Anyone who wants to be good at MMA will probably use supplements for training and fights, but it can be difficult to find the products that fit your unique goals.
A lot of the options on the market use ineffective, and in some cases, downright harmful ingredients. You don’t want to be taking products if you’re unsure about their safety, effectiveness, and reliability.
We’ve created this one-stop article to make your life a bit easier.
We’ll show you the absolute best nutrients and vitamins that any MMA athlete can take. They’re natural, safe, and proven to work in robust clinical trials.
However, before diving into the list, let’s look at why MMA athletes, recreational or pro, should consider taking vitamins in the first place.
Why MMA Athletes Should Take Vitamins
Anyone who’s committed seriously to MMA will tell you that it’s one of the toughest physical activities you can partake in.
Back in the day, MMA training would involve doing a number of classes per week in your chosen fighting disci-pline and maybe some gym training to boost your efforts.
Modern day MMA is a lot different. Today, mixed martial artists train in four or five different disciplines: from wres-tling, judo, and Jiu-Jitsu to Muay Thai and striking. Did we also mention endless hours of cardio and weight train-ing in the gym?
Pro MMA athletes train up to 6 hours per day. When you’re in this kind of regimen, your body will be taking a lot of ‘blows’ which you’ll need to recover from in order to perform at your best. Coupled with the fact that MMA also involves weight cutting, which can is divisive amongst athletes and fans. Pro MMA can be especially hard.
So, how can you train at maximum intensity to be the strongest you can be and recover quickly enough from those workouts to get back on your feet the next day and not ache or be dragging yourself through the workout like you’ve been hit by a truck?
One key could be proper MMA supplementation. Certain vitamins, phytochemicals and other nutrients help to re-charge you from the bottom up – enabling you to perform at your peak physically and mentally.
Here they are.
Five of the Best Supplements & Vitamins for MMA Perfor-mance
1. Green Tea
The absolute essential nutrient for any MMA athlete is, in our opinion, green tea. We’d go as far as to say that it could be your key to seeing better results from training.
This powerhouse ingredient is packed full of catechins, bioactive compounds that protect your muscles from oxida-tive stress and keep your immune system strong. Catechins also raise your basal metabolic rate, helping you to burn energy more efficiently.
The strong hit of caffeine you’ll get from green tea, paired with the soothing L-Theanine, will help you stay mental-ly focused and power through your workouts.
One study found that green tea increases fat oxidation by 16% over a 24-hour period. In other words, it tells your body to tap into its fat stores for fuel instead of wasting glycogen or worse, muscle tissue.
CBD is a compound from the hemp plant. Unlike THC which has psychoactive effects that make you ‘stoned’, CBD is scientifically shown to help boost mental clarity and certain aspects of athletic performance.
CBD acts on your body’s Endocannabinoid System. Only recently discovered, the ECS actually plays a huge role in keeping your health in check.
CBD supplementation has been shown to influence this system by lowering the stress hormone cortisol. It’s the re-duction in cortisol that can improve your testosterone levels, slow the breakdown of muscle tissue, and enhance your overall MMA performance.
Coupled with its anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving effects, it’s easy to see why CBD is becoming an essential part of more and more athletes supplement stacks.
CBD and Sleep
A lot of people struggle to achieve deep sleep. This is bad news for anyone because sleep is essential for good health. But MMA athletes could be facing even more consequences, such as the inability to repair or build new muscle tissue and heavily suppressed key hormones involved in fighting performance.
One clinical study showed that the endocannabinoid system plays a crucial role in allowing the body to stay in deep REM sleep. Combine this with the muscle-sparing qualities of CBD and you’ll be recovering better, faster.
HMB is the metabolite of leucine, a BCAA known to play an integral role in muscle growth.
When you’re training on a caloric deficit or while fasting, this can help you cut stored fast faster, but might also waste muscle tissue.
HMB is perhaps the most effective natural nutrient that helps to prevent this from happening – maximizing your exercise performance while also offseting muscle wastage.
It works by:
1. Neutralizing enzymes that are generated during fasted training that damage muscle
2. Promoting muscle protein synthesis
3. Boosting oxygen utilization and acid buffering within the muscle
Its muscle-sparing and muscle building bioactivities make HMB an ideal ingredient for just about any athlete who wants to get the most out of their training.
4. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is vital for maintaining your immune system and keeping your joints and connective tissue strong. Alt-hough beneficial to all athletes in general, vitamin C is especially important for MMA pros whose training and fights can cause a lot of tissue damage.
As an antioxidant, vitamin C can help to protect from some of the oxidative stress that occurs from exercise and injuries. This oxidative stress, facilitate by so-called ‘free radicals,’ may interfere with your cells’ ability to function normally, which can lead to poor health and performance in the long-run.
5. B Complex Vitamins
While you should make sure to meet the RDA of all the essential B vitamins, riboflavin, thamine and vitamin B12 are of particular importance for MMA fighters due to their role in energy metabolism.
These B vitamins are needed for your body to make red blood cells and energy from the food you eat. They help to fuel your workouts and ensure you have sufficient blood carrying oxygen and nutrients to your working muscles – resulting in peak athletic performance.
Supplements aren’t magic pills. They can’t replace a proper training routine, a good lean diet, and a healthy amount of sleep.
Vitamins and other supplemental nutrients come into play after you’ve nailed down the basics. If you have a bal-anced lifestyle, they can help you recover faster, feel more focused, and cut weight faster for your fights.
Some of the best vitamins for MMA performance include B-complex vitamins and vitamin C, along with nutrients like Green Tea and HMB which boost energy and protect your muscles from catabolism. Add these after having your diet and lifestyle down solid, and you’ll see your results soar.