Due to the volume and intensity of the training many fighters complete, ensuring a suitable energy intake throughout the day is crucial to any sports nutrition strategy. The basis of this is a platform of regular meals. It is normal for many to have three regular meals throughout the day, but for those training hard it might be advisable to look at trying to increase the number of smaller meals and/or ensure sufficient snacks are consumed throughout the day.
Classically, lots of information refers to a specific percentage of carbohydrate, fat and protein that is required in the diet. This is hard to do, and more current guidelines prefer to suggest amounts of carbohydrate and protein based on individual body weight. Unfortunately, these guidelines are not easily transferred into practical meals, so for the many it is much easier to emphasise that they should be consuming carbohydrate and protein with all meals. Low glycaemic index carbohydrates are better consumed during main meals, whilst high glycaemic carbohydrates are consumed in the immediate periods before, during and after training.
High protein intakes are popular across MMA fighters, principally due to the amount of training focused on the area of strength. In practice, protein should be present in all meals and snacks consumed throughout the day, with an additional focus on timing post training, especially due to the number of collisions and physical contact in MMA. A combination of animal and plant sources is important; it is likely supplements will provide a good solution for ease of use.
Hydration is another area that requires focus. The amount that any individual will sweat is highly individual and dependent on several factors. Dehydration is known to reduce training intensity, so maintaining a regular fluid intake throughout the day is essential. Urine colour is the simplest way to monitor hydration status, with urine that is yellow/colourful suggesting a dehydrated state.
Read More >