Training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu extends far more than just the mats. With BJJ, you either get bitten by the bug or not. In most instances, it is the former and people jump headfirst into the world of grappling. This encompasses a full lifestyle change. Strength and conditioning training, clean eating and all the associated apparel. And of course, a taste of Brazil to make everything stick together. And the community’s favorite to achieve this is acai! So, what is it, why do people like it so much and how can you make the perfect BJJ Acai bowl?
Brazil is a very cool place to live in. You have a warm climate, awesome beaches, top Jiu-Jitsu schools and everything else you might wish for. And the food is out of this world. Brazilians like their meat which is something grapplers can easily relate to. Apart from never-ending rodizios, though, the people of Brazil also love their fruit. As such, they boast some fresh products that are as specific to the country as BJJ is. One of those is, without doubt, acai, or it’s most used form, the BJJ Acai bowl.
Basically, Acai is a berry which people like to eat frozen and mashed into a pulp, much like ice cream. Usually, people garnish it with granola, banana and/or strawberries, but the opportunities are endless. It is the meal of choice for grapplers because of its great taste, Brazilian roots and high nutritional value. The only drawback is, that you can’t find it in some parts of the world…yet. For those that find themselves in such a predicament, we’ll offer a great and just as tasty alternative!
The Lowdown On Acai
So let’s start with what Acai is. Found on palm trees all over Brazil and the rest of South America, Acai is a berry that looks very much like a grape. They have a similar color to that of blueberries. Acai is one of the most potent superfoods of today, especially in terms of antioxidant power. Acai is very rich with seeds, so much so that they take up 80% of the berry. The remaining 20% fall off to the skin and meat, which is what we’re after. This is where all the high-level nutritional value of Acai is located.
Nutritionally speaking, Acai berries are arguably the most potent source of antioxidants available. They have 5 times more antioxidants than blueberries, which are often compared to Acai. They are also packed with tons of vitamins, especially the skin, as well as fiber and plenty of minerals. Speaking of minerals, Acai is a very rich source of calcium. Acai also contains a high level of amino acids as well as fatty acids. Essentially it has everything you need jam-packed into one unassuming looking berry.
If you live anywhere in South America, you’ll have no trouble finding Acai. The same holds true for the USA as well. If you find yourself in Europe, though, you might find it difficult to acquire it, depending on where you are. Even if you’re able to find it, it is very unlikely that you’ll get the berry itself in a raw form. The most common way is to get Acai pulp ina pureed form. This puree comes frozen in the shape of bricks and is ready to blend straight away. Other forms of Acai are in supplement form (capsules or powder) but that only gets you the nutritional benefits without any of the amazing taste.
Benefits of Acai
Before we go into the nuts and bolts of preparing a BJJ Acai bowl, let’s take a look at why you might want to consider adding Acai to your shopping list first. It’s probably clear from the nutritional profile that Acai is nothing but beneficial for our health. We’ll now focus on exactly what those health benefits are.
To begin with, Acai is great for your cholesterol. It helps to decrease the level of total and LDL cholesterol. this helps protect the heart and blood vessels. Furthermore, certain compounds in Acai prevent cholesterol from being absorbed, which keeps our blood levels steady.
Acai is thought to also have cancer-fighting properties. There are plenty of studies showing promising results, and even considerations for using Acai as a cure in the future. The antioxidants in Acai help reduce inflammation in our bodies, which is essential to athletes. they also help boost the brain and aid in its protection by stimulating autophagy. There are also immune boosting properties to this amazing berry.
Froma different standpoint, a huge benefit of Acai is energy. The berry is a great provider of energy making it a perfect fit to eat around BJJ class. Furthermore, the usual pairings with granola and banana only increase the energy value of Acai.
And of course, there’s no way we can go on without mentioning the taste. The frozen version is very tasty, especially when you combine it with the correct ingredients. Actually, it’s very easy to get a chocolate ice cream-like sensation while keeping the calories you consume surprisingly low.
A BJJ Acai Bowl To Die For
Yes, we said we’re going to provide a BJJ Acai bowl recipe. But we’re going to go further than that and give you a bonus smoothie recipe as well. This way, you can both enjoy your Acai as a bowl at any time of day, or directly post workout. Whatever you prefer, we got you covered! Let’s get straight into it:
For the ultimate BJJ Acai bowl experience, you’ll need a banana, a few strawberries, some honey, a few cacao nibs or a bit of dark chocolate, shredded coconut, and of course, some frozen Acai pulp. Feel free to get creative with the fruit as all kinds of tropical fruits are great additions. Mangos, kiwis, papaya and the like are just some great options to add to the taste.
For the best Acai bowl of your life, start by running the Acai bricks (2-3 bricks) underwater for a few seconds. Then, break them apart straight into a blender and throw in half a banana as well. Blend until you get a smooth, creamy consistency. Next, spread a bit of honey over the walls of a bowl or a cup. Now, scoop a third of the Acai into the bowl. Next, go for a layer of cacao nibs/dark chocolate and some sliced strawberries. Line up the strawberries along the walls.
Scoop over the second third of the Acai and this time sprinkle some granola and line the walls with sliced bananas. Put the final part of the Acai and top it with a little bit of everything. Some granola, some cacao nibs and finally, shredded coconut. This is the part where you can throw on some mango/papaya/kiwi pieces as well. Dig in and enjoy!
George Lockhart is the one man that every grappler should listen to in terms of nutrition. He is actually very big on using carbs post workout, so the BJJ acai bowl fits right in. Check out the “Nutrition And Weight Management System” bundle that features 3 DVDs plus a 100+ page E-book to learn all there is about grappling nutrition.
For the Acai smoothie, all you need to do is make sure you have everything liquid enough to drink. While this isn’t the preferred method it is no less delicious by any means. Namely, the ingredients you need are Acai, coconut water, a banana, and some ground almonds.
Put all ingredients in a blender, except for the coconut water and puls for a bit. Once you get things going, keep adding in coconut water until you reach the desired consistency. Transfer in a glass and enjoy!