Eating Healthy for Jiu-Jitsu Performance

We all know that we should consume a healthy, nutritious diet for both our general well-being and for Jiu-Jitsu students in particular, for our optimal performance in Jiu-Jitsu.
Prof Isaac “Dull” Dull is a 3rd degree Gracie Barra Black Belt and active competitor in MMA and sport jiu-jitsu.
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This week in Gracie Barra’s blog, Prof Dull shares his dietary practices and gives some tips for Jiu-Jitsu fighters who are looking to maximize their performance at a high level.
GB: Can you talk a little about the importance of proper nutrition for the Jiu-Jitsu athlete? What is the role of a good diet for the Jiu-Jitsu athlete?
Prof Dull: Food can be a poison or medicine.  With a good diet, it is possible to improve physical and mental performance, avoiding bad moods and diseases.
GB: Can you give the readers a snapshot of what a typical day of meals looks like? (What do you eat for breakfast…etc). What do you eat and how much time before training?
Prof Dull: For my breakfast, I eat fruit and then tapioca with eggs, garlic, ginger, onion, pepper, seasoned with curry (turmeric with black pepper).
At lunch white meat with salad, sweet potato, and the same eggs, garlic, ginger, onion, capsicum, seasoned with curry.
My dinner is made around 5 pm, eating the same as lunch but without the carbs.
All meals at least 1 hour before training.
GB: What do you feel are the 4 most important foods for Jiu-Jitsu performance? Why did you select these foods?
Prof Dull: Amino acids for the muscles, are not so easily found in vegetables.  That’s why it is recommended to use white meat in Gracie’s diet.
Curry, turmeric from India which is an anti-inflammatory, and black pepper that enhances its effect.
Ginger, is powerful for immunity.
Sweet potato is a better quality carbohydrate.
GB: What is the biggest dietary mistake that you see Jiu-Jitsu athletes making? Why is this a problem?
Prof Dull: The biggest problem is eating too much, every 3 hours and before bed.  I think that this method of feeding can generate good results for bodybuilding but for fighting it is heavy.
GB:  What single, simple change could a Jiu-Jitsu fighter make to improve their nutrition for Jiu-Jitsu performance? What food should they avoid?
Prof Dull: A simple food change for a jiu-jitsu fighter would be not to eat before bed, so the rest gets better, deeper and this causes the glands to release more hormones naturally.  And avoid pork because it is difficult to digest.
GB: Do you believe in nutritional supplements like protein powder?
Prof Dull: I believe that some supplements can help with performance, although some are expensive.  However, with a certain amount of care with the diet, the use of supplements is almost unnecessary.
See also on GB Blog: GB Inspiration: Prof. Flavio Almeida on overcoming struggles
Writer: Mark Mullen, Gracie Barra Black Belt