The Supplement industry has became a very over-saturated and confusing market with products over-promising and under-delivering, sometimes it’s hard to sort through the snake oil and get to the products that actually work.
If I had to pick supplements for Jiu-jitsu what would I choose? I would choose a supplement regiment similar to most athletes focusing on strength and general health. There are several core products that have been tried and true over the past 20 years.
This would be my number one supplement choice. Athletes on high protein diets will be leaner, more muscular athletes. Leaner, more muscular athletes tend to be stronger, healthier athletes. With the added advantage of being a more muscular competitor in a given weight class. When people struggle with strict diets, I often recommend just adding a protein shake or two to their daily meals because this will typically reduce the other junk they eat because they won’t be as hungry after consuming a couple shakes.
This simple trick in turn can result in a leaner more muscular athlete if used consistently. What protein powder would I use? I would stick to a protein blend that is whey protein, casein protein, egg protein or a blend of the three. With protein prices continuously increasing you will see more blends with soy protein, rice protein, pea protein, etc but I wouldn’t spend money on these. That is just my personal preference.
I prefer to spend money on tried and true products such as the aforementioned whey, casein, and egg proteins. Whey and Casein are both milk by-products, and egg protein obviously comes from eggs. Milk and eggs have been used for almost 100 years to increase muscularity, so I have no qualms about their effectiveness. I have never known anybody that has transformed themselves into a hulking beast by drinking rice protein.
Anecdotal evidence does have its value, hence my choices. Fortunately for consumers protein powders taste ten times better than they did ten years ago with a multitude of tasty flavors. I like Maximum Complex Vanilla protein with a dash of cinnamon in it. The protein mixes well and isn’t packed with fat, carbs or other additives plus I just enjoy the taste of vanilla and cinnamon. You can find it here.
I have used creatine Monohydrate for years with good results. It usually increases my bodyweight by 5-10 lbs of intramuscular water. Plenty of people will say “It’s just water”, well considering our muscles are mainly composed of water and protein. Common sense would tell us that adding more protein and water would be a good way to increase our muscularity.
I am not going to go into the scientific background of creatine, it is the most widely researched supplement beside protein powder so there is a multitude of studies to back it up. There is also a plethora of other types of creatines to join the supplement market such as creatine hydrochloride, creatine ethyl esters, etc. Do these products work? I see studies going both ways, so I am not really sure.
Considering some of these are priced similarly to Columbian cocaine, I tend to stick to creatine monohydrate which is priced more like table salt. It’s cheap, it works, and it’s safe. Creatine Monohydrate helps strength, size and endurance. Supplements for jiu-jitsu should definitely include products that increase strength and endurance. Considering these are useful attributes for any grappling sport.
Just as an added bonus I might consider taking beta-alanine powder. When taken consistently with creatine monohydrate it fights fatigue and boosts endurance even greater. I couldn’t include Beta-alanine as one of my primary supplements for jiu-jitsu because of the cost. It’s a great supplement but it’s kind of pricey.
So if you are looking for an xmas present for a jiu-jitsu athlete or maybe you just got a promotion then get some beta-alanine, if you are broke just stick to basic creatine monohydrate. Here is a link to best Monohydrate I ever tried.
My third and final supplement choice for supplements for jiu-jitsu would be some kind of whole-food multi-vitamin. I am sure you are thinking this is a strange choice for an athlete. Well I think the number one thing that separates good athletes from great athletes is hard work and consistency.
It’s hard to be consistent if you are sick all the time, that’s why I chose a whole-food based multi-vitamin to keep you healthy and keep your immune system at full power. Whole food based multi-vitamins seem to have better absorbability than standard synthetic vitamins. So I would probably choose something similar to this Opti-Men from Optimum Nutrition.
New Chapter seems to have a good line of multi-vitamins aimed at optimal health, that’s why I chose one of their products. A multi-vitamin more or less makes up for the healthy foods you aren’t eating. Hard training also saps your vitamins, so supplements for jiu-jitsu are going to be different than your supplements for your average person.
So in summary I think supplements for jiu-jitsu should be similar to supplements for other athletes. No secret potions here or magic powders. Just products that have stood the test of time and help keep athletes strong and healthy. Consistency in taking these supplements is very important.
You can’t take these products for a week and expect miracles. Creatine Monohydrate is the most effective over the counter product to increase strength and fortunately for you it is dirt cheap, safe, and easy to use. Hard work and consistency will trump everything else, add in these supplements to enable you to continue working hard and give you an edge over the athletes with poor diets and lack of supplements.