If you’re new to Brazilian jiu-jitsu, you may be wondering how you can improve your game. Well the long and short of it is that you’re only going to get better by consistently going to class and consistently sparring. However, there are certain things that you can do to make it easier for your body to learn and grow.
Today we’ll take a look at what you should eat before class. This isn’t a comprehensive nutrition plan. It’s a quick and dirty guide to make sure that you don’t experience heartburn, nausea, or general belly heaviness while you are trying to roll. Any of those things can greatly decrease your ability to learn. All of my wisdom has been gained through years of trial and error. I’ve made the mistakes so that you don’t have to!
Foods to avoid:
• Foods with red sauce: Nothing will ruin your game faster than eating pizza or spaghetti and meatballs at lunch before you train. You’re done before you even hit the mats. If the heartburn doesn’t tap you out the nausea will. There’s nothing worse than being in the middle of a hard rolling or workout session and feeling like you have to throw up because you just HAD to have a chicken parm at lunch.
• Fast Food: Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not opposed to a visit to the hamburger store every now and again, but you need to be careful about eating fast food before you train. The grease will do you in faster than a Gary Tonnen leg lock.
• Soda: believe it or not, soda isn’t good for you! I know, it’s totally crazy, but if you spend all day drinking soda and sugary drinks, you aren’t going to be properly hydrated. I only rarely drink soda nowadays and honestly my cardio has never been better. It also cut down on heartburn and stomach pain I was experiencing when I was rolling. It’s anecdotal sure, but it can’t hurt to try it out right?
Foods to seek out:
• Water: I guess this technically isn’t a “food” per say, but it’s the most important thing you can put into your body before you train. Now this is the important part, you have to drink the water throughout the day if you really want to see the benefits of being well hydrated. If you just start drinking water an hour before class you won’t be hydrated enough. From when you wake up to when you go to class you should be drinking water. I drink a gallon of water every day. Since I started this habit I feel incredible. I don’t feel as sore, I have better cardio during class, and I just feel like I have much more energy. Plus, if you spend your day drinking water, there isn’t going to be as much room for the cruddy stuff that will make you feel bad! You win two ways with water.
• Oatmeal: Oatmeal before class can give you a quick burst of energy, which will help with training.
• Acai: I’m not gonna lie, I have no idea what Acai actually is. Maybe it’s a berry? Or a cross between a coconut and a melon? I think it’s purple, but other than that I’m not sure. I’m including it on here because Brazilian people who train BJJ swear by it. I think one of the Gracies has eaten nothing but Acai for over 30 years, but don’t quote me on it. It’s gotta be good for you if so many black belts are badgering me to eat it all the time.
• Fruits: if you want some energy before class, eat a banana or an apple, but stay away from highly acidic fruits because those may cause more harm than good.
Here’s the important thing to take away from this blog post. If you want to be able to train harder and you want your cardio to last longer, you’ve got to pay attention to what you put into your body. Going to the gym all the time will only take you so far, especially as you get older. So eat your fruits and veggies, and stay away from the bad stuff! Also, remember to come train at Crossroads Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Waterford Connecticut. We’d love to have you as part of our team, and you’ll always get good advice from the Crossroads team!
Train hard, Win Easy.