Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is a demanding sport, stressing you physically and mentally. To be successful and train throughout your lifetime, a well-rounded biopsychosocial regimen is needed. This means having the right amount of training, recovery, nutrition, and mental preparedness. Adding dietary supplements can take your Jiu-Jitsu game to new heights and push your body to new limits. Here are the 5 best dietary supplements for Jiu-Jitsu fighters.
Ideally, whey protein is the best option due to its naturally high levels of branched-chain amino acids. However, increased protein regardless of the source will help your body repair from the grueling sparring sessions. There are plenty of options for protein supplements today and flavor technology has improved dramatically. You no longer have to drink chocolate chalk. Rebuilding and repairing damaged muscle will help you recover and reduce soreness. Aim to drink 20-30 grams of protein within 1 hour after training.
With all of the joint locks and pounding on the mats, your joints take a beating during Jiu-Jitsu. Adding Collagen Peptides to your post-workout protein shake can help repair and protect joint tissue. A study done at the University of Freiburg in Germany showed significant improvement in joint pain after consuming 5 grams of collagen peptides for 12 weeks. There are many options on the market and they come in a variety of flavors. Because of the benefits of protein and collagen, I use Inspired Nutraceuticals’ Protein+. This product contains whey protein and 5 grams of collagen peptides.
Cordyceps are parasitic fungi that grow high in the Himalayan mountains. The local Sherpas eat these mushrooms to help with energy and endurance. Research has shown that cordyceps may improve VO2 max and extend the time to exhaustion. The more I have researched mycotherapy (the application of mushrooms for health benefits), the more fascinated I become. Ideal dosage for cordyceps is 1,000-3,000 mg (milligrams) per day. I use 4 grams of PeakO2® per day, which is a patent-pending mushroom blend (containing cordyceps) supplied by Compound Solutions. Four grams of this specific blend has been shown to increase VO2 max, extend the time to exhaustion, and increase peak power output within 7 days! I LOVE this stuff.
By now, we've all heard that fish oil is good for us. Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil, provide a plethora of health benefits. One of the most important benefits for Jiu-Jitsu fighters is the anti-inflammatory benefit. There are 2 primary Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil; eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Both of these omega 3 fatty acids may help with reducing inflammation and aiding in the recovery of joint and muscle tissue. Dosing wise, aim for 1-3 grams of omega 3’s per day. Make sure to read the Supplement Facts panel to ensure the dosage specifically states omega 3’s. Most cheap, generic fish oils will state that each capsule is 1,000 mg of fish oil, but only yields 300 mg of Omega 3’s.
Gut health is arguably one of the most important aspects of human health. The gut is responsible for 70% of the immune system and acts as a second brain. Additionally, 90% of serotonin and 50% of dopamine are found in the gut. A probiotic supplement provides healthy bacteria to the gut to improve immunity and digestive function. Prebiotics are fibers that provide "food" to the good bacteria in your gut. Those healthy bacteria ferment the prebiotic fibers to provide short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which are used by gut cells for energy. By increasing SCFAs, gut cells become healthier. Healthy cells reduce the tight junction gaps between them and reduce leaky gut. Jiu-Jitsu exposes you to close contact with opponents and increases the likelihood of diseases. Improving gut health may help you stay on the mats longer and healthier.
What supplements do you currently use? Did you find this article to be helpful? If so, share with your friends! Long Island, NY friends, make sure to check out Kioto Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Oakdale, NY. Best facility in Long Island!