The Role of Nutrition in MMA Fitness

| May 16, 2011

Mixed martial arts (MMA) fitness is a must for this cage fighting sport–especially if you want to win.  In fact, more than other contact sports, mixed martial arts is tougher.  It is in a different league altogether.  This is because while other contact sports have select areas of permissible contact, in mixed martial arts there are no holds barred.  Full body contact is part of this sport, and striking and grappling both while standing and lying on the ground are norms.

For this reason, nutrition in MMA fitness simply cannot be compromised.  It is fundamental if you are in this sport to win.  It is essential for both the short and the long term in gaining the competitive edge in this sport.

Good nutrition keeps you conditioned so that you can keep up with the strenuous training sessions that precede a fight.  Mixed martial arts incur a lot of body teardown, but good nutrition speeds up recovery and healing.  This is needed in cases of injuries that may occur during training, and very helpful after a fight.

MMA fitness is not just a matter of good nutrition–but smart nutrition, too.  Raw materials are essential as well as carbohydrates and essential fatty acids.  Everything must be geared not just to keeping healthy for normal life circumstances but to be physically prepared for the wear and tear that goes with mixed martial arts while training, during a fight, and winning.

That is why appropriate nutrition is just as important as good nutrition.  Appropriate nutrition should be geared to the nuances of mixed martial arts.  MMA fitness also takes into consideration weight management because the sport has weight categories and you want to fit into the weight category of your choice.

Here are some fundamentals to appropriate nutrition for MMA fitness:

Small is better.  Instead of three large meals a day, have several smaller meals, all throughout the day.  In training, carbohydrates are your major source of energy and you want to constantly replenish this.  Ideally, complex carbohydrates, like those found in fruits and oatmeal are good because they are natural sources.  Be sure to load up on carbohydrates three hours before your scheduled workout.
Lay off useless weight loaders. Examples of useless weight loaders are high sugar drinks, junk food, sodas, deep fried food and fatty foods.  These types of food spike up your weight very quickly but add no substantial nutrition to the added pounds.  Instead, load up on lots of water and go for baked and broiled foods.  While you want to fit in the weight category you are aiming for, you have to do it by building up pounds from foods of substance.  Essential fatty acids are plentiful in fish, so load up on fish for MMA fitness.
Natural is best. You should eat a lot of whole grain products, lean beef, fish and eggs.  Protein shakes are also good for MMA fitness.  The intensive workouts and training that goes with mixed martial arts requires enough protein to build muscle, heal, and replenish.  This is not going to happen if you eat processed foods like canned goods and white bread which contain little nutritional value.
If you want extra nutritional help, be sure that it is the right kind of help.  If you want to do more than what you are already doing to gain more calories faster, you can take vitamin and mineral supplements and other appropriate natural and organic supplements if you feel they are necessary for you to reach your goals.  Some vitamins can increase the appetite, so make sure you in turn increase intake of good quality foods, and in the correct amounts that you need for the weight, strength and stamina that you aspire.

Mixed martial arts is a tough sport and you need the right nutrition to maintain the strength and stamina that this sport requires.  Food is fuel, and if you eat smart, you will achieve MMA fitness which is fundamental to win.

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