BJJ requires dedication both on and off the mats. You can’t be involved in the Gentle Art if you’re out of shape and your diet isn’t on point. Now, let’s face it, a squeaky clean diet in today’s society requires a major effort. Most people that are willing to eat clean but do not have sufficient time, decide to look for easier ways out. One such way is reaching for pills and powders. now, before you go off buying every magic supplement you see on TV make sure you know what works and what’s nothing more than marketing. There is an essential stack of BJJ supplements for grappling martial arts enthusiasts. It’s made up of the basic stuff that’s not too expensive and works. Give it a shot!
Remember that in today’s world there’s much more to protein powder than just regular, good old whey protein. We have blends, whey, casein, beef, cricket protein, and even super pump-up uber-bulk hope cans. There are a million and one different products out there and they all claim they’ll turn you into the Hulk. Since Jiu-Jitsu is not at all about getting pumped up, but rather about improving performance let’s see some BJJ supplements that actually help grapplers.
Before you go looking for supplements, make sure your diet is in order. Everything you need to know about eating for Jiu-Jitsu.
The 5 Best BJJ Supplements:
Whey Protein Isolate
Why should you be taking protein supplements? Well because protein shakes aren’t only for stacking on body builder-like muscles. They are great time-saving meal replacements that prevent catabolism eliminators and make everyday life easier. Imagine if you miss a full meal and all you have in your bag is a banana. A starchy fruit like that is surely going to boost your energy, but it as a whole, is not enough. You cannot bring a plastic knife to do a steak knife’s job.
Remember, the money you put into a good high-quality protein will be paid back in full with results. The last thing you want is to be swallowing down a shake that tastes like ground-up chalk. Keep your stomach happy and your performance top-class. If any of the BJJ supplements are worth splurging on, it’s this one. And make sure to shun all the blends and modern formulas. Whey protein isolate is the closest to milk-derived whey with maximal protein content. Just go for it. You and your gut will thank me later.
Branched Chain Amino Acids
BCAA stands for Branched-chain Amino Acids. It is one of, if not the most important supplement we can take as grappling martial arts practitioners. Most BJJ people train almost every day, we do strength and conditioning and try a diet or a weight cut at some point. But what we do not want to do is lose muscle due to a catabolic state. This is when our body instead turns to break down our muscles for nutrients. Enter BCAA, the catabolism destroyer.
What BCAAs do, is increase our body’s protein synthesis and promote the cellular transport that carries out protein synthesis. They also increase the cell’s capacity to synthesize protein. On top of it all BCAA’s decrease the breakdown of protein. BCAA’s modulate the way our body processes protein and let us process more all the while maintaining the breakdown of protein so we get the most out of it. As far as BJJ supplements go, it’s a must-have!
Creatine is one of those supplements that has gotten mixed responses over the years. Creatine increases productivity on and off the mats helps build muscle by aiding in recovery and strengthening skeletal muscles. It provides an energy boost to help our muscles fire off more rapidly when we need them. Sometimes, in those hard training sessions, or in the finals of Worlds, that slight boost that gains you a second of advantage could be the turning point.
Creatine is an amino acid that, in effect, helps buffer the build-up of lactic acid. Lactic acid builds up is what we know as muscle fatigue, cramping or “burning out.” The trick with creatine is that you will need to “load” your system for a few days in order to build up a surplus. Generally, recommended doses are 20g per day for 5 – 7 days before switching over to a maintenance amount of 5 grams a day. The 20 grams of the load should be taken in 5-gram portions throughout the day. The best part is that creatine is practically flavorless and easily added to your post-workout shakes without any notice. Oh, and it is very cheap. A BJJ supplements stack mainstay if you ask me.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Fact check. We can not produce Omega-3 fatty acids naturally. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oils help build muscle, increase metabolism, reduce inflammation, increase organ function and promote weight loss. All of which, in a healthy manner, means that if you want to lean down and maintain muscle mass, you should add in fish oil.
Joanna Jedrzejczyk sure could’ve used some help with her weight cut. Make sure you take your fish oil so that you avoid similar struggles: https://bjj-world.com/joanna-jedrzejczyks-weight-cutting-video-its-a-torture-for-human-body/
If you want to live longer and have a functioning body, you should take fish oil. Even if you are a polar bear that loves salmon and BJJ, you should still take fish oil. You see, even if you are eating pounds and pounds of salmon, you can never really get enough. Luckily, you can supplement with Omega-3 fatty acids and get your fair share.
Fruit And Vegetable Powders
Despite always being told to eat our veggies, sometimes we just can’t get down to doing so. And some of us just plain do not want to. However, a lack of fruits and veggies weakens your body’s self-defense capabilities. Green foods, berries, citrus all provide key vitamins, minerals, and powerful nutrients we need to not only survive but thrive.
Luckily, a few companies have come up with multivitamins and greens supplements. These powders are quick, easy, and taste good. It’s understandable when you say that you do not have time to boil water and cook asparagus before rushing out to roll, but you have no excuse not to grab a scoop of some of the greens’ supplements in your stack, throw it in the shaker, and hit the road. Do yourself a favor and improve your immunity. Supplement with greens on a daily basis.
All in all, you take your training seriously. Take your diet seriously. Well, they go hand in hand. Your training without proper nutrition is like a Gi without a belt. Remember to eat well and train hard. Supplements are exactly as the word implies, supplemental. You should not be living off supplements but you should work them into your diet to fill in those gaps or lapses in nutrition that you do not get. There is no harm in adding a shake and some fish oil into your diet, there is only gain.