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What to Eat Before & After Jiu Jitsu [Competitions & Training]

what to eat before jiu jitsu

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A balanced diet is the fuel of your Brazilian jiu-jitsu training regardless of your weight class. Without the right fuel, your performance will be highly compromised. Without the ideal diet plan consisting of the essential amino acids and the right nutrients, you will not progress as efficiently.

Continue reading to learn all about the right pre and post-workout meals you should have, to maximize your gains.

what to eat before jiu jitsu

What You Eat Before and After Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Matters

When it comes to a good diet, as a competitive athlete, you must understand that some specific foods and meals are better as a pre-workout, and there are foods and meals better as a post-workout, all while getting enough calories to maintain weight. This is also exceptionally important when cutting weight for your fights.

As a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athlete, your eating habits can significantly affect your training performance and recovery. It is essential to provide the best diet for your body with the right nutrients and macronutrients. Aiming for a balanced diet that is nutritious and high in protein should be a priority for all BJJ athletes.

Around 45 minutes to an hour before your training session, you should have a pre-workout meal that is high in carbs and protein and full of vitamins. The carbohydrates will help you remain energized throughout your workout, and the protein will facilitate muscle mass growth and recovery.

As for the post-workout meal, your body will need fuel to replenish the energy and promote recovery. This meal should also be rich in carbohydrates and protein, avoid processed foods as they are filled with harmful preservatives.

What to Eat Before Jiu-Jitsu Competitions

Before stepping onto the mats or ring depending on your combat sports, you must ensure that you have some form of fuel that will improve your performance. overall health However, you should make sure that what you consume offers a variety of health benefits.

The food you eat should be light on your digestive system, this is so you do not feel bloated and have more energy in competition. Avoid complex carbs like whole grain pasta, whole grain bread, and brown rice. These foods digest and release energy slowly, in competition, you want quick energy.

Before competitions, athletes need to eat something light that gives them enough energy beforehand. Consider the following items before you step onto the mats:

  • Avoid complex carbohydrates, protein and energy bars are recommended

  • Lean meats like chicken breast and baked salmon for your protein intake

  • Sweet fruits like bananas and melons (fast-digesting carbohydrates)

  • Honey

What to Eat Before Jiu-Jitsu Training Sessions

Deciding what to eat before your training sessions is not a complex process for most athletes, you just need to get the essential nutrients in to ensure proper digestion.

Some examples of good pre-workout meals are:

  • Grilled chicken breast with quinoa and steamed vegetables

  • Whole wheat pasta with marinara sauce and lean ground turkey

  • Oatmeal topped with mixed berries and a side of Greek yogurt

what to eat before jiu jitsu

What Should You Eat After Training Sessions or a BJJ Competition?

After training, your body requires different foods to help prioritize recovery and muscle building. These are different diets compared to what diet you need before training. For an extra helping hand, it is recommended you look into the Gracie diet by the Gracie family, specifically, Carlos Gracie Jr.

After Training:

  • Baked salmon with roasted vegetables and quinoa

  • Whey protein smoothie with Greek yogurt and fruits

  • Whole grain wrap with lean turkey, avocado, and veggies

After Competitions:

  • Grilled chicken with sweet potato and steamed greens

  • Brown rice with lean protein (beef or tofu)

  • High protein salad with mixed greens, grilled chicken, boiled eggs and veggies

Gonna be longer than 2 hours before you can eat?

  • have a protein shake or a protein bar to hold you over

  • get some quick carbs in your system

Pre-Workout Meal Ideas That Won’t Make You Feel Sick or Bloated

  1. 2 Bananas with a tablespoon of peanut butter

  2. Greek yogurt with a handful of berries (raspberries, strawberries and blueberries)

  3. Rice cakes with a thin spread of avocado and a sprinkle of sea salt

what to eat before jiu jitsu

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!!!

Hydration is key. As a combat athlete, you are likely to sweat excessively during long periods of your workouts because of the physically demanding nature of Jiu-Jitsu. This is why you must constantly hydrate yourself in between sets and rounds, a sip of water every few minutes will do you well.

For the average adult, it is recommended to drink at least 8 glasses or 2 liters of water throughout the day. For Jiu-jitsu fighters, this is just the minimum. It is important to drink at least 4-5 glasses of water throughout a one-hour workout. You can also use sports drinks during your training which are high in electrolytes.

If the human body is dehydrated during training, it can face a variety of issues. These can include:

  • Headaches

  • Nausea/dizziness

  • Weakness

  • Bodily Pains

Importance of Sleep In This Equation

It is common for a beginner BJJ athlete to fail to realize the importance of sleep and recovery. Beginner and novice Jiu-Jitsu fighters think they have to train hard every day. The reality is, that even if you have a perfect diet plan and train hard regularly(strength training and sparring), but do not prioritize getting quality sleep, you are leaving a significant amount of gains on the table.

It is not just your muscles that require rest, but also your mental health and central nervous system. This is because Jiu-Jitsu is just as mentally hard as physically hard. This is where recovery comes in.

For a healthy athlete, it is recommended most athletes to get a minimum of 8 hours of uninterrupted and high-quality sleep for adequate recovery. If you have issues sleeping well, there are a few things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep:

  • Sleep in a completely dark & cool room

  • Do not consume large meals at least 2 hours before sleeping

  • Do not sit in front of screens for at least an hour before sleeping

  • Take a warm shower before sleeping

Dialing in on the food consumed and how you eat before, during, and after training sessions can help the following in your BJJ training:

  • Weight management

  • Weight cutting

  • Improved energy levels

  • Improved performance

  • Recovery between training sessions

10 Horrible Items to Eat Before Training [List]

  1. Junk food like greasy fried chicken or pizza

  2. Sugary drinks like carbonated soda

  3. Spicy foods that can cause issues with your digestive system like Wasabi

  4. Large portions of high-fiber foods like brown rice

  5. Alcoholic drinks like beer or whiskey

  6. Refined carbs like pastries

  7. Processed foods high in saturated fats like frozen meats

  8. Sugary foods like candy

  9. Foods you are allergic to like nuts

  10. High-calorie drinks like iced coffee