BJJ Nutrition: Nutrition is one of the most important aspects to any sport. It's even more important if you're training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, which has a higher intensity than other sports like yoga or aerobics. Getting enough nutrient-dense calories and fluids are vital for your performance in BJJ practice and competition so it's important to know what foods work best for you.
This blog post will give you some tips on nutrition for Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, but remember that everyone is different so there isn't an "one size fits all" solution out there!
Quick Tips For BJJ Nutrition
~ Eat plenty of nutrient-dense foods. Nutrition is key for any athlete, but it's especially important if you're training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. You need to make sure you're getting enough calories and fluids so you can perform your best in practice and competition. Good sources of nutrients include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, fish, legumes and low-fat dairy (Greek yogurt).
~ Proper hydration is also important for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Nutrition. You should consume about half your body weight in ounces of water to stay hydrated throughout the day. If you're training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu more than once a day then it's even more crucial that you're getting enough fluids.
~ Nutrition for BJJ is different from other sports like yoga or aerobics because Jiu-Jitsu is a very high intensity sport that requires more energy to perform well. For example, if you're doing an hour of cardio on the treadmill at 60% of your max heart rate then compare this with training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu for an hour.
When you're training Jiu-Jitsu, you're constantly moving and expending a lot of energy which means you need more fuel to sustain your performance. (A way to work around this, is to learn how to get into a flow state while rolling / training)
~ Avoid eating too much before practice or competition. It's important to have a good meal about two hours before your event, but make sure it's something that's easy to digest. Avoid eating a lot of high-fat and high-protein foods because they can be hard on your stomach. Also, try to avoid drinking too much caffeine or alcohol before you compete as it can dehydrate you and make you feel tired.
~ Eat plenty of carbohydrates after practice or competition. This is an important part of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Nutrition. You need to replenish your energy stores after a hard training session or competition, so make sure you're eating plenty of healthy carbohydrates like fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
~ Experiment with different foods and see what works best for you. Nutrition for BJJ is different for everyone because we all have different dietary needs. You might feel good when you eat a certain combination of foods, but another person may need to add or take away some elements in their diet like sodium and potassium.
Nutrition for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is an ongoing process that takes time to figure out so don't give up if something doesn't work the first time around!
Listen To Your Body
Taking the time to experience how you feel can help you to choose what to eat to maximize your athlete potential as an athlete. Much like taking needed rest days, make sure you are getting what your body is asking for in the form of nutrient-dense foods.
What to avoid eating while training BJJ
Try to cut out processed foods such as sugars and artificial colors and flavors. The goal is to eat foods closest to their natural form. These types of foods tend not to offer any nutritional benefits that would be helpful for athletes, especially those engaged in high-intensity sports like BJJ.
How much protein do you need for jiu jitsu training?
A good rule of thumb is to consume 0.25-0.28 grams per pound of bodyweight for maintenance, and 0.45-0.55 grams per pound if you are cutting weight or recovering from an injury that limits your total volume of training (i.e., teaching BJJ seminars).
What supplements will help Jiu Jitsu athletes?
There are a variety of supplements on the market that can be helpful for athletes. However, it's important to remember that no supplement can replace a healthy diet full of nutrient-rich foods. Some popular supplements for athletes include protein powders and bars, vitamins and minerals, creatine monohydrate, omega- fatty acids (EFAs), and carbohydrate powders.
What should a Nutrition plan look like to fuel Jiu Jitsu?
~ Lean meats such as chicken, fish and lean cuts of beef or pork should be included in your diet along with at least five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables each day.
~ Carbohydrates are important because they give you the energy needed to train and compete at a high level. They can be found in many different types of foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads and cereals, beans and peas.
What are some low carbohydrate Jiu Jitsu Nutrition tips?
~ Avoid white rice for your post training meal because it's too refined to offer much nutritional value.
~ Limit your intake of simple carbohydrates like candy, cookies and cakes because they tend to be high in calories but offer little nutritional value.
~ When you're eating out, try asking for steamed vegetables instead of rice or potatoes with your meal. You can also ask that sauces and dressings are served on the side so you don't have to use them.
~ Choose whole grain breads, pastas and cereals whenever possible. They are a good source of fiber and other important nutrients.
~ Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially during training or competition. Try to avoid drinking too much caffeine or alcohol before you compete as it can dehydrate you and make you feel tired.
~ Make sure you're getting enough protein to help with muscle recovery and growth. Good sources of protein include lean meats, eggs, dairy products, nuts and seeds.
~ In general, try to eat a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats. This will provide your body with the energy it needs to perform at a high level.
What are some BJJ Nutrition tips for weight loss?
Be sure that you're keeping track of your calories and the nutritional value in the foods you eat so they don't add up to more than what's necessary. If you can afford it, hire a coach or nutritionist who will help guide you in making healthy choices.
~ Avoid processed junk food and eat mostly whole, unprocessed foods instead. This will help you to stay within your daily calorie goals while also providing your body with the nutrients it needs.
