So you want to change up your diet a bit while training Jiu-Jitsu, and you regularly listen to the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.
Okay, don’t tell us, let us guess… You’re thinking of trying out the carnivore diet!
But should you do it or not? And how will it influence your BJJ?
WHAT IS THE CARNIVORE DIET, ANYWAY?
The carnivore diet is a rather restrictive one – all that you can eat is meat, fish, eggs, and some dairy products (for example, butter). Yup, that’s right: you can’t eat vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, nor any carbohydrates whatsoever.
Without carbs, the fats turn into the main source of energy within this diet. Therefore, any meat that has (a lot of) fat is more than welcome – and there are no restrictions in so far as meat choice is concerned. Eat whatever you’d like; chicken, pork, beef, fish, lamb, organ meats, and everything else.
ADVANTAGES OF THE CARNIVORE DIET
The carnivore diet, despite its many (for some, excess) restrictions, has a lot of potential advantages to it. To begin with, it eliminates foods and drinks like chocolate and coke, which are full of artificial sugar and empty calories. This’ll greatly improve your overall health, as well as help you in dropping that extra weight.
Also, meat is rich with the vitamin B12 complex, as well as with iron and vitamin A… Most of which people often don’t take enough of. The deficiencies in these vitamins can cause many health issues down the road, so eating more meat could save you from them.
DISADVANTAGES OF THE CARNIVORE DIET
Now, even though the carnivore diet has many benefits to it, it also has a lot of negative sides. For example, eating too much red meat had been shown long ago to be correlated with a high blood pressure. Heart diseases, too.
Plus, if you’re eliminating vegetables and fruits, you’re going to miss out on a whole array of other vitamins and minerals. You should also keep in mind that having too much of one thing (iron, for example) and not enough of another could be hazardous for your health.
This sort of a diet contains almost no fiber (unless taken via supplementation), and could therefore break havoc on your digestive health – both constipation and diarrhea are well-known side effects. On top of that, there are some serious long-term issues that could rise with time; such as developing kidney stones, hepatic steatosis (fatty liver disease, caused by fat build-up in the liver), and so on.
CARNIVORE DIET AND BJJ?
So… Should you go for the carnivore diet? And how will it effect your Jiu-Jitsu? As you might’ve guessed, the answer will heavily depend on what you want to accomplish and on keeping it as short-term as possible.
If you’re looking to lose excess weight, therefore improving your mobility and endurance on the mats – this diet is probably the choice for you. However, losing too much weight too soon (and while doing so on an unbalanced diet) isn’t the best of solutions. If you’re looking to drop your weight, just turn to counting calories and making sure that you take in less than you burn every day. And do it while eating your veggies, fruits, and complex carbs.
Other than that – and having taken the mentioned disadvantages into account – it’s safe to say that this diet is not good neither for you nor for your BJJ. The heart problems that you’re putting yourself into the risk for are simply not worth it, nor are the other health-induced problems that you could endure.
Stick to a healthy, balanced diet.