Sports nutrition is often overlooked in sports performance and that is sometimes the case in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Students train extremely hard and are focused on their Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training however paying attention to and upgrading the quality of your nutrition will upgrade your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu game in both the short and long term.
Nutrition is the raw material your body uses to repair tissues, reduce inflammation, create neurotransmitters and many other biochemical processes. The quality of your cells at a biological level, are impacted by the quality of your nutrition. Even from a mental / cognitive perspective, in competition, how quickly does your brain process information? The quicker the better. Nutrition influences mental processes. In all sports and martial arts, including Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, mental mistakes can be an issue in competition. Optimized nutrition will optimize your your mental game and minimize the potential for mental mistakes. An example of that would be how quickly you see and feel a potential submission coming on. The quicker the better. Another term for this is anticipation or situational awareness, seeing and feeling the direction things are moving and acting accordingly.
Sports nutrition is an art form itself. At a deeper level sports nutrition is both a science and an art. Students of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can become more aware of what foods work best for them and what foods don’t. Many people today have sub clinical food sensitivities that can detract from performance and well being. It’s wise to become more aware of how you feel after you eat certain foods.
Sports nutrition is a variable that can influence sports performance in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. When I first met Gustavo Dantas at Arizona Combat Sports in Tempe, AZ, that was part of our discussion. Gustavo is a well known and respected 3rd degree Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt and Founder of Gustavo Dantas Brazilian Jiu Jitsu with a long list of accomplishments. Gustavo Dantas is also the President of Nova Uniao, USA.
In my interview with Gustavo he talks about his life in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu as well as challenges he has overcome on his journey.
In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu the act of making weight can be tricky. It’s easy to go into a catabolic state where you body chews up your hard earned muscle in the process. That’s not a place you want to be. Catabolism is the decrease of lean tisuue / muscle. In a perfect world you want to preserve as much lean tissue as possible. Regardless of caloric intake it’s important to have high quality calories on board, not junk food.
Another factor to consider is immune function. Hard training for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition requires high end nutrition to support the immune system. Antioxidants and micronutrients are known to have a positive impact on immune function.
Now let’s talk about vitamins and minerals. Vitamins and minerals are not manufactured in the human body or by the human body therefore we need to consume them from high quality whole foods and supplementation. Once again training for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition is intense. Your nutrition status needs to be far better than a person that only pushes a pencil all day.
The frequency of your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training requires high quality nutrition. The rate limiting factor in training for competition is recovery between workouts. Once again, nutrition is the raw material for tissue repair.
In this brief article I’ve discussed why it’s important to address nutrition and be a student of your nutrition as part of your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu game. Nutrition is another variable you can control. Also, the same way your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu game will evolve over the years, your nutrition game will also evolve. I call it finer distinctions. As you drill more reps of, for example, an omoplata, you begin to see and feel the finer nuances of it. Your nutrition game will take on the same life.
The most important concepts to walk away with are:
1. Everybody is, to varying degrees, biochemically unique. What works for one person may not work for you.
2. Sports nutrition operates as interrelated components, one component can influence another component.
3. Managing and paying attention to your sports nutrition influences Brazilian Jiu Jitsu performance and contributes to better health.
Call Optimum Performance / Human Performance Systems today at 480-241-2621 and mention this article by Joe Sale, CNS, CSCS, Nutrition and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and receive a free consultation with Joe.
About Joseph Sale
Joseph Sale, CNS, CSCS, is a board certified nutritionist and a nationally accredited strength and conditioning specialist. His educational credentials include a Bachelor of Science and a Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine. Joe has been an adjunct faculty member and guest lecturer at numerous colleges, universities, and corporations covering human anatomy & physiology, sports nutrition, corporate performance, and precursors to musculoskeletal sports injuries among other topics. He’s been a guest expert on radio and television and is the author of the Optimum Human Performance Course.
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