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BJJ training is an intense activity in which athletes need a proper diet plan to strengthen their muscles and prevent any muscle or bone injury. It is usually considered that pre-training food is important as your body needs energy during training. But a post-training diet is also important as well as a pre-training diet. As the body passes from a tiring training session, a post-training diet helps to recover the body quickly and prepare it for another session.
1. Effects of Training and Workout on the Body
BJJ training is a highly exhausting activity that affects the body in various ways. Intense activities like BJJ training break down muscle fibers. Furthermore, BJJ training also uses the stored glycogen (stored form of carbs in your muscles) that is the most readily available source of energy for our body. Proper diet and complete rest are necessary to rebuild and recover the muscular damage in the body. This proper intake of post-training nutrients helps you recover and prepares you for further training.
2. Essentials for Recovery
Our body is naturally designed to rebuild any damaged muscles. For this natural healing process, sleeping hours help a lot. During sleep, our body finds time to construct all broken muscular fibers of the mind and body.
But the body needs proper nutrients for this recovery process. To recover muscular damage and glycogen storage, proteins and carbs are the crucial elements someone needs. Proteins help to build muscles while carbs are stored in the form of glycogen.
First, six hours after the training, the release of insulin hormone increases and helps to restore the carbohydrates back to the muscles. Post-training carbs intake helps to restore and regain the amount of glycogen. In this way, protein and carbs intake just after the training help to strengthen and build body muscles.
3. Post-Training Best Foods
The human body is naturally designed to perform the healing process with the help of proper nutrient intake and rest. Grapplers not only focus on their pre-training diet but also their post-training food.
Because a post-training diet helps them to revive their body and get them ready for another day. Here we discussed some of the essential foods required for recovery.
|Food Type||Sources||Benefits||Intake Amount|
Animal proteins (chicken, beef, fish, eggs)
Plant-based proteins (beans, nuts, broccoli)
Protein supplements (Casein protein)
|Rebuilding of muscular fibers||20g -30g after every workout or training|
High GI Carbs
Low GI Carbs
|Fundamental energy source
Restore glycogen levels in the body
|Amount of Carbs = Half of the body weight in grams
(if an athlete has 180 pounds of body weight, he must take 90g of carbs after every training session)
|Fruits||Plants||Contain antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory benefits||You can munch on fruits as snacks|
|Water||Natural Resources||Prevent dehydration from over sweating||Check your weight before and after the training session.
Take 750ml water per pound lose
Workouts and heavy training routines activate the damage and breakdown of muscular proteins. Muscular breakdown depends on the intensity of exercise and also on how much your body adapts to a hectic routine.
Muscular collapse can occur at any stage of training. Even BJJ athletes experience muscular breakdowns after years of training. But the constant rebuilding process of muscular fibers strengthens the core of muscles. So well-trained athletes can expect low chances of muscle breakdown.
Proper protein consumption in your diet provides all essential amino acids to your body for the rebuilding of protein fibers. Our body can produce the required proteins if essential amino acids (the building blocks of the proteins) are regularly taken in the diet.
For athletes, it is recommended that they must take 20g to 40g of high-quality proteins after every 3 to 4 hours. BJJ athletes can take proteins before and after sparring/rolling sessions. Both have their own benefits. But within one to two hours after the workout, 20 to 30 grams of high-quality protein supplement can help to strengthen and build muscles.
High-quality protein is a protein that constitutes all essential amino acids required for your body. Such proteins include animal proteins like chicken, beef, fish, etc. Salmons are also a very good protein source as they are also full of Omega 3. Salmons help to fulfill protein requirements as well as also help to reduce inflammation.
Other protein sources that can be helpful as post-training food are eggs, plant-based proteins like beans, and protein supplements. The best protein supplement is Casein protein as this protein supplement is absorbed in the body more quickly than all other proteins.
3.2. Carbohydrates (Carbs)
Glycogen is used during physical activity like BJJ training or enduring sessions. Carbs intake after two to three hours of training can help to restore glycogen in your body.
The amount of glycogen used in the body depends upon the intensity of training. Conditioning workouts require more carbohydrates than usual BJJ training. Endurance activities like swimming or running require more carbohydrates than BJJ training or weightlifting.
Insulin secretion that is helpful to store carbs in the form of glycogen releases when carbs are taken along with protein. So post training intake of carbohydrates help in muscle building, recovery, and in the recovery process.
Here is a rough estimate of the carbs required after every training session. The amount of carbs can be estimated by the body weight of the athlete. Divide the body weight by two and then that is the amount of carbs an athlete should take after BJJ training. For example, if an athlete has a body weight of 180 pounds, and divides it by two. Now that athlete should take approximately 90g of carbs after every training session.
Another important element that needs attention is Glycemic Index (GI). Carbohydrates with high GI dissolve quickly and become part of your body as compared to carbohydrates with low GI. So carbohydrates with a high GI are suggested more as compared to low GI. High GI carbs included white bread, potatoes, and pasta while low GI carbs include whole grains, beans, and non-starchy vegetables.
Fruits can also be the best food after training. Fruits like bananas, apples, strawberries, etc are easy to digest and anti-inflammatory post-training natural energy sources. Fruits are full of antioxidants that are helpful to reduce inflammation caused due to hectic training sessions.
As sweating is common during BJJ training, dehydration is a big challenge for BJJ athletes. Most BJJ practitioners drink plenty of water before and after their training sessions.
But it is recommended that you should check your weight before and after training. Drink water according to the reduced amount of weight. You should drink 750ml water for every pound of weight loss.
4. Other Methods for Quick Recovery After Training
Along with proper diet intake, another important method for a quick recovery is proper rest and sleep. During deep sleep, our body recovers all the broken muscle fibers and other small injuries. Resting time is also considered healing time. Our body starts to mend all the bodily injuries in sleeping time. Khabib Nurmagomedov, the undefeated legend mentioned in an interview,
“If you don't recover between training, you are never gonna become successful.”
5. Final Words
BJJ training can cause muscle fiber protein damage and glycogen use. To recover muscle damage and stored glycogen, a proper diet is very crucial. Proteins and Carbs are considered one of the best food intakes for post-training.
Proteins help to rebuild the damaged muscles while carbohydrates help to restore the glycogen back to the body that was used for physical activities during training. Proteins and carbs together influence hormonal activation that causes quick rebuilding of muscles and glycogen storage.
Fruits and water can also be part of post-training food as fruits contain antioxidants that are anti-inflammatory in nature. While water is also important for rehydration after heavy sweating during BJJ training. Another best tip for a quick recovery is proper rest and sleep. Proper sleep helps to recover body damage quickly and prepare your body for another training session.