Bodybuilding in Thailand
For some people, bodybuilding may be regarded as a high priority in their daily lives and hence may be a concern when moving to a different and unfamiliar country like Thailand. There is more to keeping in shape and developing your body to just working out – diet is equally important. For more rigorous exercise like bodybuilding, you need a lot of protein and sometimes it’s not possible, or particularly healthy, to get this from food alone.
Unfortunately, protein in Thailand is expensive. On average you will find 1kg of protein powder to cost around 2000 baht (£40) in Thailand. You’ll get roughly 20 servings out of this. Milk in Thailand costs about 80 baht (£1.60) for a 2 litres carton of milk. So I’d say it works out to about 70-80 baht to make your own protein shake in Thailand. At a typical Thai gym, you can purchase a protein shake at the cafe for around 100 baht.
You can buy protein powders and protein bars (bars from 120 – 170 baht each or £2.40 – £3.50) from most pharmacies and Boots shops in Thailand, although none of the brands of protein are particularly high quality ones like the ones you can get in other countries. However, in Bangkok, the best place I have found so far for protein supplements and similar bodybuilding supplies is located in Silom.
Where to buy protein in Bangkok
Head west down Surawong Road from the Rama IV intersection near Sala Deng BTS. Pass the ‘Japanese street’ – Thaniya Soi 2 and you will find a local pharmacy called DD Pharmacy on the left hand side with a range of whey protein and body building supplements in the window. I have found this to be the best source of whey protein for bodybuilding in Thailand.
Meaty foods :)
High protein foods in Thailand
Protein shakes may be expensive in Thailand but there are still plenty of economical and natural sources of protein in Bangkok. There is plenty of street meat available, although some of the meat may not be particularly healthy. You’ll find a great deal of deep fried chicken and unidentifiable meatballs on skewers, which, although surprisingly tasty, is mostly heavily processed (and, according to recent news, possibly made from Soi dog meat). Moo Ping (barbecued pork on skewers) is a tasty source of protein but very fatty.
You can still find many street vendors in Thailand barbecuing some healthier pieces of chicken or fish though. The barbecued meat is really tasty and, as far as I know, maybe the healthiest option for street meat. Barbecued chicken typically costs from around 30 baht, depending on the size of it, and grilled fish will cost from around 80 baht, again depending on the size.
Meatball skewers generally cost 10 baht per stick and come with a dollop of chilli sauce in a bag. You can buy deep fried chicken with a bag of sticky rice and chilli sauce for about 35 or 40 baht (or on its own for around 25 baht – thats 50 pence or 70 cents), but it’s probably a little bit fatty and greasy for some bodybuilders. Assuming most expats bodybuilding in Thailand are reasonably health conscious anyway.
7 11s are abundant in soy milk drinks to give you a protein boost. I have found the red cartons called ‘Vitamilk Big’ to be the best ones; the least sugar and 10 grams of protein per carton. These cost 10 baht each. What with 7 11s existing practically every 300 metres apart in Thailand, chances are there will be one outside wherever you workout – buy three of these fuckers and you’ve got your post workout 30g protein intake. Bam.
If you’re interested in checking out the gyms in Bangkok as well, take a look at my Gym Directory here.