Performance Nutrition for Judokas
Judo is a discipline that is characterized by the repetition of short exercises of high intensity and which mainly solicits the anaerobic pathway. To be able to counter the opponent, it also requires good vigilance and concentration throughout the full competition. Moreover, the practice of judo requires a regular lifestyle and a good body weight management and diet. In this way, you will be able to compete in the best conditions. The following nutritional tips will help you get the best out of your judo competition.
Nutrition before the competitive period
1. Drink a lot of water
Whether you’re a serious athlete or a recreational exerciser, it’s important to make sure you get the right amount of water before, during, and after exercise. Water regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints. It also helps transport nutrients to give you energy and keep you healthy. If you’re not properly hydrated, your body can’t perform at its highest level. You may experience fatigue, muscle cramps, dizziness, or more serious symptoms.
Water should account for 75% of the total intake during the training period. «women athletes usually needs around 2L of water per day, and men around 3L per day and add to that liquid lost in sweat during exercise” states Catherine Naulleau, nutritionist working with the Canadian National judo team.
A simple way to make sure you’re staying properly hydrated is to check your urine. (yes, that’s right!) the darker it is, the more water the athlete needs to drink. If it’s light yellow, the athlete is well hydrated and shouldn’t try to drink more.
2. More protein, less carbohydrates
Protein needs for an athlete are greater than for the average sedentary individual. This is a result of the effects of exercise on metabolism. Endurance athletes metabolize protein differently during long-lasting activity. For strength-training athletes’, muscles tear during a workout and protein is required to repair and rebuild these muscles.
Judo athletes need more protein and less carbohydrate than other combat sport athletes. The main reason is that Judo requires maximum performance for brief and very intensive fights. Dieting with less carbohydrate can damage the work of muscles for extended activity but overall can help with performance in combats.
3. Avoid processed foods
The best foods for athletes aren’t always obvious. Sure, athletes of all levels need fuel—power. But turning to all of those energy gels and drinks could be defeating the purpose of your workout, holding you back, or in worst-case scenarios, shifting your metabolism into a dangerous fat-storing state.
Simple carbohydrates such sugar in any other forms such as sweet drinks should be avoided. For instance, foods that should be avoided for combat sports athletes are biscuits, pizza, doughnuts and so on. Similar food that should be avoided are bagels, French fries, potato chips etc.
Judo is among the most intense, physically taxing activities you can engage in. Now take your recovery to a new level and stop losing hard earned muscle with these 4 well-known supplements!
– Whey Protein
– Creatine (performance)
– BCAA’s (performance)
– Caffeine (performance & health)
Studies show that athletes are generally taking excessive amounts of Vitamin A & B (except B2) but are lacking in Vitamin D, folic acid, calcium, and Vitam B2. As such, athletes should consult a nutritionist if they should take additional food supplements.
This might differ country from country, and again, we recommend checking with your local nutritionist.