Oh there are so many supplements to choose from out there! There’s the omnipresent whey protein, then there’s the creatine and the BCAAs, glucosamine, fish oil, the various pre-workout powders… And so on. But, which supplements are really worth your time (and digestion) as a grappler?
Well, there’s no rule; it all depends on what you want to accomplish. But, here are the most well-researched and the most useful ones (generally) – so read up, and choose the ones which will help your goals the most!
If there’s one supplement which will help the most with your BJJ/grappling goals, then that is creatine. It is, among other things, the best researched supplement there is; with a number of studies showing that it has no negative side effects in healthy individuals.
Furthermore, studies have shown that creatine is of great help when it comes to boosting performance. For the most part, it’s been shown to be effective in instances where an athlete is in the search of strength increase. Additionally, some research points to creatine supplementation as a useful tool for the improvement of explosiveness as well.
Therefore, if you’re on the search for improving your athletic performance; for increasing your strength and possibly your explosiveness – both of which you need as a grappler – then creatine is your best possible choice!
Buy the creatine monohydrate option, as it is the most researched one.
The BCAAs (branched chain amino acids) could, quite possibly, be your second best supplementation friend, alongside with creatine. While creatine will improve your performance, the BCAAs have been shown to improve after-training (and after-competition) recovery in athletes.
In other words, if you’re experiencing that muscle soreness after training, and want to recover faster from it… As well as be better-rested for the next training session, together with an improved immune system – BCAAs are your best supplementation choice.
Now, what about whey protein? Will it improve your performance on the mats? Well, the short answer is: no. Whey protein will not „directly“ make you better in training or competition, at least not in the way that creatine does. Instead, as a supplement, whey was shown to contribute to the development of overall muscle across longer periods of time – which comes as no surprise, because it further facilitates your optimal daily protein intake, necessary for exercise adaptation.
Basically, taking whey protein won’t hurt you… But it won’t help you too much, either.
How would you like to get rid of those muscle cramps and pains more quickly? Well, magnesium supplementation shall help you with that. Magnesium, among other things, helps your organism to dispose lactate – which builds up in your muscles when you work out, and which can cause muscle pain; plus, it improves blood flow.
You don’t need more benefits than those two. Start taking magnesium now (but, as with all other supplements, don’t overdo it – otherwise, your organism could end up with a potentially dangerous imbalance of other minerals).
Fish oil is a common supplement. And that’s great, because it contains omega-3 fatty acids; which lower the blood triglyceride levels in both athletes and non-athletes alike, plus they have a big role in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
Aside from this, there isn’t much evidence that fish oil helps in the performance or recovery of athletes. So, it may not be of much use to your grappling goals.
But despite that, fish oil is healthy! Therefore, don’t take supplements just because of what they (could) do for you athletically; but because of what they do for your health as a whole.
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