Ayurveda is an age-old science known to provide guidelines appropriate for each dosha (Vata, pitta, Kapha). Ayurveda also provides guidelines on how to eat mindfully and which foods to consume according to the body type and physical activity.
The principles of Ayurveda are enshrined in three major Textbooks of Ayurveda called the “BrihatTrayee” (meaning the “Great Three”) viz. Sushruta Samhita, Charaka Samhita, and Ashtanga Hridaya form the basis for the science of Ayurveda. Although there had been many innovations and additions to the practice of Ayurveda subsequently, these texts remain the mainstay of Ayurvedic practice even today.
Exercise clears and strengthens the ‘Srotas’ (transport channels in the physiology in which metabolism takes place); blockages and congestion are relieved, stress is reduced, and our sense of wellbeing is improved. Learn about Personal Nutrition Course.
Ayurvedic way of Nutrition puts focus on the right kind of nutrition based on a unique Body type or ‘Prakriti‘. Ayurveda believes everyone has a different body type hence Appetite or Agni Nourishment requirements vary for everyone.
To nourish their body & mind athletes should always have meals as per the Prakriti. Consideration and following of Dinacharya Ritucharya are a must as eating particular meals as per weather gives best immunity & strength to the body.
Some tips for different Prakriti athletes/sportspeople are-
1. Vata- Vata is cold & dry in nature hence warm, oily & properly cooked meals pacify the Vata component of the body. Flavors like sweet, sour & salty should be included in the diet. A Vata Prakriti sports person might have a lean body hence for building muscle mass little heavy texture meals including butter, nut butter, or a moderate amount of ghee are advised.
They must prefer stews, warm soups, warm milk, cream, butter, hot cereals, raw nuts, fresh-baked bread, and nut butter. Herbal tea with some roasted snacks in the late afternoon is preferable. All sweet fruits (so long as they are extra-ripe) are good for Vata Prakriti. Warm beverages & drinks are preferable.
Herbs like Ashwagandha, Safed Musli boiled in milk are good health tonics or natural supplements. Learn about Personal Nutrition Course.
2. Pitta- Pitta component has a dominance of fire element hence foods that are cool or lukewarm in nature pacify Pitta dosha. Tastes favoring Pitta are Sweet, Bitter & astringent. Cool, refreshing foods are good options for Pitta Prakriti. Mint tea, cucumber smoothie, apple tea, licorice tea, etc. are good beverage examples. Vegetarian foods, in general, are the best for Pittas, as consuming red meat tends to heat the body from the fat. Pitta people must consume a good quantity of grains, milk, and vegetables.
Herbs like Brahmi, Licorice, Triphala, Amla can be taken by a Pitta prakriti person and act as a good immunomodulator to boost immunity & core strength.
3. Kapha- Heavy, slow, steady, solid, cold, soft, and oily. Kapha governs the structure of the body. Hence foods which are semi-cooked or raw in nature, light, warm & dry are good for pacifying Kapha dosha. Kapha people have sluggish metabolism hence they should avoid heavy textures & cold meals. Kapha people should have a spice-rich diet, especially during winters as they boost appetite or Agni. Kapha people should prefer dry cooking methods like grilling, sauteing, baking, broiling over moist cooking methods like steaming, boiling, or poaching. Tastes favored by Kapha are Bitter, Pungent & Astringent while preferred spices are cumin, fenugreek, and turmeric.
Herbs like Bibhitak, Punarnava, Turmeric, Ashwagandha, Chitrak, Moringa, Wheatgrass, etc. are good supplement options for healing & giving strength to the body.