Many newcomers to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu greatly underestimate the importance of rest and recovery. While it may not be as fun or exciting as grappling with an opponent, it’s still equally as important. If you don’t give your body the rest it needs after intense physical activity, you won’t be able to perform with your full potential. The good news is that there are several different ways to speed up your recovery after Jiu-Jitsu matches or training.
Avoid Heavy Lifting
When you finish a long day of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training at the gym, you should avoid doing any heavy lifting for at least 24 hours. This will give your body time to repair any torn muscle fibers that may have occurred during your training. I know some Jiu-Jitsu competitors will be eager to hit the weight room immediately after training, but this will actually do more harm than good.
The fact is that you aren’t going to build more muscle if you continue to break down your muscle fibers by lifting weights. Instead, give yourself at least one full day to build those fibers back before you start lifting weights again. Chances are you’ll still feel a little tender in certain areas of your body, but most of the fibers should be repaired.
Any experienced Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor will tell you that joint health is critical during the sport. Unlike other forms of martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu places an emphasis on grappling; therefore, you’ll naturally find yourself in awkward positions as you try to get out of various submission holds. Twisting and turning your body in abnormal positions will slowly begin to take a toll on your joints.
It probably won’t happen overnight, but after years of practicing, you’ll begin to notice pain and inflammation around your joints. So, how are you supposed to prevent this from occurring? One of the best ways to protect your joints is to take a chondroitin and glucosamine supplement each day. These two naturally occurring compounds are proven to have a profound impact on joint health and healing, so be sure to include them in your diet. Another method for improving joint health to perform a thorough stretching warm-up before each match.
Drink Lots of Water
Most doctors and health experts recommend adults drink at least eight, eight-ounce glasses of water each day. For Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitors and other athletes, you probably need to drink even more than this.
If you are still chugging down sugary sodas before and after your matches, you should kick this bad habit and opt for good old fashion H2O instead. Water is a necessary ingredient for all living organisms, and the human body is no exception. It transports nutrients throughout the body, feeds muscle fibers with protein, cools you down, and flushes toxins out of your body.
These are just a few ways to improve your recovery after practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Just remember to avoid heavy lifting, protect your joints, and drink lots of water. Doing these three things alone will set you miles ahead of the rest in terms of your recovery efforts.