We work / go to school , we train and sometimes we get hurt during training. Its part and parcel of training the gentle art (yes yes.. I see the irony ;) )or any combat sports for that matter.
We are the average. non olympians, non professional athletes and not even an aspiring professional. We train 2 maybe 3 times a week because its great fun. We are the normal every day folk .. only difference is we can whoop ass if we choose!
We have decided to write a small article about supplements in regards to your typical average practitioner of martial arts. 'WHY?'... you might ask.. 'there is tons of info about this on the internet already'
True but lots of the info is targeted at hardcore athletes or aspiring professionals and the huge amount of stuff recommended will have you confused or worse broke if decide to buy the whole list.
At Battle Gear we have individuals who practice and train Brazilian Jiu jitsu, Wushu, Systema, MMA and Tae Kwon do. Some of us have been at it for a long time and all of us have been injured ( not seriously .. touch wood) at one point of time or another. We have dabbled with supplements and used our bodies as test tubes for your benefit.. Ok thats not exactly true but what I am trying to say is that we have tried tons of stuff between us and have a short list of what we think is good and works for the average Joe and Joedette who dare raise a family, work a full time job, have to pay the rent, does the occasional plumbing and yet still walk the path of the martial arts.
Disclaimer: We are not nutritionists, nor do we say that the stuff listed will work for you. All we say is that it has worked for us and you might find this info useful.
1)Whey Protein Isolate - Most people would have heard of this as it is a very popular and flexible supplement. It aids recovery and preserves / builds muscle mass. Isolate form is better than standard whey as it has a higher biological value which means you need less to get the same effect. Saying that, standard whey is pretty damn good too. Proteins can be gained naturally from foods as well (eggs, beef, chicken, etc...) however there are times when supplements are preferable to food, as the speed of uptake by your body is greater which makes recovery quicker. Also it is easier to carry a protein shake to have directly after training then to carry a portable stove and pan to put together a Rump steak on the fly. Protein powders are relatively cheap and easy to get.
2)L-glutamine – This is an amino acid and can be found in powder supplement form, in some protein powder mixes, beans, meats, fish, poultry and dairy products. Glutamine is one of the twenty nonessential amino acids, ‘Nonessential’ meaning that the body does and can produce this substance itself but rarely produces near enough for people who partake in any form of rigorous exercise. Glutamine supplementation keeps muscles building as your body naturally tries to take glutamine from your muscles for use elsewhere such as nitrogen transport or maintaining the immune system. This means that without supplementation your muscles would ache like hell and stay like that after some tough sessions until the glutamine taken is replaced. We cannot recommend this enough. It really really works. Cheap too!
3)Glucosamine, Chondrotin, Omega 3 fish oils – To put this one simply. These are for healthy joints, cartilage and tendons. Stuff that helps you bend and stay bendy. This is obviously good for any martial artists unless you study the ‘Art of lying still for a long time like a wooden block’. These are very easy to get over the counter at most pharmacies and is also very affordable.
4)Multi vitamins and vitamin C – These are good for you .. for ..well .. everything! Make sure the multi vitamins you choose have a good high content of vitamin Bs especially B12 and Vitamin C. Vitamin Bs especially B12 is a catalyst for usage with most amino acids and vitamin C is good for the immune system. Can’t train if you are ill! Oh.. C is also good for scurvy. (useful knowledge if you are a pirate sailing the seven seas.... in the 1800s) Once again very easy to get a hold of and affordable.
5)BCAA (Branched Chain Amino Acids) - This is a performance enhancer and helps your muscle work more efficiently. BCAAs can enhance performance through their ability to spare glycogen during training. Glycogen is the favored fuel source for working muscles engaged in high intensity exercise. This glycogen sparing effect of BCAAs will not only allow for longer more intense training sessions but also allows for faster recovery.We consider the BCAAs a plus and not an essential .. can be expensive especially if you take into account the list above. Does work though.
Ok.. so that was our 2 pence worth.
These supplements listed have helped us and hopefully there is some good info here that will get you started.
Train hard & live well.
To all the part time, weekend warriors. We at Battle gear salute you!