The food you eat can help or hurt how you feel before, during, and after training. If you feel slow, your cardio isn’t up-to-par with people that train as much as you, and you feel like a train hit you the day after practice, you should take a long look at the food you are eating. The intense training of BJJ will deplete your body of key vitamins and minerals that are essential for recovery, so how are you replacing these after your training sessions?
I see a good majority of people drinking sports drinks during or after practice, drinking a protein shake after practice, or maybe nothing at all. Sodium, chloride, calcium, magnesium, potassium and phosphate need to be replaced after exercise since they are all lost through sweating. These electrolytes maintain blood pressure, support muscle and nerve function, aid muscle contraction, support healthy cell function, and regulate energy and pH balance. The better you feed your cells, the more efficient your body will be in all areas, mentally and physically.
So, what will be your best sources when it comes to replacing your electrolytes to recover adequately for your next training session? The answer is, plant food! You get so much more nutrition from whole foods when compared to protein shakes, electrolyte replacement drinks, or any kind of supplements. Here is a list of some food that will help replenish the electrolytes you have lost through training:
- Leafy greens
Of course, you have to drink plenty of water to help, but what is the best combination or way to do this? Making a smoothie is the most efficient and convenient way of doing this. Throw some greens (kale or spinach), banana, ¼ of an avocado, celery, 2 cups of water, 2 tbsp of lemon juice, ice, and a combination of seeds (I like to use chia and hemp seeds). Blend all of the ingredients except the seeds; you can put these in after you blend. This smoothie will get into your system fast without taking too much energy to digest and replenish your system with more than enough nutrition to restore what has been lost.
Remember, you want to create a conducive environment for recovery. These foods will decrease inflammation while increasing your recovery so you feel good and rested for your next training session!