As you’ve learned from past blogs, quite a few aspects of everyday life play major roles when training in the art of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Sleep patterns and supplemental training on off-days are some of the main ones. For those outside of the BJJ world, nutrition and diet would not seem to have as much of an impact as it actually does. Those competing at elite levels are constantly focused on their diet regiment. New practitioners often receive guidance from their instructors based on the goals they have set. Here is a glimpse into the dietary guidelines for BJJ athletes.
Disclaimer: I am not a certified nutritionist and this is not THE way BJJ practitioners must eat but these are simply some tips that have worked for me and others in the community.
As a main cause of inflammation of the body, sugar is something that BJJ practitioners don’t need. For those trying to meet weight requirements, the elimination of sugar decreases inflammation. This helps fighters to get within their goal. Since training and muscle building already adds to natural inflammation, reducing it in diet as much as possible supports a healthy balance. Sugar comes in many forms, shapes, and sizes. Be sure to read labels carefully for any of the fructose or sucrose enriched foods.
Any athlete can tell you how vital protein is to performance. While most minds go right to meat when thinking of protein, it is often recommended to incorporate other forms of protein. Meat takes quite a bit to digest while sources such as nuts, eggs, and powdered protein take less of a toll on the stomach. When supplementing other protein sources for meat, be cautious about overdoing it. Excessive intake of nuts especially often result in sluggish nature.
One of the best ways BJJ practitioners enhance their skills is by taking care of their bodies. Processed foods do much more harm than good to our digestive systems. By eliminating any processed foods and substituting with fresh produce, we provide our body with the nutrients needed to sustain a healthy lifestyle. Raw or slightly cooked fruits and vegetables are among the easiest to digest. They made great on-the-go snacks before and after training sessions.
The strict dietary restrictions for serious BJJ practitioners takes commitment. With the many temptations the food industry has to offer, staying on track is often challenging. The disciplined diet reaps benefits beyond compare, especially for those pursuing a serious career in Jiu Jitsu.