In the sports world we see a lot of talk about supplements and how they can help you reach your goals. Some people choose to bash supplements and their users claiming “all natural” is best. While I am not a dietitian I have experimented and done my fair share of research on the subject. I believe there are three sports supplements that can in-fact help Jiu Jitsu athletes reach their goals.
First I will talk about the obvious one. Protein powders can be a great supplement for your diet pre competition or just for overall general health. Everyone knows that protein can help build muscle and help you gain weight. This can be very helpful if you are in the middle of a weight class and want to move up and gain muscle. However as we all know most of the time Jiu Jitsuka’s intend to lose weight for competition. Protein can help with this as well! Protein has less calories per gram than both Alcohol and fat and has the same calories per gram as carbs. However Protein has one advantage over the others. This is called the thermo effect. Our bodies actually have to work in order to process our food and protein is much more complex than other sources of calories; this in turn requires more effort to break down. Protein has about a 25% thermos effect, which means 1/4th of the calories you consume are burned just to digest it.
Next let’s talk about Branch chain amino acids or “BCAAs”. Put simply these are the building blocked that are broken down from protein. These BCAAs are used for a variety of different purposes including building muscle, preventing muscle breakdown and aiding in fat loss. So with these three things in mind why not take them? You can get them in pill or powder form. I have found powder to be better as you can sip them while training.
Last I would like to talk about a supplement that gets a bad reputation, Creatine. Many people bash this supplement as a waste. But in reality creatine has a few great benefits in the Jiu Jitsu world . First obviously it will help build muscle. However it also helps protect your heart which is always a plus. Last and most importantly it allows your muscle to contract harder for longer periods of time. This may be the difference between finishing your opponent or not.
So as you can see Protien, BCAAs and Creatine can all aid a jiujitsuka in many ways. So next time you are at a supplement store pick some up
- Kris Reid