If you’re a serious Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and/or MMA competitor that has his or her eye on the prize with goals of filling the Copper Box year after year, you need to eat to win which you’ll hear again and again. Yes, the hard work is in the hours of drilling and putting together your own unique play box but if you neglect your diet you neglect the engine that needs to be optimised for game day.
How’s it going? My name is Hanif and I’m a London based nutrition coach and gym instructor. I’m a student of personal training as well as Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and I really enjoy kettlebell training and running. I help adult men with real health issues get into better shape physically and in terms of mindset. Criterion Fit is our flag and we are always open to helping sportsmen and fitness enthusiasts achieve great things in their preferred world of physical activity and sport. In this post, we will talk about various foods and supplements that I’d recommend highly for the student of the gentle art.
Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is a modern adaptation of the traditional fighting style called Jiu-jitsu. BJJ as it is commonly abbreviated owes much of its popularity to the Gracie family, a family that also has descendants in the heart of London teaching today. As a sport or form of self-defence BJJ is undeniably potent once one has a basic grounding in the art. To subdue an attacker you’ll find no better way to handle yourself than with the skills of BJJ when it comes to being on the ground which is where most fights will end. For the competition fighter as we said, drilling and perfecting your techniques will be deciding factors aside from the power left in your tank.
Whatever you train Brazilian Jiu-jitsu for you need to make the following foods a part of your (non-vegan/vegetarian) diet. These foods are in no particular order and we always recommend you talk to a dietician or GP if you are unsure of the foods suggested due to allergies to these foods.
Sweet potato is high in fibre, slow energy releasing carbohydrate that will help you power through long training sessions. The orange colour will remind you of Carrots and just like carrots, Sweet Potato is rich in Beta-carotene, an antioxidant that is very good for eye health. Fighting at a top level will require sharp eyes ready to suss out the next planned move of your opponent and you’ll also need that enduring energy found in this low gi vegetable that is easy to prepare.
Eating bananas after a BJJ training session will provide and help restore your bodily glucose needs which is the main source of energy for our bodies. After a heavy training session, you may also experience cramping of muscles which can be alleviated by eating a banana which contains 361mg of Potassium per 100g.
If you’re looking for more sources of carbohydrates and want to keep your calorie count low you could consider switching from rice to couscous. Couscous outdoes rice in that 100g of couscous contains 112 calories whereas standard white rice contains 130 calories per 100g. Another benefit of couscous is that it contains selenium, a mineral that works as an antioxidant, repairing cell damage and reducing inflammation to help you recover from your training sessions and come back stronger
Almonds are seeds of the almond tree and these days you can find them in their raw state, roasted, ground into milk, oil butter and paste. The multitude of ways you can find almonds should be a sign of how nutritious these seeds are. A source of fat, protein and fibre as well as micronutrients, almonds are helpful to men in particular since they improve bone strength, useful for any BJJ competitor.
Milk is a food and drink and one that a BJJ competitor should never look down upon. Yes, Milk is good for your bone, preventing osteoporosis and it is helpful in managing your weight. You can drink milk/chocolate milk after a training session for rehydration and to avoid muscle soreness.