Diet in any sport is taken seriously and BJJ is not different what you put in, helps with what you get out. Whether you are competing or just enjoying the training diet is important. So something I have had some positive personal experience with recently is the paleo diet. I really don’t like calling something a diet, as this implies it’s a short term fix for weight loss. Where as when you look at this way of eating its meant to be as much a part of your lifestyle as your training or anything else you would do to stay healthy.
Paleo/primal is not just a low carbohydrate diet it is a way of eating that is meant to be in tune with your physiology. It’s based on the fact that human physiology has not really changed since the stone age. So we are not meant to digest refined sugars, wheat, cereals and legumes. There is individual research around aspects of the diet, along with a lot of anecdotal evidence from individuals on how it has benefitted them. A good source of this is the Robb Wolf website, that can be found here.
So lets follow up with the question I always get asked, if I don’t eat bread, potatoes, pasta, milk and rice what do I eat? Well funnily enough I have managed to find these exotic things called meat, vegetables, fruit (bananas hmmmm) and nuts. I eat as much as I want when I feel hungry. It is all about identifying a diet that suits you. If you are doing a lot of training you are going to need more carbs, (sweet potatoes, yams, green vegetables, fruit), but this is just fuel for your training. Your protein intake helps your body repair and feel full. Also eating more naturally means you get all the micro nutrients too, vitamins, minerals, fibre etc, which help with recovery and the natural processes of your body. Now before you start throwing banana skins at me in protest, this does not mean you can never eat chocolate, pizza, beer etc ever again. It just means that you consider the impact of eating these things. You know beer has an impact doh who hasn’t had a hangover, possible headaches and lethargy from chocolate (been there)to name a couple. You’re all big munkis so you make the decisions on how it affects you and your training.
If you are competing or just enjoying your training you want to have plenty of energy to do it. You also need to recover from sessions quickly so you can get back there (especially when you are an old munki it’s the recovery thats the frustrating part!). This is where the fuel you put in keeps you engine running well. You can see on any Google or You Tube search on just “BJJ Diet” the number of articles and clips that come up and how important your food lifestyle is. that is why after looking at various different ways of eating I thought this was the best option for this aging munki, to keep me fit and training into the future.
This wasn’t meant to be a massive explanation of paleo eating, but more of a starter to get you interested in a nice meaty main course. So I hope it has achieved my aim. I may be a convert, but I was convinced by researching the subject to understand it for myself. To get you started on this I have put some links at the bottom of the post that can give you a lot more information and see if this is for you. If you have any questions how it works for me, leave me a comment and I’ll get back to you.
Loren Cordain – Founder of the Paleo Diet
Robb Wolf – Massive font of knowledge
Primal Britain – A UK view on the subject
Modern Paleo Warfare – Some awesome food, from the UK and funny too!