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Sports nutrition during the competition season

Sports nutrition during the competition season

Competition season

Recently, competition season in Brazilian jiu-jitsu started again. Jiu-jitsu players are able to join tournaments in the Netherlands as well as abroad. Although their main focus is on techniques, hours spent on the mat and probably their gi, below some extra nutritious aspects.





- Determine your weightclass – in which weightclass do you compete at your very best? No, competing in a lighter division doesn’t always mean you will be better. Many jiu-jitsu players use extreme short-term measures to make weight in the week immediately preceding competition, rather than implementing long-term strategies to reduce body fat and body weight to reach the competition target. Quick weight loss strategies have more negative health consequences than gradual weight loss strategies. Besides, recovery of fluids lost through dehydration may take up to 48 hours. Several studies show that loss of fluid (equal to 2% of body mass) may cause a decrease in performance.

- Develop a weight-management plan on how to manage your weight during competition season. Focus on weight management and try not to fluctuate too much in between. Most athletes in weight-division sports think weight-loss behaviors are important to their success in the sport. You can develop strategies to maintain weight (or lose some weight) with other professionals.

- Develop a yearly competition plan to consider the length of the competition season and the number of times you expect to compete throughout the year. Training more doesn’t necessarily means getting better. Rest is important too.

- How are the basics in sports nutrition doing? Make sure that the fundamentals are there, so your body gets everything that it needs. So many hypes are going on at this very moment; try to keep the basics in sports nutrition simple. Don’t overdo it.

Competition day:

- Check in advance at what time your weight-in takes place, so you know which meals you can have prior to competition. Try to eat your last meal (not a snack) at least 2 hours before your first fight. Between that meal and your first fight, you can snack a piece of fruit, an oatmeal bar or a slice of bread.

- Do you find it hard to eat regular food on competition day? Think about using liquid meals or sports drinks instead!

- Did you dehydrate a little in order to make your weight? Try to focus on recovery right after the weigh-in, which means: replacing liquids and carbohydrates.

- Bring your own foods and drinks with you to the competition venue. An example: in May this year the Belgium Open was held. This tournament started later than they had planned before, so all fights were running later than expected. Many fighters ended up not having optimal energy levels, because they didn’t bring anything with them as for foods or drinks. These circumstances are far from optimal, so make sure you always bring something with you – just in case!

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