A diet is an important part in creating and maintaining a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter. Unfortunately, many fighters are making some very obvious and other not so obvious mistakes in their diet that prevents them from truly accomplishing their goals.
Without further ado, here are the biggest 4 mistakes BJJ fighters make when it comes to their nutrition:
1. Training with Your Stomach Completely Empty
Most BJJ fighters start their day with early morning training and that is perfectly fine. Where many err, however, is that they don’t get any fuel in them before the workout.
Keep in mind that you haven’t eaten anything for 8 or more hours. What energy reserves your body had is now depleted and you will soon see that when you start feeling tired and you haven’t even started your training properly.
I know a lot of folks that can’t eat early, if you’re one of them, or if you don’t have the time to make a proper breakfast, get some fruit in you at least, some bread with jam or honey or, at the very least, a sports drink.
2. Not Eating After Workout
So, we already established that you should get something in you before the workout. But don’t forget that you should also grab a bite after workout.
This is very important to remember if you like to train late. Make sure to never go to bed after workout with an empty stomach.
Without enough proteins and carbs, your muscles won’t have the necessary fuel, so make sure to provide this shortly after workout.
3. Not Getting Enough Liquids
The only relatively reasonable time to get dehydrated is prior to the weigh-in, when you’re trying to cut weight. Even so, you should only do this 24 to 48 hours before you step on the scales and then as the last resort, if all your other attempts at making weight fail.
In all other scenarios, staying hydrated before, during and after training sessions is crucial if you want to have any success in BJJ.
4. Avoiding/Ignoring Carbohydrates
I assume that, by know, the whole “don’t eat carbs, carbs are bad” fad has reached your ears as well, but think for a moment before you start some low-carb diet if it is really what you need.
Sure, if you’re looking to lose weight, a diet low on carbs will likely help you, but for an athlete who wants to perform at his best in the octagon this is not the way to go.
You absolutely, without a shred of doubt NEED carbs in your diet. Carbohydrates are particularly important for your brain and the central nervous system. These two cannot function properly if you don’t give them some carbs as fuel.
Furthermore, without enough carbs, your body won’t be able to burn fat quickly enough in a high intensity workout. This will naturally prevent you from getting the most out of your training.
On the flip side, you also don’t want too many carbohydrates in your body, as this will only mean extra unneeded weight you have to deal with. Balance is important, especially when it comes to how much carbs you consume.