Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is a demanding sport that is very taxing physically and mentally. To perform at your best and aid longevity, it’s crucial to prioritize recovery as much as training itself.
In this article, we’ll discuss some of the best BJJ recovery tips, supplements, and tools to help you optimize your performance on and off the mat.
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BJJ Recovery Tips
Here are some general BJJ recovery tips that can help you recover faster and perform at your best:
Brazilian Jiu Jitsu recovery starts before you even start your training session. It sounds wrong, but it’s true. When we talk about recovery, we usually mean recovery from small muscle tears and inflammation that are a direct result of our training efforts. These are needed to promote muscle growth. However, significant injuries can be minimized by warming up properly before training.
If you want to know exactly how to warm up properly, check out our in-depth guide to warming up for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training and competition that includes our preferred warmup routine:
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is essential for muscle recovery and overall health. Most people should aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
But don’t forget it’s not only about quantity but also the quality of sleep.
Here are some rules to increase sleep quality:
- Stick to a Sleep Schedule: Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, even on weekends. This helps regulate your body’s internal clock and improves the quality of your sleep.
- Create the Right Sleep Environment: Your bedroom should be a cool, quiet, and dark environment that is conducive to sleep. Consider investing in comfortable bedding, blackout curtains, or white noise machines to improve your sleep environment.
- Avoid Stimulants Before Bedtime: Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol can interfere with your sleep, so avoid consuming them before bedtime. Instead, opt for relaxing activities like reading a book or taking a warm bath.
- Exercise Regularly: Regular exercise can help improve the quality of your sleep, but avoid intense workouts close to bedtime as they will raise your body temperature, which is decremental for sleeping. Exercising earlier in the day can help you fall asleep faster and enjoy better sleep.
- Limit Screen Time Before Bed: The blue light emitted by electronic devices like smartphones, tablets, and televisions can interfere with your sleep. Try to limit your screen time before bedtime or use devices with a night mode that reduces blue light.
- Practice Relaxation Techniques: Relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or progressive muscle relaxation can help reduce stress and promote better sleep.
- Consider Your Mattress and Pillow: A comfortable mattress and pillow that support your body can help you sleep more comfortably and reduce pain or discomfort that may interfere with your sleep.
Drinking enough water is essential for muscle recovery and performance. As an athlete, aim to drink at least your body weight in ounces of water each day.
Many people are struggling to do this, but it is not that hard if you develop specific habits throughout the day.
Eat a Balanced Diet
Eating a balanced diet that’s rich in protein, healthy fats, and micronutrients can help support muscle recovery and performance. In case you need some help, we prepared a complete nutrition guide for BJJ athletes:
Foam rolling can help reduce muscle soreness and improve flexibility. It is a great tool to enhance mobility, relieve pain, and make you feel better.
It doesn’t matter when you use the foam roller. Foam rolling before a training session generally enables you to move better during the workout. After your training session, it aids recovery and can prevent muscle soreness.
Stretching can obviously help improve flexibility and mobility if done correctly. We recommend you spend at least 10-15 minutes stretching after each training session. As always, listen to your body or you can do more harm than good.
BJJ Recovery Supplements
Honestly, supplements shouldn’t be your first concern when it comes to BJJ recovery. However, having good nutrition plays a big role in being able to recover properly from intense BJJ training sessions, and supplements can help you improve your nutrition.
Here are some supplements that you may want to consider adding to your routine:
Protein is essential for muscle recovery and growth. Drinking protein shakes is by no means necessary, but it makes sense if your nutrition doesn’t offer enough protein otherwise.
It doesn’t matter when you drink your protein shakes. In the morning, after training, or at night, all are viable options. Just make sure to space out protein consumption over the day if your main objective is muscle growth and recovery.
We are big fans of vegan protein powders but you can surely also go with the more popular whey protein powders:
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a group of essential amino acids that can help reduce muscle fatigue, improve muscle recovery, and promote muscle growth.
BCAAs have been around for a long time, especially in bodybuilding circles. However, they are not as important as they are claimed to be sometimes. Nevertheless, they can be a great addition if you want to push yourself to the highest levels.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in muscle and nerve function. Taking magnesium supplements can help reduce muscle cramps, improve sleep quality, and promote relaxation. It is a great BJJ recovery supplement.
BJJ Recovery Tools
In addition to supplements and tips, there are several tools that can help you recover from BJJ training sessions:
If you are completely new to the world of recovery tools, active recovery, and stretching, a foam roller should be the first item you get. It is simple, cheap, and can improve your mobility and overall well-being a lot.
Massage Guns can help reduce muscle soreness and improve blood flow to the muscles and make a great BJJ recovery tool. On top of that, it simply feels great. Who doesn’t love to be massaged?
Fortunately, massage guns are getting cheaper and cheaper. When they first came out, you had to spend more than $100 to get one. With all the options on the market today, it can be hard to choose the right one. We would argue that they are all mostly the same, and most reviews are fake anyway. Just pick one and it will do the job, like the one below:
Acupressure Mats help relieve pain, relax muscles, and promote blood circulation for a small price. They make a great recovery tool for BJJ athletes.
Compression gear can help reduce muscle soreness, improve circulation, and saves you from abrasions. Pretty much every Jiu Jitsu athlete wears rash guards and other compression gear.
We prepared separate in-depth articles with thorough reviews on every piece of BJJ equipment you need. If you are unsure which product to buy, check the articles linked below:
Epsom Salt Bath
An Epsom salt baths have been around for a long time and they are known to treat countless conditions like:
- Arthritis and swelling
- Bruises and Sprains
- Sore Muscles
- Mat Burn
- Ingrown Nails
Cold Therapy & Ice Bath
Cold therapy can help reduce pain and inflammation and is becoming increasingly popular. Cold therapy can either be done locally through ice packs or as an ice bath which has many additional benefits on overall well-being.
There are many ways to set up your personal ice bath or cold plunge. You can find countless videos and tutorials on the topic on YouTube.
I personally converted an old chest freezer to a cold plunge. You can turn it on to cold down the water and it isolates from heat since that is what it was made for.
But you can also order a premade cold plunge:
Here’s Joe Rogan talking about the benefits of ice baths while taking one himself:
BJJ Injury Recovery
BJJ can be a risky sport, and injuries are common. If you experience an injury, it’s essential to prioritize recovery to avoid further damage. Here are some tips for BJJ injury recovery:
- Rest: Rest is crucial for injury recovery. As soon as you suffered a significant injury, stop your training session, and don’t try to work through the pain. Avoid training until you’re fully recovered.
- Ice and Heat: Applying ice to the injured area in the initial stages of recovery can reduce swelling and therefore shorten recovery time. It can help also reduce pain and inflammation.
Applying warmth to the injured area can help increase blood flow in the later stages of recovery.
- Compress: If you experienced a traumatic injury, you should ice the injured area immediately and compress it subsequently to minimize swelling.
- Physical Therapy: Physical therapy can help improve and regain range of motion, reduce pain, and strengthen injured muscles.
- Listen to Your Body: Don’t push yourself too hard too soon. Listen to your body, and don’t return to training until you’re fully recovered. We know it’s hard, but you will regret it later if you ignore this advice.)
We hope you found some useful information in this article that will help you feel better and reach new heights.
In conclusion, recovery is an essential component of BJJ training. By incorporating these BJJ recovery tips, supplements, and tools into your routine, you can help optimize your performance and reduce your risk of injury.
Remember to listen to your body and prioritize recovery to ensure that you can continue to train and improve your skills. Unfortunately, longevity is often overlooked, and most people regret their ruthless decisions later in life.