Whey protein is an extremely efficient way to supplement an athlete’s protein intake. Compared to the general population, athletes (or those who work physical labor) incur more muscle break down and require higher protein intake. For these groups, 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight is required, for a 155lb athlete, this equates to 155 grams of protein. Without adequate supplementation of this nutrient, loss of muscle mass will occur and recovery as well as growth will be significantly delayed. Protein can be consumed from animal sources such as beef and chicken, however the body expends more energy to digest animal protein. The advantage of whey is its higher biological value (quantity of protein used) and
fast absorption rate.
• Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Good fats or Omega-3 fatty acids are of particular importance to all athletes, not just mixed martial artists. Through constant punching, kicking and joint manipulation, a significant amount of stress is placed on the body. Omega-3’s are excellent for any athlete as it contains powerful anti-inflammation properties, this is excellent for reducing muscle soreness and joint pain. Apart from its role as an anti-inflammatory, it is excellent for enhancing cognitive ability and brain function, making it a must have for all athletes. Omega 3’s can be consumed in capsule form, or by liquid such as fish oil or flax seed oil.
This naturally occurring compound is an effective supplement for the MMA athlete. Creatine is excellent for energy production throughout the muscle. When using muscles for any explosive movement, a form of energy known as ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) is expended. This can be thought of the muscle’s form of currency and is quickly depleted in explosive movements such as shooting for a take down or throwing a power punch. The more depleted this ATP becomes; the more lactic acid builds up and causes a burning sensation inside the muscle. Creatine is excellent for acting as a buffer to slow down this lactic acid build up and increase energy reproduction for the muscle.
This non-essential amino is widely known for its role in accelerating recovery and muscle repair. It is comparatively the most abundant amino acid and makes up 66% of the bodies total amino acid pool. The body has the capability of producing this amino acid to maintain regular bodily function, however it is severely depleted during medium to high intensity exercise. Under this condition, glutamine levels in the body will be depleted and thus lead to muscle soreness. Adequate supplementation of this amino acid will significantly speed up muscle repair and recovery while also delivering secondary benefits-regulating immune function, building stronger bones and aiding digestion.
In order for athletes to achieve peak energy levels and performance, feeding the body with the proper vitamins is minerals is important. There are a wide array of vitamins, such as calcium and magnesium, which creates bone formation. With adequate supplementation, vitamins play an important role with other nutrients as it aids the body in maximizing the creation of cellular energy.