Most athletes in the world have a habit of turning to a stimulant or two for better performance. Grapplers and combat athletes are no exception to this rule. Jiu-Jitsu training is hard, especially if you’re doing it after a hard days work. For professionals that have multiple training sessions during a day, anything that can provide more energy is very welcome. To that extent, let’s make something very clear at the beginning. We’re only talking about legal substances. Actually, we’re not even talking about. Today’s topic of discussion are the best stimulants for grapplers that come in a cup. Ladies and gentlemen pick your poison – coffee or green tea?
Reaching for a cup of joe or steaming mug of tea is a morning ritual of most people worldwide. Starting the day off with your favorite stimulant beverage is a strong habit among grapplers a well. So much so, actually that there are several BJJ and MMA related companies out ther that prduce their own blend of coffee. Regardless of the choice, but these beverages provide a much needed pick me up in teh morning, before or after training and at any other time of day. However, they offer a host of other health benefits to people training Jiu-Jitsu apart from the instant flood of energy while consuming.
This article is not going to be a coffee vs. green tea debate. Those thinking, we can pick one out over the other, are going to be disappointed. The real reason why we put these two favorite beverages shoulder to shoulder is taste. Most people that are really into tea are not coffee’s biggest fans and vice versa. So in order to satisfy everyone’s taste (apart from those few freaks that don’t like either), we’re going to cover the benefits of both. Not that they’re too much different really.
Effects Of Caffeine
So, why do we really like coffee so much? Apart from the taste, which can be manipulated in countless ways, the effect is the crucial thing most grapplers area after. Both the effects of coffee and tea are down to a few active ingredients that get our blood pumping for Jiu-Jitsu training .
As we all know, caffeine is the main active ingredient of coffee, and to a lesser extent, green tea. Caffeine is a methylxanthine and falls into the category of stimulants. It gets absorbed into the bloodstream really quickly. From there on, caffeine starts having almost immediate effects on the body. First and foremost, it affects the central nervous system. The feeling of alertness you get from caffeine helps keep you awake and function a ta a higher pace. It also has a relieving effect on migraines and headaches.
Caffeine has a stimulating effect on blood pressure as well, raising it slightly, but significantly. This is mainly due to the release of adrenaline that accompanies ingestion of caffeine. Caffeine has an overall positive effect on the heart as well, helping with a steadier heartbeat.
In terms of behavioral effects, coffee (or green tea) increase our attention. Caffeine promotes better overall mood and even helps with memory. It is actually a component of many Alzheimer treatments nowadays.
Benefits For Jiu-Jitsu Training
How exactly might caffeine help Jiu-Jitsu training? Well, as we saw above, it has a myriad of effects on multiple systems of the body. All these effects translate into benefits which are very helpful for grapplers. Of course, as with everything else, it’s all down to dosage. Caffeine can also have adverse effects when taken in large doses often, so be careful. Since all of us react differently to it, you might need some tinkering to find the perfect dose to take before Jiu-Jitsu training.
Cofee For BJJ
In terms of health benefits, coffee has more than 1.000 biologically active components. Conversely, it boasts with several B vitamins along with a rich mineral content. Coffee is also a great source of much-needed antioxidants.
As a stimulant caffeine helps in prove teh function of muscles, making it the perfect pre-workout drink. It can help you produce an increase in muscle output and power. Furthermore, it speeds up metabolism, making our bodies much more efficient. Coffe also helps with weight loss. This makes it a very useful (and tasty) tool for those grapplers that are looking to cut weight. Caffeine raises the resting metabolic rate by several percents, which in combination with good nutrition and Jiu-Jitsu training is a certain way of losing fat.
By boosting mood and memory, coffee allows grapplers to be sharper and more focused when rolling. The mood-boosting effect also helps keep you calmer under pressure and more creative in your game. Coffe has also been shown to improve the cognitive power of the brain, helping you win all the human chess matches you might get into.
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Grapplers Choice – Green Tea
Green tea is coffees next door neighbor. For those that prefer a slightly lesser caffeine hit, or simply a different taste than coffee, green tea is usually the number one choice. When it comes to people in Jiu-Jitsu training, green tea is far superior to other kinds of tea, and not just because of its caffeine content.
Green tea is made from unfermented leaves containing a very high amount of antioxidants. While it may fall back behind coffee in terms of caffeine, it definitely makes up with antioxidants. The role of antioxidants is the protection of your cells from damage, and we all know how damaging Jiu-Jitsu training can be on all levels of the body. What green tea really helps with is recovery after a hard rolling session.
The fat burning effect of green tea is another major benefit. Green tea helps lower the body’s cholesterol levels by blocking its absorption. Add to that the stimulative effect on metabolism and you have the recipe for fat loss. Green tea salo helps protect from certain types of cancer and is really rich with iron. Plus, it tastes awesome if you’re into tea more than you are into coffee.
A neat little trick to further unlock the magnificent potential of green tea is to throw in some lemon into it. The vitamin C from the lemon helps boost green tea’s antioxidant power very significantly. Plus, it adds some much-needed flavor.