A BJJ players’ life mostly revolves around training. Training is important but has to be supplemented well with the right nutrition. This nutrition should focus mainly on two meals – pre-workout and post-workout. You should therefore be mindful of what you are eating before and after a workout. A little overindulgence or under indulgence can hold your progress back.
Here is everything you would need to know about pre and post-workout meals:
Why is a pre-workout meal so important?
A pre-workout meal gives you energy for your workout. When you eat sufficiently, you fill your glycogen stores. This helps you during the workout by maintaining your energy levels. Do not rely on a low carb diet; it will be difficult for you to do an intense workout because your energy levels will droop down. A pre-workout meal ensures that:
1. Hard-earned muscle is protected
A hard workout can break down muscle tissue, which is used as energy. A good pre-workout meal can balance this and also help you recover faster.
2. Muscle growth is increased
When you eat protein as part of your pre-workout meal, it ensures that amino acids are released into the bloodstream slowly and gradually. If you eat enough, there is a stark improvement in muscle growth.
What should you have as a pre-workout meal?
1. Dietary fat – A pre-workout meal should be low in fat. Stay away from oils and fatty meals.
2. Protein – Eat a small amount of protein on daily basis. This should contain BCAA, as it increases protein synthesis and decreases protein breakdown.
3. Carbohydrates – Low glycemic index foods fill glycogen stores and power a tough workout.
How much should you eat before the workout?
A meal comprising of 500-600 calories for a 180lb man two to three hours before the workout is sufficient.
Some ideas for a pre-workout meals
- Banana or peanut butter
- Berries and Greek Yogurt
- Low fat milk with oatmeal and fruit
- Peanuts and apples
- A handful of nuts and raisins
If you have not had anything for three or more hours, you must have something as a pre-workout snack such as strawberries, blueberries, apples, or yogurt.
Why is a post workout meal so important?
Muscle fibers are broken down while you workout. To rebuild the broken tissue, it is important to fuel them with food. Eat within two hours after your workout to accomplish this.
What should you have as a post workout meal?
- Proteins – Muscle fibers are made up of amino acids and amino acids are supplied by proteins. Proteins are actually converted into muscles and muscle fibers. A workout leads to a breakdown of muscle fibers. This leads to an increase in the demand for proteins. So right after you finish your workout, consume proteins.
- Carbs and nutrients – The body also needs other carbs and nutrients. These replenish energy stores depleted post workout. Restore glycogen
- Improve ability to use body fat
- Enhance protein synthesis
- Improve immune function
- Good boost for the immune system
Some ideas for post-workout meals
- Banana Almond Quinoa
- Gluten free baked meatballs
- Grilled kefir chicken
- Hummus crusted chicken
- Mango quinoa coconut salad
- Matcha green tea pancakes
- Vegan banana protein pancakes
Smoothies and taco salads, too, can be eaten as energy-boosting post-workout meals. One must ensure to eat something after working out hard in the gym or at home.
Eat proteins within 20 minutes of your workout.
We could have added more options, but only you know what will work for you on the basis of how your body reacts to a particular kind of meal.
Eat well! Stay Fit!