~ Make sure you're getting enough protein as well as fiber because they both help to keep you feeling full for longer periods of time.
~ Avoid eating late at night. It's harder to burn off calories after you've gone to bed and you're more likely to store them as fat.
~ Try doing a light workout before you eat your evening meal. This will help to burn some of the excess calories so they don't get stored as fat.
~ Drink plenty of water and avoid drinking sugary beverages. Water is calorie-free and can help to flush out toxins from your body. Sugary drinks are loaded with calories and can cause you to gain weight over time.
~ Make sure you're getting enough sleep each night. When you're tired, it's harder to make good decisions about what to eat and how much to exercise.
~ Finally, remember that Rome wasn't built in a day. Nutrition is an important part of your Jiu Jitsu training, but it takes time and patience to make healthy changes that will last long term. Be patient and stay the course; you'll see results before you know it!
Cutting Weight for Competitions
Combat sports are often categorized by weight class for competitions. This leads athletes to wanting to lose weight fast. This can be dangerous if done incorrectly. Ideally, it's best to begin the process of cutting weight weeks prior to the actual weigh in event to help you get to a good starting point.
Submission Shark does not give medical advice and this process should be done with care with a weight management specialist.
Muscle Building and Weight Gain
Some athletes and martial artists are searching for the ideal diet to do the opposite, gain body mass in the form of muscle. Here are a few quick tips and building blocks for muscle gain.
~ Consume a diet high in protein and carbohydrates.
~ Ensure you're getting enough calories so your body has the energy to build muscle mass.
~ Supplement daily with multivitamins such as Vitamin B12, Iron (for women), Calcium (women) or Creatine Monohydrate.
~ Two to three servings of a high quality protein source daily.
~ Lean proteins such as chicken and grass-fed beef are good sources of lean meat that can help you build muscle mass.
~ Ensure you're getting enough calories so your body has the energy it needs for muscle growth.
~ It's best to eat a well balanced diet that contains fruits, vegetables and whole grains which are rich in fiber. This will help you feel full longer while avoiding high calories from processed junk food or sugary drinks.
Nutrition is key for Jiu Jitsu training because it helps with energy levels as well as keeping your body healthy but it's also important to remember that no diet plan fits all. Working with a professional to help create a custom diet plan to meet your nutritional needs is worth it.
Nutritionists, coaches and conditioning specialists are great resources for finding the right diet for you, whether you're looking to cut weight or gain muscle mass. At Submission Shark, we believe that good nutrition is essential for any martial artist!
Unsaturated Fats, Saturated Fats and Trans Fats
There are three types of fat that you need to be aware of when trying to eat a healthy diet: unsaturated fats, saturated fats and trans fats.
~ Unsaturated fats are found in plant-based foods such as nuts, seeds, avocados and olive oil. They are beneficial for your health because they help to lower your LDL cholesterol levels and protect your heart against disease.
~ Saturated fats are found in animal products such as red meat, poultry, eggs and dairy foods. They're not considered to be particularly healthy because they contribute to weight gain and increase the risk of cardiovascular conditions like high blood pressure and stroke over time. Because an excess can also cause your LDL cholesterol levels to rise, it's best to limit the amount of saturated fat that you consume.
~ Trans fats are found in processed foods like chips, crackers and pastries. They're also known as partially hydrogenated oils because manufacturers use them for their ability to prolong shelf life without spoiling easily or melting at high temperatures.
Trans fats are considered to be the most harmful of all three types because they raise your LDL cholesterol levels and lower your HDL (good) cholesterol at the same time. This can increase your risk for cardiovascular conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke over time. It's best to avoid trans fat as much as possible in order to protect yourself from these health risks.
What are some good sources of protein?
Protein is an important part of a healthy diet and it's essential for athletes and people who engage in physical activity. Protein provides your body with the energy it needs to perform at its best, helps to rebuild muscle tissue after a workout and can also boost your metabolism.
~ Foods that are high in protein include eggs, seafood, lean meats and poultry, legumes like beans and lentils as well as low fat dairy products.
~ Protein powder is also a good choice because it allows you to easily increase the amount of protein you're getting each day without having to add large amounts of meat or other animal products to your diet.
~ Nutrition bars can be another good option because they provide an even larger dose of protein in a convenient form that's easy to carry with you when you're on the go.
~ Finally, peanut butter is one particularly tasty source of protein that also contains healthy monounsaturated fats and other vitamins and minerals.
Protein Shakes and Sports Drinks
Two common choices for jiu jitsu athletes are protein shakes after a training session and sports drinks before. Although there are some really great choices out there, many are filled with sugar and artificial flavors.
Many of these options can be harmful for gut health. Personally, I have found great health benefits in this homemade post-work out soup filled with micro nutrients along with drinking this simple hydrating beverage made from chia seeds.
