5 Ways Alcohol Is Hurting Your Jiu-Jitsu & Fitness Goals

5 Ways Alcohol Is Hurting Your Jiu-Jitsu & Fitness Goals

1. Introduction

Many athletes learn Jiu-Jitsu to stay fit. Whereas others adopt it to excel in the grappling sport. To excel properly in any sport, it is crucial for an athlete to stay sober and fit. Drinking alcohol can hinder your progress in any walk of life. If you want to improve your Jiu-Jitsu skills or stay healthy and fit, you have to quit drinking.

We all are well aware of the fact that alcohol is bad for human health, especially if you are opting for any physically demanding activity.

2. 5 Ways Alcohol is Affecting Your Jiu-Jitsu and Fitness Goals

Alcohol is an addictive beverage. In the short run drinking alcohol may feel like a normal beverage. But in the longer run, it significantly affects an athlete’s stamina, training, decision-making, and execution skills in a very negative way.

2.1. Affects the Stamina

For a Jiu-Jitsu fighter, stamina is very important. Great stamina helps the fighter to withstand the opponent and makes him tired. Many martial art practitioners start drinking as they think that it will not affect their game. It is only when they start to experience the drastic effects of drinking in their game. 

  • It slows down the execution of Jiu-Jitsu techniques.
  • Decreased stamina does not let the fighter escape from submissions.
  • The fighter suffers from a high breathing rate which causes him to gas out.
  • The fighter can not train harder than he usually does.
  • His progress ultimately drops down.
  • As Jiu-Jitsu involves self-defense techniques, weak stamina will hinder the fighter from easily applying those techniques.
  • It decreases the fighter’s endurance and makes him prone to fall prey to the deadly sweeps of his opponent.

In the start, it may look like alcohol induces sleep, calmness, and a sense of serenity. Actually, it makes the brain restless and causes a craving for more doses of alcohol. Studies show that alcohol plays no role in improving the sleep cycle.

  • Under the influence, your brain works at a slower pace.
  • For an athlete who seeks fitness, alcohol damages decision-making skills.
  • Having a sound sleep makes a Jiu-Jitsu fighter active. But the lack of a proper sleep cycle causes a malfunction in even the daily chores of life.

2.2. Dehydration and Electrolyte Imbalance

  • Being a diuretic, alcohol causes frequent urination.
  • Which then results in the loss of water from the athlete’s body.
  • This leads to electrolyte imbalance meant in the human body.
  • Due to frequent urination, the body of a Jiu-Jitsu fighter suffers from dehydration.
  • It makes him weak and affects his functioning during his Jiu-Jitsu game.
  • It even makes your Jiu-Jitsu game slow as the fighter's heart rate increases along with his breathing rate.
  • It also results in a loss of physical strength.
  • Electrolyte Imbalance occurs due to the absence of many vital minerals from the athlete’s body.
  • When an athlete suffers from electrolyte imbalance, the first electrolyte which drops down is Sodium. Sodium is responsible for the proper functioning of nerves and for building and maintaining muscle strength.

2.3. Negative Effect on Strength

  • Lacking essential minerals and nutrients results in decreased physical strength.
  • Loss of strength causes the athlete to perform poorly.
  • To improve your Jiu-Jitsu game, having immense strength is the foremost prerequisite. When a fighter lacks the required strength, stamina, and physical power, it will not only cause him to lose but in the longer run, will also affect his fitness, reputation, and self-esteem.

Loss of Grip Strength

To gain victory over your opponent, having a good and strong grip is very important.

  • The excessive consumption of alcohol makes the athlete lose his grip strength in grappling which is a very crucial element for a BJJ fighter.
  • It not only causes you to lose your game but also induces many injuries.
  • Drinking deforms the muscles.

Loss of Core Strength

The core includes the lower back and muscles of the abdominal wall. Core strength is very important to develop a versatile Jiu-Jitsu game. It takes years for an athlete to create a strong core. This core strength is responsible for having a stout lower body. The athlete then progresses this strength to his upper body to become fit or make his Jiu-Jitsu game invincible.

