Why should I take supplements?
Jiu-Jitsu is hard on the body and makes us put our body through levels of torture and stress. Your body needs better nutrition and vitamins than the average individual.
The first thing before even talking about supplements is to eat a balanced diet and to rest (sleep) well.
Eats loads of fruits and vegetables and a healthy amount of proteins. Regarding sleep, If you get 30-60 min more sleep per night consistently, it is better than any supplement! There is also scientific evidence that sleep favorizes regular testosterone production more than anything else.
So what are the essential supplements that we should be taking?
I asked one of my training partners in France who is also a medical doctor specialized in nutrition and is also a competitive BJJ purple belt to recommend me the best supplements for the practise of BJJ:
In order of preference, the supplements that have a real proven track record are:
1. Lots of fruits and vegetables. My example: I start my day with a selection of fruits and eat fruits as snacks during the day. I have a salad to accompany all my meals.
2. Protein from varied sources. My example: Tried to eat lean protein like chicken and fish. Beef is ok, avoid pork.
3. Fish oil (5-15 g daily) Keeps your immunity system high and great for aching joints.My example: I take 2-3 capsules per day from Twin Lab Fish oil. It saves my life for sure.
4. Vitamin D 2000-4000 IU daily in the winter. When you’re sick it means you can’t train. BJJ mats and training partners expose you to far higher amounts of germs and bacteria than the average person ever experiences, so it’s vital that your immune system is as strong as it can be. Vitamin D is plays a major role in keeping your immune system healthy. My example: I take 2 capsules per day especially in the winter months.
5. Creatine: If you train hard you need to be on creatine. Not only will it help you build muscle, It will help you with muscle endurance. Don’t believe the negative opinions you hear about it. It’s one of the safest, most effective and well-researched supplements on the market. Basically, creatine allows your muscles to contract harder, and for longer. My example: I take creatine about two months before a big competition together with a strength and conditioning program.
6. Caffeine in SMALL doses (50-100 mg, about 1/2 to 3/4 cup coffee or tea), 1 hour before training but not if you have very late training (9pm for example)
My example: I drink alot of green tea (which contains caffeine but in smaller doses than coffee). i usually drink about 1 litre of green tean per day and it really helps with weight loss (natural fat burner) and keeps me alert in a good way without a caffeine dump afterwards.
So in summary, we need to eat well, sleep well and a little help from these essential and well proven supplements can just help our bodies recover better.