As an MMA athlete, you train very hard. You take your diet seriously. And you rest and recover just as diligently as you train and eat. You know that having all of the right moves in the ring doesn’t matter if your body fails on you. Part of having a body you can count on is giving your body the right kinds of foods and supplements so that you can push yourself further and further, and recover quickly. Let’s check out some minor dietary adjustments that you can make, for some major MMA training and nutritional success!
Yes, it can become quite easy to latch onto that one perfect diet regimen once you discover it. However, even the perfect diet of chicken & rice 24/7 is going to get old – and eventually, unproductive. You’ll grow to hate that particular food after a while. And even if you possess the discipline to eat the same things all of the time, your body will be missing out on the many positive nutrient and antioxidant effects that arrive as a result of a well-balanced diet. You don’t always have to eat perfect foods, but you should become perfectly comfortable with new, healthy foods all of the time to give your body the nutritional variance it craves. Remember, our ancestors would travel hundreds of miles each month, eating all sots of new foods that they found along the way. We are built for nutritional variety – embrace it!
Bump up the Fiber
Your body is a machine, right? You probably have a T-shirt or screensaver that says exactly that. Well, if this is the case, then fiber is the oil that makes this machine run smoothly. Let’s take a look at the advantages of a high-fiber diet, and see if they are beneficial for those training and embracing the MMA lifestyle. Normalize bowel movements – Check! You can’t fight well if you’re constipated. Lower cholesterol – Check! You care about your body so your health matters too. Well-regulated blood sugar? You bet! You might even consume a lot of food and may drink several sugary sports drinks a day – sugar regulation in your body is particularly important. Finally, the fact that fibers aids in achieving a healthy body weight definitely rings true to MMA fighters that have to worry about making weight class. Spruce up your diet with fruits, vegetables & oatmeal, up to 40-50 grams of fiber per day.
Include the SuperFoods
There are some foods often known as “super foods” which can give your body an added boost in performance and recovery. And since you’re in the practice of regularly pushing your body to its maximum performance levels, it would be a great idea to familiarize yourself with these superfoods. Cherries are loaded with antioxidants. Oatmeal contains plenty of fiber. Chia seeds are rich in iron, calcium, protein, and “own” blueberries in terms of antioxidants (3 times more!). Bananas are rich in potassium and vitamin B6, which ensure you cramp much less when training. Milk of the soy, almond, hemp and rice variety will no doubt skyrocket your recovery pace. Sweet potatoes, packed with vitamins A & C, as well as all the carbs a diligent MMA fighter needs, should never be neglected. Finally, go all the “whey” with whey protein – the perfect delivery system for fast-digesting protein that the hard-training MMA fighter needs more than they often realize. Eat up!
Choose less processed
When selecting from food options, you usually have several options from which to choose. Anytime there is any chance for variance, select the food that is less processed. Anything green from the outer aisles of the store is ideal. Anything packaged in a white box in the center aisles of the store are probably less than ideal. Consuming food as close to possible as its natural state is a great way to ensure you are eating the most digestible and pure foods, making your body a faster, more efficient digestive machine.
You eat a well-balanced diet. You take care of yourself. Why should you, the hard training MMA fighter, need a multi-vitamin? There are many reasons! You exercise a great deal, so the demands of micronutrients by your body are going to be greater than that of your untrained peers. And it’s near impossible to ingest EVERY possible vitamin and mineral each day. A quick multivitamin can ensure you aren’t missing out on any of them. The advantages of taking a multivitamin by the MMA athletes include health heart and bones, improved memory & concentration, enhanced energy levels and improved immune system response. There is no excuse for the hard-working, well-informed MMA athlete to pass up such an affordable and simple way to enrich their body’s recovery from tough training. Take your multivitamin daily!
Get your sunshine
As an MMA athlete, you might spend every minute possible in the gym, on the mats, or on the treadmill. However, you might want to move some of that training outdoors. The benefits of added sunshine exposure to your daily routine are many. True, this isn’t actually eating anything new – but the exposure does give your body essential vitamins when diet cannot. You’ll reduce your chance of diabetes and boost your immunity. Vitamin D will give you stronger bones and eyes. Your stroke risk will be lowered, and you will sleep and feel better. Sunshine is free, and very often overlooked by busy MMA trainers trying to balance their training with work, school, family, and other responsibilities. Make it a point to get outside for 30 minutes each day and the benefits of sunshine will make you a more efficient fighter, and a healthier person too!