  • Frequent consumption of alcohol results in loss of strength in the whole body.
  • Fitness workouts aim to develop a strong core which ultimately leads to better functioning of muscles. But alcohol makes the athlete feel dizzy and induces laziness and sloth.
  • The athlete can not perform the exercises necessary for a strong core hence deviating him from his fitness goals.

2.4. Greater Risk of Injury

  • When a fighter/athlete does not feel good due to the excessive intake of alcohol, he can be prone to many diseases or injuries.
  • To perform fitness/Jiu-Jitsu exercises, an athlete has to stay in his senses. But the overconsumption of alcohol hinders him from this task.
  • Due to alcohol consumption, strength and stamina are crucially impacted due to which he becomes exposed to many injuries during the match.

Chronic Diseases

  • Increased consumption of alcohol causes a complete loss of liver functioning.
  • It also results in many chronic diseases such as heart disease.
  • These diseases ultimately result in chronic illnesses which take a great amount of time, energy, and self-esteem to recover.

2.5. Effect on Muscles

  • During alcohol consumption, it is all fun for the athlete/fighters. The real problem starts when he suffers from muscle degeneration.
  • When a fighter exercises for his Jiu-Jitsu game, he lifts weights or practices submissions. This creates minute tears in his muscles.
  • These muscles then heal and become stronger every single time.
  • But when a fighter can not complete the course of his exercises, no tiny tears are created which means that his muscles stopped getting stronger.
  • Even without a proper Jiu-Jitsu workout, the fighter feels fatigued.

Effect on Muscle Protein Synthesis

  • When tiny tears are created in the muscles, their recovery results in the formation of muscle protein.
  • This muscle protein helps to attain strength but alcohol does not let that happen.
  • It actually causes a decrease in muscle protein which makes the muscles weaker.
  • It then results in decreased rates of myoglobin.
  • If the consumption of alcohol is not stopped, it can also lead to muscle atrophy.
  • When the muscle protein is not synthesized, it causes a gradual decay in muscle mass and strength.

3. Tips to Avoid Alcohol to Improve Your Jiu-Jitsu and Fitness Goals

To avoid alcohol from ruining your Jiu-Jitsu or fitness goals do not drink alcohol at all. Many athletes start drinking small amounts of alcohol but on rest days they increase their dose. It leads to more intake of alcohol which in turn affects a fighter’s overall fitness and performance.

3.1. Set Your Goals

  • It is a very basic but important step. It helps in making a framework. By realistically setting your goals, the fighter knows what he is aiming for in the long run.
  • For a Jiu-Jitsu fighter, his health must be a primary focus. Seek professional help and follow the advice and take small steps towards an alcohol-free life.

3.2. Lower Alcohol Intake

  • A small step in the right direction always proves to be fruitful. BJJ practitioners must lower their alcohol consumption gradually.
  • But if he wants to excel in his game, he has to quit drinking entirely.

4. FAQs

4.1. Can Drinkers Learn Jiu-Jitsu while Sticking to Alcohol?

Even active drinkers can learn Jiu-Jitsu if they want to. But to achieve proficiency, precision, and fame in this sport, requires more than quitting alcohol.

4.2. How does the Stamina of an Athlete be Affected by Alcohol?

The body of an athlete is required to perform at peak under immense pressure and alcohol consumption reduces stamina and affects the physical strength of an athlete's body.

5. Conclusion

For a Jiu-Jitsu fighter or a person seeking fitness, staying active and healthy is the foremost prerequisite. The consumption of alcohol does not let the individual achieve either goal. That is why BJJ practitioners must avoid alcohol, especially during the peak week. The peak week is the week that is just before the big game. The fighters should quit alcohol consumption and other things which are not suitable for athletic fitness so that they can get ready.

Photo credit: @menshealth

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