport that requires a good amount of energy. Carbohydrates are the primary source of fuel for the body, providing your child with the necessary energy to perform at their best. Make sure their diet includes complex carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables. These sources provide sustained energy release and important nutrients.

3. Protein:

Protein is essential for muscle growth, repair, and recovery. Taekwondo involves various techniques and physical activities that put strain on the muscles. Encourage your child to consume lean sources of protein such as chicken, fish, tofu, beans, and eggs. These will provide the necessary amino acids to support muscle development and strength. Protein powder such as Orgain Protein Powder can be a helpful  protein supplement for teenagers and adults wanting to increase their protein intake for bigger muscle growth.

4. Healthy Fats:

Contrary to popular belief, not all fats are bad for you. Healthy fats are essential for hormone production, brain function, and energy storage. Include healthy fats in your child’s diet by incorporating sources like avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, and fatty fish. These fats also aid in reducing inflammation and support joint health, which is crucial in a sport like taekwondo.

5. Vitamins and Minerals:

To ensure your child is receiving a well-balanced diet, it’s important to include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. These colorful foods provide important vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support their overall health and well-being. Encourage a rainbow of colors on their plate to ensure they are getting a wide range of essential nutrients.

6. Timing of Meals:

Proper meal timing can significantly impact your child’s performance in taekwondo. Encourage them to have a well-balanced meal at least 2-3 hours before training or competition. This allows the body sufficient time to digest and absorb the nutrients while providing sustained energy for optimal performance. After training, a post-workout meal or snack rich in carbohydrates and protein will aid in replenishing energy stores and kickstart the recovery process. I don’t recommend fasting or cutting weight right before a tournament just to make weight. This type of behavior can lead to unhealthy eating behaviors that can become problematic at best or turn life threatening in worse case scenarios.

7. Supplements:

While a balanced diet should provide most of the necessary nutrients, certain supplements may be beneficial for your child’s taekwondo journey. However, it is important to consult a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian before incorporating any supplements into their diet. Some commonly recommended supplements for athletes include omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, and magnesium. I personally drink a protein smoothie nearly every day blending a banana, water, and chocolate flavored Orgain Protein Powder.

8. Avoiding Unhealthy Habits:

To optimize your child’s performance, it is crucial to limit the consumption of processed foods, sugary snacks, and beverages high in caffeine. These foods provide empty calories and can lead to energy crashes, hinder recovery, or contribute to weight gain. Encourage your child to prioritize nutritious, whole foods, and educate them on the importance of making healthy choices to support their taekwondo goals.


In taekwondo, nutrition plays a vital role in your child’s performance, growth, and overall well-being. By focusing on proper hydration, incorporating complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, healthy fats, and a variety of fruits and vegetables, you can optimize your child’s performance on the mat. Additionally, encouraging the right timing of meals, avoiding unhealthy habits, and considering appropriate supplements can provide an extra edge. Keep in mind that every child is unique, and their nutritional needs may differ, so listen to your child’s body and adjust their diet accordingly. By fueling their body with the right nutrients, you are helping your child lay the foundation for success in their taekwondo journey.

Photo by Vitalii Pavlyshynets on Unsplash

Written by AI & Reviewed by Clinical Psychologist & Head Coach: Yoendry Torres, Psy.D.

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