Want to be the best BJJ athlete version you can be? Let's look at aspects outside of training - your fuel! To be the best version of you you need to feed your body with the correct sources of food to perform, look and feel great.
Eating the wrong foods can make you bloat, gain weight, lose too much weight, feel sluggish and experience inflammation. A common mistake made is not eating enough, so eat more protein, fats and carbs. To cut weight the safest and better long term method is to create a caloric deficit by slightly reducing calorie intake. Going below the maintenance level it puts the body into starvation mode. It results in the shedding of muscle and storing of calories as fat for a future energy source.
All three macronutrients are important for weight loss and muscle build. Protein is essential for repair, rebuilding and putting on muscle so munch on chicken, fish, lean red meat, and eggs. Carbohydrates will help fuel workouts, stimulate glycogen replenishment and insulin for nutrient delivery, and protein synthesis so fuel up on whole grains, sweet potatoes, oats, quinoa, brown rice, green veggies and berries. Healthy fats are needed for hormone development and can lead to an increase in lean mass and strength. Sources include coconut oil, avocado, cashews, almonds, and olive oil.
And finally do not forget to hydrate, try to drink a minimum two litres of water each day, more so when training.
On game day ...
To maintain your energy level during a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu competition you do need to eat, so push back those nerves and eat enough a d eat at the right time - no one wants to be "knee on belly'd" after just eating a cheese burger!
Dehydration is far more likely, and far more serious than running out of fuel so make sure you sip slowly on your water or coconut water during the competition to keep dehydration at bay but not so much that you feel it glugging around in your tummy.
Drink as much water as you want after the competition finishes to replenish....I've also heard chocolate milk is a fantastic post fight recovery drink.
Don't eat new foods the day before or the day of the competition, stick to foods your body is familiar with and that you eat all the time.
Stay away from lots of proteins and fats the day of the competition as they take longer to digest than carbohydrates. Don't eat too much.
Fruit smoothies can give you the fuel you need and take a lot less time to digest than solid food.
Bananas, grapes and raisins are high in sugar and therefore a good source of energy but limit yourself to just a couple handfuls at least two hours before your match.
If you have a nervous stomach fuel up on pasta the night before the event.