Gene Kobilansky is an accomplished Wrestling Coach at NYU and founder of the FlowAthletics System for Calm and Focus Enhancement. Gene is also a notable competitor on the BJJ scene.
Dan and I spoke briefly about pre-competition nutrition for BJJ. Check out the video for the basics and read on below for more details and extra knowledge. Be sure to check out the unusual trick towards the end of this post.
No Long Term Dehydration
Instead of dehydration (which has BAD consequences), leading up to competition, focus on super-hydration. I wish I’d know about it in when I was wrestling in college: super-hydration, also known as water loading. Drink a ton of water to put your body into flushing mode. It lowers aldosterone secretion, a hormone that regulates water-retention. In other words, you will pee and sweat a ton.
Do this the week leading up to your competition, and don’t start your cut until a day or two out. Don’t slowly starve your body of water. Get it ready for the weight-cut via super-hydration and drop the weight quickly.
Pre-Competition, but Post-Weigh-In Nutrition
Arguably more important than your weight cutting program is how you recover from your cut and prepare for the competition. The science tells us that dehydration is the #1 limiting factor in athletic performance, rehydration has to happen quick and right.
Start with body temperature water and electrolyte replacement beverages like Rapid Rehydration or Pedyalite. Be sure to sip at least every 15 minutes to achieve maximum liquid replacement.
But it’s not just about hydration, you have to have carbs. Post-weigh-in nutrition is a study in macronutrient kinetics – how quickly your body absorbs nutrients. What this means is, [like with pre-practice nutrition for bjj], no fat, fiber or meats after weigh-ins. They’ll slow down the absorption in your gut, leading to two issues:
1. You don’t get the nutrients you need
2. The heavy food sitting in your gut will slow you down come competition time
Your best bet will be to ingest liquid carbs and liquid proteins after weigh-ins. In 2 hours, you can get 2 meals in:
1. Liquid meal: protein shake + fast digesting carbs.
2. Solid meal (30 min later): pb&j sandwich with a banana
Warm foods and liquids cause vasodilation – the widening of blood vessels. Meaning blood travels quicker and nutrients absorbs quicker. I haven’t played with this one myself, but the recommendation comes to me from a trustworthy source. One way of executing the trick: add a hot tea to your post weight-in rehydration. The hot tea causes vasodilation and helps your body absorb your post weigh-in nutrients quicker. (Thanks to http://chrisalgieri.com/ for this final tip).
Join Dan and I in part 7, where we talk about Post-Training Nutrition for BJJ.
-Gene Kobilansky, Founder of Flow Athletics (a Combat Sport Nutriton Company)