We’ve been talking about taking supplements recently at the gym. Not the illegal kind, but stuff in some sort of hope our arms and legs won’t all fall off come the next 5 to 10 years and provide some help in the whole training process. I know people talk about getting all the nutrients they need through the food they eat, which I totally understand, but frankly when training I would rather just pop a supplement than prepare a bunch of food for the same effect. Also, there are just some you cannot get from eating, such as chondroitin. According to our friends over at LiveStrong:
“Chondroitin acts to keep your cartilage healthy by blocking enzymes that degrade cartilage and aiding in the formation of new cartilage. Because there are no major dietary sources of chondroitin or glucosamine, it must be obtained in supplement form.”
So, moving on. I highly recommend taking a glucosamine and chondroitin supplement, mainly for the reasons above. There are also supplements that also have MSM or methylsulphonylmethane, which have an anti-inflammatory effect. Also according to LiveStrong, MSM has some other fun benefits, including:
“…stimulating cell walls to become permeable and enabling toxins, free radicals and unwanted material to be efficiently flushed out, blocking parasites from attaching to the mucous membranes of the lungs and digestive system, and anti-inflammatory effects in damaged tissue, as cited in ‘Biochemical, Physiological and Molecular Aspects of Human Nutrition’. ”
As jiu jitsu players we need our cartilage, maybe not the cartilage in our ears, but still. This is a pretty good supplement purchase, and other than a multivitamin probably the first thing I would recommend.
When I have trained especially hard, I have taken other people’s suggestion and taken Glutamine…Or BCAA’s (Branch Chain Amino Acids). Or both: Whatever was in the protein powder I was drinking. Frankly I running short on time, so I’ll just say this: if I am over-training, they make me feel more human and less like a flattened pancake that needs to be scraped off of anything I sit on…particularly couches.
I don’t suggest this stuff to make you a super body builder: I’m suggesting these things because most of us have regular jobs and lives outside of jiu jitsu, and these supplements help you keep that balance, instead of sitting at your desk chair looking like death slightly warmed over. It’s hard to do your job and feel like a productive member of society if you an barely move your arms and legs. Take care of yourself and you’ll have a better chance of maintaining that work/life/jiu jitsu balance we all need, or would prefer at least.