For Making weight for a fight see this article
MMA Diet Plan Summary
- Recovery is paramount. Eat lots of anti-inflammatory foods*
- Supplement with natural anti-inflammatories such as tart cherry juice & turmeric
- Consume a carbohydrate & electrolyte drink during training sessions
- Taurine pre-training can help prevent muscle ‘pumps’ which restrict grip-strength
- Post training consume carbohydrates, protein & consider creatine as a supplement
- Consume lots of organic fruits & vegetables
- Salmon Roe & Krill oil is great for brain health
- Do Not consume alcohol after sparring or a fight – this could increase brain damage
*Don’t consume immediately after a strength training session. Anti-inflammatory foods can interfere with the adaptation to resistance training.
If you are training for MMA, you will no doubt be expending a huge amount of calories.
You can work out your approximate calorie requirements per day by doing the following:
– Start by working out your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) here
– Then use the Harris-Benedict Formula, to work out your calorie requirements, based on your physical activity levels:
– If you exercise 1-3 days a week, x your BMR by 1.375
– 3-5 days a week BMR x 1.55
– 6-7 days a week BMR x 1.725
– if you have a physical job and train most days, BMR x 1.9
I’m 5ft 10, 200lbs and train about 4 times a week. So my calorie requirement would be 3060 calories.
Diet & Exercise at your own risk
If your requirements are around 4,000 calories then this infographic outlines a suitable diet for most people:
Get organic ingredients if possible.
Lots of organic vegetables including kale, spinach and carrots.
Bananas are good if you are looking to add more calories. Wash the skin and throw the whole banana (skin included) into a blender (you may need to snap it or cut it a few times first)
Example MMA Diet Plan
7am – Smoothie
Handful of spinach
Handful of kale
25g of ground almonds or half a tin of coconut milk
10.30am – Flapjack or peanut butter on Toast
Homemade flapjacks using grass-fed cow’s butter, oats and stevia and/or raw honey are best
Peanut butter on toast is more straight forwards
Other convenient snacks include nut bars
12pm – Overnight Oats or a Large Salad
Again, if you need to increase your calorie-intake, overnight oats are great.
You can easily eat 500-800 calories in one go without feeling too bloated or ill.
- 50- 100g of oats
- a tablespoon or two of peanut butter
- 2 tablespoons of ground almonds
- a handful of goji berries
- Teaspoon of ginger
- 3 teaspoons of cocoa powder
- 1 tablespoon of raw honey
3pm – Protein Shake with MCT Oil
Ideally you’d have another wholefood-based meal at this time, but if you are working that could be difficult.
I like to go for a homemade high calorie protein shake
- 30g of hemp or whey protein
- 10g flaxseed powder or MCT oil
About 90 minutes before I like to have 10g of baking soda in a cup of water, as baking soda (food grade) has a number of benefits and increases muscular endurance.
45 minutes before
- 1 or 2 bananas
- An expresso
Alternatively, if you want to avoid caffeine you can try:
- 120mg of Gingko Biloba
- 2,000mg of Ashwagandha
Gingko and Ashwagandha are both adaptogenic herbs that reduce stress and increase energy levels (in most people). They are a nice, very healthy alternative to stimulants.
Homemade Sports Drink
- 500ml water
- 30g Maltodextrin powder
- Pinch of pink salt
Another shake around 15 minutes after training
- 50g protein / or hemp seeds
- 1 banana or 50g maltodextrin powder
- 5g creatine
- 10g flaxseed powder
5pm-7.30pm Main Meal
Depending on when you finish training or if you are having a rest day
Just go for anything with organic meat or fish, a range of organic vegetables and a source of carbohydrates such as rice or pasta.
8.30pm Evening Snack
Work out if you need more calories.
If you do, nuts are a good source of calories, protein and healthy fats.
Pecans, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and peanuts are pretty tasty.
You can also add some goji berries to make it a bit tastier.
Supplements for MMA
Firstly, make sure you get lots of natural anti-inflammatories to aid recovery. Use an hour or so after training if possible, especially if you’ve been sparring.
Healthy Anti Inflammatories
Turmeric with black pepper
Meriva Curcumin (not 100% natural but very good)
Tart cherry juice
Supplements to Improve Endurance
Food grade baking soda
Taurine is good for preventing forearm muscle pumps. But don’t take at the same time as beta alanine as they compete with each other for absorption
Supplements which may help your brain
Lion’s mane mushroom can increase neurogenesis in the hippocampus. This is probably a good thing if you are taking head shots during sparring!
Consider an adaptogen such as ginseng, ashwagandha or rhodiola rosea.
They can reduce stress, cortisol levels and boost the immune system when run down from training hard.
Study here on Rhodiola Rosea for stress
Study here on Rhodiola Rosea for fatigue
Other articles of interest: