One of the key aspects of good health is to have a proper and nutritious diet. When it comes to athletes, this aspect becomes a huge priority as it is the diet that will determine how their body gets the energy they need to perform their exercises. When it comes to combat sports like BJJ, the athlete would need a supply of nutrients that will develop both their strength, defense, and stamina; there are many diets or plans that boast about being the best in all of these regards. The truth is that many of these diets follow the same plan of avoiding junk food, eating specific meals while avoiding others but the results vary from people to people. Some people see positive results regards to one type of diet while others see no or negative results relating to the same type of diet, so where do we go from here? What diet is appropriate for a BJJ practitioner?
A simple answer to that is a diet that is simplicity itself in concept, the Paleo diet. Short for ‘Paleolithic Diet’, this type of diet gets its inspiration from how the people used to eat in the Paleolithic age. This means that the food you will be eating will be in their purest form, there will be no complex or fancy dishes, as they were not available back in the Paleolithic period. For some, it is a very extreme reaction to the cuisine that we take in the modern age, the philosophy is unorthodox but it works as you are getting pure nutrients.
You can also argue that the Paleo diet emphasis a form of ‘clean eating’ as you are avoiding all sorts of processed foods, like burgers or ice-cream, and that itself has a positive impact on your digestion. Another thing that the diet does is acting as a detox method, it focuses on the removal of grains which are hard to digest.
What Can You Eat?
The philosophy of the Paleo diet is that we only eat the foods that our ancestors had available at their time, it is basically the foods that the humans from the early age were evolved with and evolved to eat. The points below can give you an idea of what you can eat in the abundant form and what to avoid.
- Foods with high protein.
- Fewer carbohydrates, that includes all non-starchy fruits and vegetables
- Foods with high fat
- High micro-nutrients
- Less usage of salt
- No Alcohol
- No type of dairy or grains
- Avoid processed foods, refined sugars or processed oils
How Can the Paleo Diet Help with BJJ?
By implementing the Paleo diet into your routine, you will see significant positive changes in your body if you also training in BJJ. The effects can help boost your conditioning and strength as you are avoiding all of the things that can hamper the growth of your muscles and taking in all of the things that will improve them. Here are some things that the diet does for you:
Since the diet only consists of whole foods, you will be avoiding any sort of processed foods or any processed ingredients. Avoiding meals that make use of processed materials helps with the energy supply of your body, your digestion is faster and thus your metabolism. This is accomplished as all of the preservatives, additives, artificial sugars are being filtered out as you start eating clean.
Less Calorie Intake
You have a less overall caloric intake because you have completely cut off any sort of processed food or another complex dish. This is a good thing if you are planning to lose weight or are cutting as you need to be on a caloric deficit. If you want to gain weight then it is also fine as you are trading in nutrients, like protein that helps in muscle building, for the artificial flavors.
Improved Strength and Stamina
With the amount of protein being increased after cutting all of the carbohydrates from the processed foods, expect to see some muscle growth if you continue to train. More muscles lead to more strength, greater performance and you can only go uphill from here. The diet also cleanses out toxins which keeps you active and sharp, thereby increasing your responsiveness and stamina during a fight.
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