If you are looking for a way to include the certain food groups that you don't enjoy eating, such as leafy green vegetables, a homemade smoothie with organic and natural sweet fruits can be a great way to consume foods.
Gut Health for BJJ Nutrition
A healthy gut is essential for overall health and can be especially important for athletes. When you're training hard, your body needs all the help it can get to stay healthy and function at its best.
~ One way to support gut health is by eating plenty of probiotic foods like Greek yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut and kimchi. These foods contain healthy bacteria that help to keep your gut flora in balance and support your immune system.
~ Another way to promote gut health is by eating plenty of fiber. This can be found in abundance in plant-based foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Fiber helps to keep your digestive system functioning properly by removing any toxins or harmful substances that may have made their way into your body.
~ Finally, it's important to stay well hydrated throughout the day by drinking plenty of water and other healthy beverages like green tea and coconut water. This will help you feel more energized while also ensuring that all of your vital organs get everything they need to function at their best.
Nutrition is an important part of any sport, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is no exception. In order to perform your best on the mat, it's essential to make sure that you're taking care of your body by eating a healthy diet.
Are plant based diets good for BJJ athletes?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best diet for a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu athlete will vary depending on their individual needs and preferences. However, many people find that following a plant based diet can be beneficial for their health and performance.
~ Plant based diets are generally high in fiber and antioxidants, both of which can help to protect your body against disease.
~ They're also low in unhealthy saturated fats and trans fats, which can be harmful to your health over time.
~ Plant based diets are often high in protein as well if done properly, making them a good choice for athletes who need to maintain their energy levels and muscle mass.
~ Nutrition bars are another convenient option for athletes who want to increase their protein intake easily, while still remaining true to a plant based diet.
Is the carnivore diet plan good for a BJJ practitioner?
Some BJJ athletes believe that carnivore diets are the best option for their training.
~ A carnivore diet is one where you only eat meat and animal products, while avoiding any foods from plant sources.
Austin Haedicke is a jiu jitsu practitioner and advocate for the carnivore diet, check out this interview with him to learn more. We go into detail about protein sources, the importance of amino acids, grass fed meat and as well as his own personal BJJ story.
Carnivore Vs. Plant Based
One of my BJJ professors subscribes to a vegan diet while many other elite athletes insist on the importance of meat within their diet plan. This debate reminds me of the common Gi vs No-Gi debate. Both sides can agree on the same things, just train!
Most carnivore enthusiasts and plant based advocates can all agree that processed and artificial junk foods should not be a part of a diet plan that will lead to mental focus and enough energy to practice jiu-jitsu and to train for competition.
What is the Gracie Diet?
The Gracie Diet is a Nutrition plan created by the Gracie family, who are some of the most well-known and respected names in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. The diet is based on the idea that humans should eat mostly fruits, vegetables and whole grains, with smaller amounts of meat and dairy products.
~ Advocates of the Gracie Diet claim that it can help to improve your health, increase your energy levels and boost your performance in BJJ.
~ There is no scientific evidence to support these claims, but the diet does contain many of the same principles as other healthy eating plans like the Mediterranean diet or the Dash diet.
~ If you're interested in trying out the Gracie Diet, there are a number of books and online resources that can help you to get started.
~ Even the average person that does not train jiu-jitsu can enjoy the Gracie Diet
Common Foods that is a part of a Poor Diet for
Fast food, soda, candy bars, processed snacks, unhealthy fats. These are all foods that you should avoid if you're looking to maintain a functional diet and improve your performance in BJJ.
~ Fast food is high in unhealthy saturated fats and trans fats, which can cause heart disease and other health problems over time.
~ Soda is high in sugar and can lead to weight gain and other health problems if consumed in large amounts.
~ Candy bars and processed snacks are high in unhealthy sugars and fats, and they can also be addictive due to their chemical composition.
~ Unhealthy fats like trans fats can increase your risk of heart disease, while unhealthy saturated fats can lead to weight gain and other health problems.
~ All of these foods should be avoided in your diet plan if you're looking to maintain a healthy diet and improve your performance in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
~ There are many healthier alternatives available, so there's no need to compromise your health for the sake of your training.
"You are what you eat."
Nutrition for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is key for optimal performance on the mat! Nutrition can make or break an athlete so it's important to eat the right foods and stay hydrated for Jiu-Jitsu. Nutrition is different for everyone, but if you start with these basic guidelines then you'll be on your way to a healthy BJJ lifestyle.
People who read this blog post also read:
~ BJJ Brown Belt Explains: 4 Most Crucial Areas Where You Need Structure As An Athlete
~ The fascia tissue: Avoid This Common Cause of BJJ Injuries and Pain
~ BJJ Recovery Tips: How To Prevent and Recover From Overtraining
Nutrition for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is important, and like anything else in life it takes time to perfect. Be patient with yourself, and have some fun trying out different combinations of foods that will work best for you as an athlete!
Share in the comments below what has worked well for you as a BJJ athlete.