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Many athletes have trouble understanding the true importance of nutrition. A healthy diet along with good sleep and hydration is what separates good athletes from great ones. When looking to improve your performance in the world of Jiu-Jitsu, it is important to understand what your body needs to perform at its best. The human body requires a number of macro-nutrients along with fluids and electrolytes to be firing at full function. Having the knowledge to be able to give your body the nutrients it needs will benefit your physical and mental progression greatly.
Fueling Your Body for Success: The Impact of Nutrition on BJJ Performance
It is easy to see a sport like Jiu Jitsu simply at the surface level. A physical activity that you spend a couple of hours a week practicing. But if you spend time off the mats practicing habits that will benefit your performance during practice and competition, you will find that your progression is going to skyrocket. The easiest of these habits you can fix now is your diet. Many athletes are surprised by how much easier a practice can be with the right food in their system. Studies repeatedly suggest that the lack of a healthy diet can decrease athletic ability by a catastrophic amount. In Jiu-Jitsu, this can cause your movements to be sluggish and your physical strength to deplete. Making sure that the foods you put into your body are healthy can really bring your physical capabilities to the next level.
Healthy Habits for a Healthy Body: Lifestyle Changes to Optimize Your BJJ Nutrition
As stated previously, practicing healthy habits outside of the gym can be a real game changer when it comes to optimizing your Jiu-Jitsu experience. Here are a few you can incorporate today.
- Always have a water bottle near you: Hydration plays a key role in performance. Many individuals are constantly dehydrated without even realizing it! According to Lay Press Medicine, over 75% of the U.S. population is chronically dehydrated. It is easy to go about your day not even thinking about how much water you drink. Having a water bottle near you at all times reminds you to keep your hydration up.
- Don’t surround yourself with junk food: Look in your kitchen, what do you see? If you find sugary donuts, greasy chips, and other unhealthy foods scoured around your kitchen, it is going to be extremely tempting to indulge in these harmful substances. When looking to improve your diet for Jiu Jitsu, surround yourself with healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and solid sources of protein.
Why Nutrition is Vital For Success
There are many advantages that nutrition brings to your every day life. As an athlete it is important to be educated and understand these benefits so you can use them on the mats. Here’s a list of positives when you incorporate a healthy diet and correct hydration
Benefits of a healthy diet:
- Improved energy levels: Studies show that a balance of healthy carbs, fats, and proteins can increase energy in an athlete. Typically in an average Jiu Jitsu practice, practitioners will warm up, drill, then incorporate live rounds (full resistance grappling) into the action. All of these workouts put together can be extremely draining. In the sport of Jiu Jitsu, the more energy you have, the better.
- Quicker recovery times: If you’re an athlete, you have struggled with muscle soreness more than a few times. The proteins and vitamins found in healthy meats and vegetables such as turkey, chicken, kale, and broccoli have been known to speed up the recovery of muscle tissue.
- Sickness prevention: No one likes being sick; especially athletes. The truth about combat sports is that when you are not practicing, someone else is. While it is important to take rest days and allow your body to recover, being sick can really set your momentum of progression back. The lack of vital nutrients inside healthy foods such as meat, fruits, and vegetables can leave your immune system below full function. Eating proper foods is vital in order to stay on the mats, practicing what you love.
Benefits of Proper Hydration:
- Fewer Muscle Cramps: All grapplers have experienced the pain of a muscle cramp. These spazzing muscle occurrences can be caused by a lack of water. As H2O levels decrease so does the volume of your blood. This can lead to the painful muscle spasms known as cramps
- Less Joint pain: Grappling can be hard on many parts of the body; this includes your joints. Drinking enough water throughout the day can increase the production of Synovial Fluid; the liquid that lubricates your joints allowing them to glide against each other with little to no trouble.
PRIME Hydration is a new Beverage Company that is taking on the giants of the industry in Gatorade and Powerade. Lately, they have been growing at exponential rates and even sponsored the last ADCC World Championship. We personally like the energy drinks more than the hydration ones but the hydration drink is still very tasty and gets the job done!
Supplements for BJJ: Which One’s Work and Which Ones Don’t
There is a wild world of supplements out there catered towards health, strength, and even some specifically for Jiu Jitsu. Below is a list of a few that can benefit your Jiu-Jitsu, and a few to avoid taking.
Great supplements for Jiu-Jitsu:
- Omega 3: Omega 3 fats are miracle workers when it comes to reducing inflammation. Of course, some inflammation is good. It can help your body heal or fight off infections. However, too much can be a big issue. Too much inflammation can cause pain, and swelling to an affected area. Providing your cells with omega 3’s allow your cells to make more metabolites, reducing inflammation.
- CBD: CBD has tons of benefits for those that train or are active in some way. If you are anything like us, sleeping at night can be a struggle, so we love taking our cbd gummies from cbdMD. cbdMD is one of the largest CBD companies on the internet, making it very easy to start trying out products that suit your needs. After long training sessions, the CBD cream come sin a clutch for the joints in our hand and any muscle soreness that we experience. Seriously could not recommend this smore.
- Vitamin D3: Keeping your immune system in tip-top shape is highly beneficial for a Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. As stated previously, the feeling of falling behind your competition due to illness is a pain that can be avoided. Vitamin D3 can help keep infections out of your body keeping you on the mats.
- Tongkat Ali: Tongkat Ali is a natural supplement that has been claimed to boost athletic performance and increase muscle mass. Studies have shown that Tongkat Ali (better known as Eurycoma longifolia Jack in the science world) significantly boosts testosterone levels in men. If you are a man and do not understand how important testosterone levels are we highly suggest you start digging into the research. Since taking this supplement we have felt great.
- Magnesium: If you are not taking magnesium in your supplement cocktail, you must start doing so. There are many people much smarter than me when it comes to breaking down how this impacts your body on a cellular level. In a nutshell, magnesium helps support muscle and nerve function. Chronically low levels can increase the risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.
- Shilajit: Shilajit is a natural mineral masterpiece that has been taken for centuries. The substance has been giving us the ability t restore our bodies much quicker, give us a huge boost of energy, and helped enhance our endurance on the mats. We have been taking the Shilajit from Based Supplements.
Supplements to avoid:
Pre-Workout: Even though pre-workout is known to increase energy for a short amount of time, too much for too long can be dangerous. Pre Workout typically contains a large amount of caffeine which can be addicting. This supplement can also increase heart rate and put strenuous activity on your cardiovascular system.
Soy Isolates: In general, it is best to avoid soy proteins. These supplements can increase estrogen in the body. Increased estrogen has been proven to cause fatigue, sleep disturbances, and thyroid disorders. All of these problems have one thing in common. They keep you off the mats.
It is important to put the right nutrients in your body in order to prosper. Although it may be difficult at first, staying hydrated and keeping a healthy diet consisting of good foods and supplements is essential to bring your Jiu-Jitsu to the next level. Remember, the better the input, the better the output. Take care of your body and you would be surprised at what amazing things you can accomplish!