Top 10 Herbal Hacks to Improve Taekwondo Performance
Excelling in the martial arts isn't something that just happens overnight. If you intend to perform competitively or even make taekwondo a part of your routine, it requires commitment. You need to be in the gym regularly, willing to put in the hours and maintain a focus on giving your all. But you don't have to do it alone. In addition to the advantages a personal trainer can offer, you can get a significant boost to your performance through the use of natural herbal remedies. Here are ten of the best herbs tailored to the needs of passionate martial artists.
Taekwondo is a strenuous martial art, and that goes double for the health of your joints. The focus on heavy kicks means that your joints often take the brunt of damage whether you're training or in the ring and turmeric can provide you with the relief you need after a strenuous practice session. It's a noted anti-inflammatory, but it comes with the added bonus of boosting your immune system as well.
Chances are that you haven't heard about this mushroom, much less been taught how to pronounce it, but it should be a part of every athlete's herbal regimen. In China, it's been celebrated for centuries as a well-regarded herb for replenishing the lungs and kidney and providing a general sense of energy and vigor to the body, and recent scientific studies back these claims up. Field research conducted in 2010 indicates that a healthy and steady dose of this mushroom in your diet can increase aerobic performance, particularly in older adults.
While most modern practitioners of taekwondo likely won't have to worry about practicing their skills in a life or death struggle, the herb known as maca can still be incredibly beneficial. Ancient Incan warriors ingested this turnip-shaped root before going into battle due to its ability to increase energy and alertness. If you want the sort of boost that you'd get from caffeine without wanting to deal with the chemicals, maca can provide you with many of the same effects. This herb is available in powdered form and can easily be mixed in with your morning shake or smoothie.
Ginseng is one of the most commonly recognized medicinal herbs around, and there's a good reason for that. It works, and it's been known to work for hundreds of years. Ginseng is widely and internationally regarded as a safe energy booster, making it a great way to get that extra bit of juice out of your performance or prepare for a long and grueling competition. It's also known to be an excellent aid for bolstering the nervous system and even helping with indigestion.
Anyone who decides to practice taekwondo seriously is going to have to deal with injuries, and it's something they'll have to face on a regular basis. That's the cost of doing business, but it doesn't mean you have to suffer. Mimosa pudica may be a somewhat lesser known herb, but it's a great choice when dealing with bruising, swelling, or wounds. Simply crush it into a paste and apply it directly to the surface of your skin for extended relief.
Success in taekwondo requires finding proper balance between power and agility, and that can be a tricky tightrope to walk. If you're looking to bulk up or you're concerned about maintaining muscle mass, green tea is one of the best aids around. It's an incredibly efficient fuel for athletes in training due to its ability to quickly and healthily metabolize sugars in the body, and it's also known to encourage healthy cardiovascular health. Adding a little caffeine to your green tea can provide you with these advantages along with an additional boost to get you through your routine.
Also known as Indian Frankincense, Boswellia is derived from the resin of Boswellia serrata trees. While it's commonly used by runners, it can be an invaluable herbal aid to any high-intensity athletes, taekwondo practitioners included. That's because this herb promotes blood flow to the connective tissues of the body and facilitates healthy joints. Additionally, it's regularly used as a remedy for inflamed joints and a balm for aches and pains. All these combined make it a versatile utility herb for any taekwondo student.
Despite being first developed a little over a century ago, this herbal remedy is regarded in many circles as one of the best natural treatments for treating cuts and bruises. It's a commonly prescribed hemostatic medicine in China and first earned its reputation for its use among the Viet Cong for staunching bleeding. It's a good choice when you need something to alleviate bleeding or bruising, but it can be useful even before a workout as a means to promote healthy blood circulation.
This species of corydalis is also known as "extended barbarian rope", but the intimidating nickname belies its reputation as a valuable medicinal aid. In traditional Chinese medicine, it's long been used as a prescription for a wide variety of different aches and pains, a sort of natural version of ibuprofen. If you're looking to reduce the chemicals you ingest, this can work n a pinch as an alternative to regular painkillers.
From the frozen tundras of Siberia comes an herbal adaptogen. This makes it similar to ginseng in many ways, but it comes with helpful characteristics all its own. In addition to providing athletes with an extra boost of energy and a more efficient metabolism, eleuthero can expedite the path magnesium and vitamin C take towards the adrenal glands.
Taekwondo is hard, but you don't have to make it more difficult than it needs to be. A balanced diet supplemented by a steady and healthy intake of the herbal remedies listed above can provide you with the push you need to perform at the top of your game, both in and out of the gym.
If you’re looking for some more information on health and diet related topics, make sure to read some of our other articles you can find here and here!