In order to get the most out of BJJ, it’s not enough „just“ to pay attention in class, to roll at the best of your ability and to take each and every simple repetition serious; but there are a lot of other factors that need to be taken into consideration. One of them is nutrition – and nutrition is especially important when it comes to what you eat prior to your training.
So, what should you eat before your BJJ class? Mike Dolce, one of the best weight management coaches in the world, shares his standpoint.
ENERGY IS IMPORTANT… KNOW YOURSELF FIRST
Mike says that it’s important to figure out what you should eat before BJJ, so that you don’t feel as if your energy has evaporated mid-training – but, at the same time, also because you want to evade the feeling of a heavy stomach as you roll. In other words, you need to eat something which will sustain your energy levels during training, as well as something that won’t leave you feeling as if you have overfed yourself.
There are a number of approaches that can be taken in regards to this, Mike explains. However, the most important thing is to, with time and experience, come to know and understand the way your own body functions best. The foods and quantities of it that your own physiology reacts best to; there’s no „one rule“ or one template that fits everyone, so it is truly important that everyone figures out for themselves which kinds of food work well for them and which don’t.
SIMPLE SUGARS AND ESSENTIAL FATS
Other than that, Mike points out that it’s good to eat a combination of simple sugars and essential fats before Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practice. And why that combination, exactly?
It’s because BJJ is a very glycolitic activity, Mike explains. There’s a lot of rolling, a lot of explosive movements, a lot of up and down motions, a lot of isometric holds, lots of forceful pushing and a lot of deep breathing… All in all, Mike explains that BJJ as a sport is a multifaceted exercise modality – even when the techniques and the sport-specific skill-set are taken out of the equation, it is still very clear that a BJJ practitioner demands a lot from his or her own body, during a (most frequently) 60 to 90 minute training session.
It’s for that reason exactly that a combination of simple sugars and essential fats will prime you in the best possible way for training.
MIKE’S THREE BEST PRE-BJJ MEAL OPTIONS
So, what are some of the meal options that you can have prior to BJJ? Mike has three suggestions. First of all, what he often advises to do is to start slow: eat an orange (which is full of simple sugar) and a quarter to a half of an avocado (which slows down the digestion and give you a more equal output of energy), 30 to 60 minutes before practice. This will likely supplement you with just the right amount of energy, which will keep you going hard for the whole class, without the fear of shutting down!
Another great option is eating grain bread with some almond butter and raw, natural honey. Also, Mike points out that you can take a white or a sweet potato, with a bit of chicken – however, he also emphasizes that you should be taking this 90 to 120 minutes before training. Why? Because the more complex the meal, the earlier before training you need to eat it!
Listen to more of Mike’s standpoints on the subject in the first 8 minutes of the video below:
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