(Hey, close enough. Photo via relaxedfocus)
By Rick Talbot
MMA is widely regarded as the toughest professional sport on the planet, testing fighters to their physical and mental limits. Of course, you need to train hard and practice your skills to be the best, but like any finely-tuned machine, the fuel which you put inside yourself makes a huge difference. Here are some useful tips to ensure you get a taste of victory.
Whenever you hear healthy eating or dieting discussed, supposedly “super” foods are often suggested to help to get you in tip-top shape. In fact, these foods can have a significantly positive affect on you, and they all have a specific healthy benefit. Our favorites are:
Green tea — rich in powerful antioxidants and has been proven to kill cancer cells. It also boosts your levels of good cholesterol and decreases the bad ones in the process. This one’s great for fighters, as it helps to keep the heart in good shape.
Apples — also loaded with antioxidants, but these ones help to repair damaged muscles and cells, making them perfect for fighters, especially when they’ve picked up an injury.
Blueberries – these are awesome, and not just in pancakes or muffins. Filled with Vitamin C and D, iron and zinc, these little beauties are great at giving your immune system a boost and prevent infection. The last thing you want to do is get sick before a bout.
Fish – our water-dwelling friends cut the risk of cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and diabetes to name a few. Fish that are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, like mackerel, tuna and trout, reduce blood clotting and inflammation. Perfect for stripping fat from the body.
This is the most important ingredient within a fighter’s diet, as it is necessary for growing muscle and allowing you to train intensely. Foods like chicken, tuna, anchovies, and almonds are rich in protein and should be incorporated into your daily diet plan.
Like any diet, if you stick to the same things over and over again, it can tend to get a little bland and boring. So make sure you keep it fresh and creative to ensure you enjoy your meals.
Your average MMA fighter will consume around four liters of water per day. This will keep them hydrated, which is essential for training. Muscles are controlled by the nerves in our bodies, and when an MMA fighter engages in weight training, the body is deprived of electrolytes. The most common way to get these back into your body is by drinking water, plain and simple.
The last thing you need in a fight is to be feeling dehydrated. The amount of sweat that you will be producing during training means that you need to restock your body of much-needed water.
Your diet is an essential part of your training regimen, so make sure you don’t let your standards slip, even when some chocolate cake or the occasional hamburger stuffed-crust pizza becomes really tempting. For those of you who train and compete in MMA — which foods do you swear by during your training camps?
This article was provided by Fightshop.com, the home of specialist boxing, MMA and Muay Thai equipment.