What you should eat before a tournament and between matches

Miyao bjj diet

What you eat on the day of competition can help boost your performance on your road to gold.

You’ve trained for weeks, made sacrifices, and pushed your body to the limit. You’re not going to throw that all away by eating junk on the day of the tournament now, will you?

Even if you’ve aced your weigh in, that still doesn’t justify stuffing yourself with fast food. Instead, you should put the right fuel in your tank to maximize your performance. Try these techniques out for size.

Morning of the tournament, after weigh-ins

“For your first meal, I recommend sticking to easy-to-digest carbs and lean protein,” advises Coach Tony Macaraeg, an ACE-certified trainer and certified sports nutrition consultant.

Macaraeg’s suggested meal right after weighing in:

3-4oz of White Rice (Basmati/Jasmine)
80-120g of Chicken Breast
½ Cup Mixed Greens (Steamed)

“You can also have a banana, pineapple, or a mango and sip on a protein shake,” he adds. “But best to make sure you know how your body will react to the whey protein after a fast. Some people tend to get gassy.”

What to eat between matches

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Between matches, your goal is get your energy back. That means you need food that’s quickly absorbed and processed by the body that will have your energy levels back for your next match.

“You don’t really need protein at this point,” says Macaraeg, “just enough carbs to refuel your glyocogen storage.”

“My suggestion for in between matches is a simple sports drink (note: not an energy drink) or fresh fruit juice and some BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids) like XTEND,” he adds. “If you’re in a sport that is high in intensity and needs a lot of power output, some creatine, NO2, and Arginine cocktail mix wouldn’t be too bad to have.”

Fruits are another good go-to. Three-time World BJJ Champion Meggie Ochoa says she prefers to eat dates or bananas between matches.

Macaraeg also recommends a little chocolate like a Snickers bar “to feel good.” But just like avoiding an energy drink for its excess sugar, you shouldn’t go crazy with the chocolate. “Just make sure not to eat too much; you might get a sugar crash!”

For more health and wellness tips from Anthony Macaraeg, follow him on Instagram or visit his restaurant FitBurger in Eastwood City.

Photo via William Burkhardt/BJJ Pix

Gab Pangalangan

Gab Pangalangan is a former collegiate national Judo champ and the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of DojoDrifter.com. You can find his other works in the Philippines' leading magazines and websites.
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