Almost every mixed martial artist who competes at a top level is a technically sound athlete, but without a nutrition plan designed specifically for endurance, stamina, and recovery they may fall short in the ring. Proper nutrition provides your body with the fuel to capitalize on your opponents’ weaknesses and outlast them when hard punches aren’t enough. This is where an alkaline diet comes in.
Hard training, high stress and a diet high in protein and sugar can disrupt the pH balance in our bodies by creating an acidic environment. It is imperative, especially for MMA fighters, to keep the pH slightly alkaline in order to increase endurance and recovery response after a taxing fight or workout.
By implementing the alkaline diet, you can expect: Superior Nutrition, Faster Recovery, More Energy, Reduced Cell Damage
An alkaline diet is composed primarily of foods that produce alkaline residue in the body after digestion is complete. It is based on the consumption of fresh fruits, vegetables, roots, nuts and le- gumes while avoiding grains, dairy, meat and excess salt. The key to reducing acidic conditions is to adopt a diet that follows a 3:1 ratio of alkaline foods to acidic foods. All foods can be classified into a range of alkalinity and acidity ac- cording to the effect on the body after the food has been digested.
FOODS TO EAT (ALKALIZING)
- Vegetables: Spinach, wheat grass, chlorella, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery, cucumber, lettuce, cabbage, greens, squash, peppers, tomato, onion, garlic, chick- peas, pinto beans, kidney beans, root ginger, eggplant, lettuce, nuts (aside from peanuts and cashews), seeds, avocado, lentils.
- Herbs & Spices: Basil, parsley, mint, coriander, ginger, cumin etc.
- Essential Fats: Avocado Oil, Flax/Linseed, Evening Primrose, Olive Oil
- Fruits: Lemons, Lime, Grapefruit, Watermelon, Tomato. No other fruits.
- Dips and Sauces: Pesto, hummus, tahini, guacamole etc.
FOODS TO AVOID (ACID FORMING)
- Dairy Products
- Meat and Poultry
- Wheat (aside from sprouts or wheatgrass)
- Fruit (apart from those mentioned above)
- ‘Bad’ fats (saturated, trans fatty acids, hydrogenated)
- Processed foods
- Fizzy drinks
- Peanuts and Cashews
- Pasta and White Rice
One thing about nutrition is that it generally requires self discipline and sacrifice. Daily preparation of the essential foods required to replenish your body after a long day’s worth of training is necessary. But, this is where supplementation comes into play. Supplements can offer a conventional alternative to an unconventional diet.
When following an alkaline diet, it is integral to find a supplement that fits within the confines of promoting an alkaline environment in your body. A meal replacement that contains fruit extracts, vegetable extracts, essential fatty acids, and is high in fiber is ideal, however up until recently was non- existent in the sports nutrition industry.
By implementing the alkaline diet into your nutrition regime most athletes will notice their energy levels, stamina, endurance, and conditioning improve. Many will also go through a mild cleansing process, shed some body fat, and have a stronger immune system and a greater sense of well-being.
Hard training can only get you so far…Get the upper hand on your competition, and take your fighting game to the next level, by fine tuning your diet today.
About the Author: Jason Gorny is a professional MMA fighter, national level trainer and member of Team Reflex Edmonton.
Photo Credit: www.mindbodygreen.com