The diet is equally important as the training
One of the most important sides to training as an MMA fighter or boxer is the quality and quantity of the food ingested on a day-to-day basis. Pushing your body to the limits means that your daily intake needs to increase as well, and to get the most out of yourself, you have to first have a pretty solid base to work with. It’s no secret that diets contribute a lot to the evolution of a fighter, and at the moment, there might be hundreds of different diet plans suggesting a wide range of products in very different quantities. When it comes to building muscle mass, probably the biggest myth about eating habits is with respect to meat and dairy product consumption. One of the main reasons behind this is that the food industries have always been fighting to incorporate their products into a standard that they set themselves. But nowadays information is becoming more and more accessible, and nutritionists are digging deeper into finding out what is contained in everything that we eat and what our bodies get out of it.
When veganism or vegetarianism is the subject, probably the most common question that comes up is that of protein sources. It is already widely-known that beans, nuts and their sub-products (tofu, for example) are already rich in protein and also contain fewer amounts of hormones or pesticides than one would usually find in animal products. And for those who are trying to increase their intake beyond that of a balanced diet, there is the possibility to do so with the aid of soy-based protein shakes.
One of the most renowned fighters and coaches to promote the vegan diet is David Meyer. He was the first American to ever win a black belt competition in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and one of the first ten foreigners to accomplish such a feat. Over the years he has been seen as a pioneer of the sport, not only for the black belt in BJJ, but also for his 7 gold medals at the World Championship and numerous other victories. What started as a moral commitment to not hurting animals also turned out to be a healthy way of staying in shape and keeping up with the competition, regardless of any age gaps. His incredible achievements, and the fact that he manages to take on opponents 30 years younger than him, have directly contributed to the popularization of the diet in the worlds of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and fighting sports in general.
Professional mixed martial artist Georgi Karakhanyan is a devoted vegetarian, and he has claimed that this has helped him train both his physical strength and his conscience. Since his professional debut in 2006, he managed to attain a record of 28 wins, 1 draw and only 8 losses. With such a record, it isn’t hard to see why he has the nickname “Insane”. Another notable Vegan fighter is UFC regular Alex Carceres who fights this weekend at UFC Brooklyn often stating his Vegan diet as an aid to training.
The fact that more and more people are starting to follow this diet is a direct result of the publicity it gains through the images of fighters achieving new peaks in their performance. But, even though having such a consistent weight control plan seems to draw a lot of attention, fighters are not the only ones influencing people to try plant-based diets. Top athletes from different fields of sports have also praised this diet for its effect on one’s power, general state of mind, and ability to focus on complex tasks. As one great example, one of the very best poker players of the moment, Daniel Negreanu, claims that ever since he chose to be a vegan, he finds it much easier to focus on the game and choose the right strategy to maintain his top position. Also, every victory won by other icons like Lewis Hamilton and Venus Williams could increase the chances of fans becoming inspired to give these diets a try.