Dedicating yourself to a career in martial arts is an extremely demanding aspiration. You have to keep in mind a huge number of things starting from basic nutrition principles to specific technique of your grabs, kicks, punches, and what not. If even a single component from this puzzle goes wrong, the whole system crashes down, reducing to zero all of your efforts and time invested into your success.
Let’s leave the matter of fighting aside for a moment and concentrate on everything else: the background components that ensure your performance during the combats. It’s hard to underestimate their impact on your strength, endurance, and agility, so let’s get started!
The Best Diet & Lifestyle Tips for BJJ Fighters
Tip #1: Get enough sleep.
Of all things, sleep is perhaps the most important component of your routine to ALWAYS get enough of. Without it, your physical performance drops drastically even after a single bad night: this includes your attention, agility, concentration, and reaction speed.
Taking into account that a single second can determine the outcome of a fight, you can’t afford to risk. Sleep for at least 7 hours each day, no matter what.
Tip #2: Eat a lot of vegetables (the more colors the better!)
Every single process taking place in your body is orchestrated by certain vitamins, to a great extent. The best way to get enough of them is by filling your diet with plenty of vegetables and a bit of fruits as well, making sure that your daily eating routine is colorful as the rainbow.
Yellow and orange veggies: carrots, pumpkins, yellow squash, yellow pepper, corn, oranges.
Red vegetables: radishes, red bell peppers, red onions, apples.
Green vegetables: leafy vegetables and salads (spinach, lettuce, etc.), zucchini, cucumbers, parsley, sea vegetables.
Blue and purple vegs: purple cabbage, purple asparagus, plums, purple grapes.
Tip #3: Get rid of excess weight
If you are overweight, this simple fact could be drastically compromising your performance during combats. Excess pounds slow down the fighter, make him easier to grab, and much more vulnerable in general.
Keeping this in mind, you should stick to a well-thought exercise routine full of aerobic and endurance exercises, as they are the best in terms of losing weight. Run, cycle, swim, hike—the specific type of physical activity doesn’t matter much, as long as you keep moving.
Strength exercises (like weight-lifting, for example) are great for building muscle, but they don’t have much effect on your fatty masses. This doesn’t matter you shouldn’t do them, but if you want to slim down opt for aerobic training instead.
Additionally, if you ever find yourself stuck and unable to get the pounds burning, consider trying a safe and effective diet like the HCG protocol with 4 amazing Phases (1,2,3,4). It has been designed over 50 years ago by a British endocrinologist, and tested by thousands of customers around the world (including martial fighters).
Tip #4: Stay hydrated.
No matter how much you exercise, sleep, eat, slim down, or take supplements, all of these efforts are worth a big NOTHING if you don’t drink enough water daily. Moreover, the more vigorously you train, the more water you should be drinking in order to compensate for the fluids lost in the process of sweating.
Neglecting this simple advice puts at great risk everything you do in order to achieve success in the field of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Although the numbers on how much should you drink daily, a good shot would be to take 30 ml for each kg of body weight each day. And don’t forget to take a sip or two each 10-15 of minutes of exercising!
Tip #5: Give up on the alcohol.
Alcohol and sports don’t mix well, even if you drink moderately or almost never. The reason behind this truth is simple as could be: each drop of alcohol you take is a burden that your liver has to deal with.
The process of alcohol neutralization in the human body takes a lot of energy to be done. Energy which you COULD use to train an extra bit. And who knows, maybe it’s this very bit that would decide the outcome of an important fight?
Of course, if we’re talking about a full-scale celebration after your grand victory, a certain amount of alcohol could be appropriate, but it’s better to stay safe at all times and stick to some delicious juices or non-alcoholic cocktails.
Tip #6: Try out some natural supplements.
The main focus here is on the “natural” word: no chemicals whatsoever, only herbal extracts and natural components allowed. Some people tend to believe that ALL supplements are bad for you, but that’s not even close to being a true statement.
There’s nothing wrong in taking some PanaxQuinquefoliumfor a bit of extra energy, or FucusVesiculosusto burn a pound or two of excess fat. Mankind has been using these plants for thousands of years up until the big pharmaceutical companies deemed them “ineffective” just to offer their expensive synthetic alternatives which often do more harm than good.
The trick here is to take supplements of the best quality available on the market, tested for safety by credible researches and thousands of customers. My personal favorite is HCG hormone drops, as they consistently show results that any other supplement will hardly beat. Ever.
Tip #7: Drink Coffee
Yep, simple as that. After workouts, pour yourself a good cup of coffee to your taste, as scientists have confirmed that caffeine (coffee’s main alkaloid) speeds up post-workout recovery, attenuates fatigue, and improves physical performance in general.
However, make sure NOT to drink coffee BEFORE your training sessions and workouts. Caffeine instantly increases your heart rate and elevates blood pressure: these are just the same effects that happen in your body during any kind of physical activity. If you don’t want to thrust an extra burden on your heart and blood vessels, don’t mix the two. Drink water before the workout, drink coffee after it.
The Bottom Line
I hope you already know that, but I’ll repeat the thesis just in case: your health is much more valuable than any medal in the world. Your well-being is much more important than the outcome of any fight. Your happiness is a goal much higher than your physical performance.
That said, make sure you never forget the simple tips in this article, but don’t focus solely on them! Anything that contributes to your health, mood, and happiness in general is as important for your BJJ career as the training sessions themselves. Yes, this means that regularly meeting your friends and having some quality time with your family are no less essential than a couple of hours at the gym.
Stay healthy, fighter!
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