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Impact of BJJ on Bone Density And How To Improve It

Impact of BJJ on Bone Density And How To Improve It

Do you think BJJ has increased your bone strength? How does practicing martial arts (BJJ) strengthen your bones? This write-up will enable you to get all the right answers.

The factor of bone density is responsible for strong bones and they will be less susceptible to injury or fracture. BJJ involves vigorous exercises, drills, and physical training which includes stretching body muscles and intense use of core muscles with a proper healthy diet plan. These things can potentially increase bone intensity.

Prior to knowing about the impact of BJJ on your bone health. Let’s first discover the best body type for BJJ.

1. Best Body Structure for BJJ

When It comes to the categorization of human body structure, for better understanding, it is divided into three different physical types: endomorphs, mesomorphs, and ectomorphs. Martial arts practitioners must know about their body type as well as their opponent's body.

  • Mesomorphs and ectomorphs tend to be the best players because of their body characteristics. More muscles and less body fat help them excel at their BJJ game.
  • Ectomorph individuals are flexible due to their slender physiques, which comes in handy in Jiu Jitsu while pulling guards, applying strangulation, and escaping from disadvantageous situations.

2. Why is it Essential to Keep Your Bones Healthy?

Without bones, our body will lose its structure because bones provide a definite structure to your body. They also protect your essential body organs. That's why it's mandatory to take care of your bones. Having weaker muscles and bones make it harder to practice and master martial arts.

3. 5 Tips To Increase Bone Density

3.1. Add Calcium In Your Diet

Calcium is responsible for your bone's health. Daily RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for adults is 1000mg. Women acquire a higher amount (1200mg) of calcium per day.

Calcium can be obtained from dietary sources as well as from supplements. Broccoli, almonds, kale, and soy products are good dietary sources of calcium. You need to consult your nutritionist if you think your dietary sources are lacking calcium.

3.2. Maintain Vitamin D in Your Body

You need a proper intake of vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin), as your body must require recommended vitamin D for calcium absorption. The matter is, calcium needs Vitamin D to get absorbed in your bone structure. Adults above the age of 70 require a daily amount of 600 IUs (international units) of vitamin D. Furthermore, BJJ practitioners need 2000-4000 IUs each day due to their rigorous grappling practice.

Vitamin D is obtained from eggs, milk, cereals, and fish (whitefish, salmon, tuna). Sun is another essential source of Vitamin D. To meet your daily intake, you just need to take sunlight for 10-15 minutes to convert your body's cholesterol into vitamin D. However, you can also use vitamin D supplements prescribed by your doctor.

3.3. Add Physical Exercise to Your Daily Routine

Physical activities assist in maintaining healthy, strong bones over the course of a person's lifetime.

Short bursts of exercise, like running followed by jogging and walking, can be beneficial.

3.4. Strengthening Exercises

Strenuous training helps to maintain bone strength and also promotes the growth of your bones. High-intensity exercises help maintain bone health. However, by practicing martial arts you will get the following benefits among many others: 

  • Higher Mineral Density
  • Improved Bone Density
  • Less Inflammation
  • Higher Muscle Mass
  • Protection from Bone Loss

3.5. Maintain Proper Protein Intake

50% of bone mass is made up of protein. That's why it's essential to maintain a healthy proportion of protein intake in your diet. Low protein intake combined with less calcium intake results in shallow bones. Recommended daily protein intake is 100 gm per day.

However, when it comes to BJJ practitioners, their bodies require twice the protein intake compared to non-athletic bodies. They need extra protein as it burns during intensive grappling. Furthermore, it is utilized in the tissue repair process of BJJ athletes.  As an athlete, you must have at least 0.6 grams of protein for each pound.

4. Factors Affecting Bone Health

4.1. Hormonal Level

Hormonal levels have a considerable effect on bone density. Low levels of thyroid-stimulating hormones, estrogen, and testosterone, deficiency of vitamin D, and less production of growth hormones (1GF1) contribute to bone loss.

Low estrogen levels decrease the osteoblast during the menopause period. This results in weak bones. Similarly, your body would not be able to maintain good bone health due to low levels of 1GF1, and testosterone in the body.

However, certain growth hormones are used as anabolic agents for attaining and maintaining healthy growth of bones.

4.2. Medication

Numerous medications can impact bone health differently. Heparin, warfarin, cyclosporine, glucocorticoids, cancer medications, medroxyprogesterone acetate, and thyroid hormone can weaken bones.

However, anabolic and antiresorptive medications prevent bone loss and reduce the risk of bone damage.

4.3. Age Factor

Age factor is another important element that results in weak bone density. Estrogen and testosterone hormones are responsible for healthy bones in women and men respectively. After a certain age, the production of these hormones drops down which contributes to bone loss.

4.4. Smoking and Use of Alcohol

You should avoid smoking and alcoholic drinks if you wish to have strong bones.

Smoking decreases blood flow to many essential tissues and bones.

Nicotine in cigarettes decreases the growth of osteoblasts, which is an important element in bone structure.

In Addition, it also reduces calcium absorption, which is required for crucial cellular activities and bone health. It disrupts the hormonal balance, particularly estrogen, which is required for women and men to develop and keep a healthy skeleton.

4.5. Eating Habits

Unhealthy dietary habits may have an impact on bone strength and (Bone mass density) BMD. A good diet that includes fresh fruits and vegetables reduces bone resorption, but an unhealthy diet rich in refined carbohydrates is linked to a decreased BMD.

4.6. Genetic

Most of the time, 50% to 85% of osteoporosis (a disease that weakens bone) is genetically determined. Genetics plays a significant role in bone health. In some cases, low bone density runs into families.

5. FAQs

5.1. Does BJJ Change Your Body Structure?

Yes, BJJ can change your body structure. Jiu-Jitsu is a fantastic way to strengthen your muscles and build your body strength. Your muscles will get stronger during training sessions because of excessive training.

5.2. Does BJJ Strengthen Your Bones?

BJJ is a great all-around training program to increase body strength. It works all of your muscles and bones, from your neck to your calves, and core muscles. BJJ makes you more resilient and gives you stronger bones.

5.3. Why Do Athletes Have Stronger Bones?

Physical activities and running build strong bones due. People who indulge in daily workouts and exercise get stronger bone structures. 

6. Conclusion

Bone strength depends on different factors. You need to follow a healthy dietary routine and exercise to get stronger and for maintaining healthy bones. Martial art training can potentially contribute to your bone strength and if followed by a balanced diet can help you to maintain an athletic body over an extended period of time.

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