As you may know, one of my all time favourite books is "Food for Fitness" by Anita Bean. Every time I feel my recovery from BJJ sessions is not where it should be I do two things:
1. I examine how much sleep I'm getting per night (and usually add an hour or more at the weekend)
2. I read Anita's awesome book and adjust my diet accordingly
One of my favourite chapters in "Food for Fitness" is the one about "15 Super Foods". In it Anita, as expected, lists 15 food groups she considers superior to others and then tells you not only why, but when and how to use them. I'll give you the top three here:
1. Bananas: This wonderful fruit is a BJJ / Grappling / MMA athlete's best friend. The have a great sugar / starch / protein ratio which gives them a slow release of energy. Use these as a carb / energy resource half an hour before the session or as recovery immediately after.
2. Beans & Lentils: Excellent source of protein and fibre. BJJ / Grappling / MMA has a lot of wear and tear on the body and a mix of beans will provide you with a whole protein source for recovery. Eat in your main meal after your session
3. Berries: Top of the list are blueberries and cranberries. These are amazing sources of antioxidants. When you exercise, two things happen (well many really but two are interesting to this discussion): a, the body burns energy to fuel the activity b, the energy-burning mechanism releases harmful by-products called oxidants into the blood stream. Anti-oxidants, as the name suggests, neutralize these and protect the body. Berries are chock-full of them!
I know I know, these are not ground breaking news. But let's be honest: How many of you who already knew this have bananas, beans and berries on a daily / weekly basis?
I checked Tesco (where we do our weekly shop) and they work out at:
Bananas: 14p / banana. 76.7p/kg. Even the organic ones are just 27.4p per banana.
Beans: 400g tins range between 62p-£1. 2 portions per tin. 31p-50p per portion.
Berries: Blueberries £1.99 per 225g, working out at only 70p per the recommended 80g portion! Cranberries are £3.75 per 300g, working out at £1 per 80g portion. It's hardly budget breaking.
So to paraphrase the Kid Peligro signature line: Now go eat some Super Foods!
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