Foods fuel the body. What you take into your system will affect your performance. Skip breakfast and you are pretty much doomed for the entire day. Well, not exactly as bad as I made it sound, but you do get the point: breakfast is very important.
In doing BJJ, you need proper nutrition. If you goal is to reach a higher degree of performance, you gotta watch what you eat, check your nutritional intake, and be constantly aware of what you eat. Again, it is what you take in that affects your output.
There are a lot of schools of thought about proper diet. In my opinion, there is no definite, or absolute diet that will work for anyone. Whatever works for you, and you feel comfortable with is best. But to get the best results, you must face your toughest opponent: yourself and what you eat.
Protein and Water
A fighter in his training / conditioning period should never negate and forget about protein. The general rule is one gram of Protein for every pound in your body. So if you weigh 200lbs, you will need 200 grams of protein. Mix that in with water though, at a ratio of 1 gallon of water for every 100 grams of protein.
So what happens if you don’t take in much water with that amount of protein? Well, indigestion is one thing. Also, to process your protein intake, you will need that much water.
Rolling on the mats regularly, attending training, and such will deplete protein reserves quick.
But remember: get enough protein, but not too much!
Replace Electrolytes Lost
Sweating removes fluids. But in doing so, our body also removes electrolytes. Electrolytes are the ones responsible for transmitting nerve signals throughout our bodies. For some the quickest answer is grabbing that regular sports drink. While those may seem to provide the added boost and top-up to those electrolytes that you need, you may need to dilute it in equal parts of water. This way, you also replace the most important fluid in your body which is water.
Fatty foods are the body’s primary fuel for low intensity activities. Protein is used for high intensity ones. The right amount of fat intake actually has been proven to increase endurance. If you are up for that intense, semi-marathon training camp, a little bit of fat won’t hurt. It will actually be good for you.
Foods to Stay Away From
Craving is natural. After all, we all have acquired taste for foods that we have grown accustomed to. But beware there are some foods to stay away from. Here are some typical and common foods readily available to anyone. It is also good to have a day in a week where you are to give in to your cravings. Call it the reward day!
Diet Sodas – artificial sweeteners trick the body into thinking that it is consuming real food. The result is that our body makes more insulin. Insulin / fat storage hormone. The answer is moderation. Stay away from artificial sweetener. Most athletes suggest drinking electrolyte water instead of diet drinks. Artificial sweeteners provide no value at all to your body.
Processed Wheat / White Bread
Fact: when wheat is processed as flour, it loses its nutritional value and fiber. When this happens, it contributes to increased insulin, and a dip in energy level. White bread also uses so much sugar.
Stick to bread products that says “whole grain.” These are breads with unprocessed flour.
This should be a no brainer. Let’s name a few things about alcohol. Before you raise that beer can, remember that alcohol inhibits muscle recovery. The more you drink the more your body will have a difficult time keeping up with the training. Also, alcohol flushes important fluids out of the body!
Check Out the Gracie Diet
At first glance, the Gracie Diet is intimidating. But the concept is quite brilliant, and yet simple: it’s all about balance. If you notice, foods are grouped into 4 parts. Where one group cannot be combined with the other. Developed by Master Carlos Gracie. It’s not a weight loss plan. It’s all about balance and taking in the right foods that will work together with inside your body. You can also check out graciebarra.com‘s section on Eating Healthy is Jiu-Jitsu!
Eating your way to better performance starts with a decision in mind: decide to be healthy!
Jiu-Jitsu for Everyone!