Best supplements for fighters

How To Pick The Best Supplement For MMA Training

Professional fighters need to follow a fairly strict regimen consisting of an adjusted diet plan and structured training program in order to be at the top of their game physically and mentally. MMA and UFC fighters participate in one of the most brutal competitive sports, putting their bodies through a significant amount of intense rigorous training, and not to mention stress.

For any competitive athlete, it's imperative for them to support their bodies as best as they can in order to perform at their best. Of course, this includes a healthy balanced diet, as well as dietary supplements that can help to support exercise performance and recovery from intense exercise. Combining a healthy diet with additional supplementation can help combat sports athletes compete successfully and avoid any potential health issues.

 

7 of the Best Supplements for MMA and UFC Fighters

Pre - Workout

Combat sports athletes face a high amount of physical and mental stress and exhaustion, as they are expected to sustain high levels of energy, stamina, and strength. This is where a pre-workout supplement can help to boost energy levels during training without crashing and burning.

It's important to note that not all pre-workout supplements are created equal. Look for a product with quality ingredients that will support sustained energy over a longer period of time without too much caffeine that can give you the jitters. 

Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer provides caffeine from yerba mate and green tea sources, balanced alongside ginseng, coconut oil, and carbohydrates for a sustained boost of energy while also supporting mental focus. Vega Sport provides natural pre-workout supplements to support ongoing energy and performance without any of the nasties, providing only the most natural and high-quality ingredients.

 

BCAAs

Branched-chain amino acids include the 3 essential amino acids: isoleucine, leucine, and valine. The body cannot produce these amino acids on its own which is why we must obtain them from outside sources. 

Intense cardiovascular workouts such as combat sports can rapidly deplete BCAA levels and without enough BCAAs, muscle tissue can break down.

These essential amino acids have been shown to stimulate the secretion of insulin, a hormone that has anabolic effects and promotes muscle protein synthesis by allowing the muscles to absorb glucose from the bloodstream (1)(2)(3).

BCAA supplements can help to replenish these amino acids in order to rebuild muscle post-exercise and prevent muscle catabolism. 

PVL Essentials BCAAs are powder-based and delicious, providing quality branched-chain amino acids that provide muscle-building support and also protect against muscle being used as fuel. Tested 100% to USP pharmaceutical standards for safety, purity, and efficacy, PVL BCAAs are vegetarian sourced of the highest quality and micronized for faster and better absorption.

 

Creatine

Used as a popular sports supplement and ergogenic aid, creatine can benefit competitive fighters as it aids in the development of muscle mass, while boosting the body with extra energy and strength.

Creatine is primarily used to increase the body's stores of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), a molecule that is commonly referred to as the main "energy currency" of the cell. 

This can help athletes perform better, increase strength and support muscle mass during aerobic endurance performance and resistance training (4). Creatine has also been shown to possess nootropic effects, improving cognitive function and more specifically memory and decision time (5)

Mental and physical alertness are essential for competitive fighters to perform at their best and respond to their opponent with sharp skills. 

Most studies focus on the effects of creatine monohydrate on performance and health.

Creatine powders are most common and convenient to add to shakes, juices, or water post-workout or post meals.

 

Protein

Dietary protein is an essential macronutrient often referred to for its ability to support muscle growth and recovery. It is regarded as the most important macronutrient in combat sports (6)

Protein is essential for healthy bones, muscles, tendons, and ligaments. It is also necessary in order to build muscle and repair tissue damage from intensive workouts. Because professional fighters use a variety of muscle groups and perform different types of workouts, it's imperative that they receive the right amount of fuel and nutrition.

For athletes, protein needs will be higher than less active individuals. Professional fighters need to fuel up at regular intervals throughout the day, and more particularly after training sessions.

Protein shakes are an easy and convenient way to boost protein intake, especially after workout sessions when quick nutrition is needed. 

 

Fish Oil

Athletes are more prone to oxidative stress and inflammatory responses which can lead to issues such as muscle fatigue, delayed-onset muscle soreness, and reduced performance capacity (7).

Omega-3 fatty acids are particularly anti-inflammatory in nature, helping to reduce chronic inflammation by decreasing the production of inflammatory compounds and reactive oxygen species.

Some research also suggests that omega 3 supplementation may help to improve physical performance during exercise while boosting muscle growth and reducing muscle swelling (8)(9).

Other health benefits from omega 3 fats include improved cognitive function, mood, cardiovascular health, and sleep (10).

Most people don't obtain enough of the omega 3 fats from their diet yet over consume the more inflammatory omega 6 fats. This can promote a state of inflammation.

The most potent dietary sources of omega 3 fatty acids are fatty fish and vegan sources include walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseeds. 

Fish oil supplements are the most commonly recommended omega 3 supplements, however you can also supplement with algae oil as a vegan substitute. 

 

Arginine

L-arginine is a conditionally essential amino acid, which means it becomes essential under certain circumstances such as high stress, injury, illness, and intense physical activity. It is involved in nitric oxide production, a molecule that controls blood flow and mitochondrial function. 

Arginine supplementation may help to increase nitric oxide and human growth hormone, improving blood circulation as well as oxygenation and nutrient delivery to the muscles. It has been shown to benefit performance in athletes while stimulating muscle growth (11)(12)(13).

This amino acid can be obtained from the diet from foods such as turkey, pork, lentils, red meat, whole grains, and eggs but also supplemented when necessary. 

  

Glutamine

Another amino acid, glutamine affects many processes in the body. Though found in many foods and naturally produced in the body, it must be obtained from external sources when needs exceed the body's capacity to produce it.

As a building block of protein, glutamine has been shown to impact muscle recovery, decreasing soreness and improving regeneration post-exercise (14).

One study also found that glutamine combined with carbohydrates reduced a blood marker of fatigue during endurance exercise (15).

Glutamine may also help to enhance immunity as low levels of this amino acid may impair immune defence systems (16). Prolonged exercise and intense activity can negatively impact glutamine levels and immune system function (17).

As a result, glutamine may help to enhance function of the immune system while improving stress resilience and reducing exercise-induced fatigue.

Though more research is still needed to assess the role of glutamine supplementation in exercise performance and strength, glutamine may be a supportive nutrient for athletes to include as part of their dietary supplement regimen.

 

 

 

 

About the Author

Laurence Annez

Laurence Annez is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner and Health Coach, specializing in PCOS and women's hormones. She also holds a degree in Creative Writing and has extensive experience writing on health and wellness topics. Laurence's mission is to inspire and motivate individuals to take control of their own health and reach their ultimate health goals. 
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