Nutrition for MMA fighters
Mixed Martial Arts or MMA, sometimes referred to as cage fighting, is a full combat sport involving two fighters who use judo, jujitsu, boxing, wrestling, karate, Muay Thai, and more.
The History of MMA
Martial Arts was believed to originate from the martial training of the Greek armies called pankration; it was also considered to be the combat sport of ancient Greece during that time. Before, this contest was brutal because it is a combination of wrestling, boxing, and street fighting. Also, they used to allow hitting and kicking a downed opponent. While biting and gouging the eyes of your opponent were the only forbidden actions. Then, the match would only end if your opponent acknowledges defeat or if one of the fighters is already unconscious. The game was so brutal that many of the fighters died during their matches.
It was not until 393 CE were a Roman Emperor banned pankration and ended its popularity. Many years later, pankration’s fighting style resurfaced in Brazil in the 20th century and eventually became famous.
Who Can Be An MMA Fighter
Anyone can become an MMA fighter as long as they are determined to learn and train for the sport. But, those who have experience in other combat sports at a young age have the best potential to become professional MMA fighters. The ideal age to start training for the sport is around 15 to 16 years old, where it is almost or already fully developed. On the other hand, whether you are already in your early twenties or thirties, it is still not too late to start learning and training for the sport.
What Does It Take To Become An MMA Fighter
Being an MMA fighter means getting injuries and wounds from time to time. It is necessary that you prepare yourself to be comfortable being uncomfortable, as that comes with the sport. Not only that, but regular training is also essential, and it might take a toll on your body if you are not fully prepared. Injuries from training are also inevitable, which sometimes hinders some fighters from progressing.
The most successful MMA fighters did not get to where they are now without a team and a coach who supports them constantly. To become a successful MMA fighter, you need dedicated training partners and a coach that will guide and push you to your limits.
Where to begin?
Finding a reputable training facility is your first step. We recommend checking out a Straight Blast Gym (SBG) as a great starting point. SBG has locations throughout the US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Sweden, Africa, and South Korea. SBG trains Connor McGregor, and was founded by Matt Thornton who obtained his blue belt from the legendary Rickson Gracie, and his black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu from Chris Haueter. Chris was one of what is called in the BJJ community, the dirty dozen, the first twelve Americans to earn a black belt in the art.
Proper Nutrition for MMA Fighters
‘Athletes are often concerned with dietary manipulations in the period around competition. However, the main role of nutrition may be to support consistent intensive training which will lead to improved performance. Meeting energy demand and maintaining body mass and body fat at optimal levels are key goals.’ ~ MMA Nutritionist Drew Griffiths (BSc, MSc)
Nutritional Goals should include:
- Maintaining energy supply to working muscles and other tissues
- Promoting tissue adaptation, growth, and repair
- Promoting immune function
- Reducing inflammation – a crucial marker in association with both recovery and general health.
Supplements for MMA fighters
After a good training session, diet, and a good amount of sleep, will take you far, and taking supplements will help address gaps that you are not receiving from your food. Besides aiding performance, taking supplements is also helpful for training recovery after a grueling fight.
Here are some of the supplements necessary for mixed martial arts:
- Guayusa – can be used to improve your training and take your performance up a notch. Guayusa boosts your physical and mental energy levels in a way that helps you maintain focus. It also helps control your cortisol levels that can spike while training and competing.
- Vitamin B6 – B6 helps you metabolize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates to turn into energy. It also helps support immune function, create neurotransmitters, and hemoglobin that will promote greater oxygen levels in red blood cells.
- Vitamin B12 – besides an energy boost, B12 can aid in improvement in mood, support bone health, help with folic acid uptake, as well as support healthy hair, nails, and skin.
- Beta Glucan –The stressors of training and competition can severely impact your immune system potentially leading to infections and illnesses that can sideline you. Beta Glucan may help you boost your immune system.
- Selenium – is an antioxidant that may buffer oxidative stress after a long training session or competition. Taking selenium may result in less cell damage and speed recovery.