Fighting Fatigue: Battling Fatigue In MMA Fights and Grappling Competitions

Firstly it’s important to note that fighting and preventing fatigue is best done months before in the gym with hours of muscular endurance and cardio respiratory specific training that challenges both your aerobic fitness and lactate threshold. But having said this, studies reveal there are also certain supplements that could help when taken prior to a fight. Here the sports scientists from look at the research surrounding Fatigue Fighting supplements and explain how adding them to your supplement cupboard could improve the intensity with which you fight.  


Supplement # 1: Beta Alanine

beta_alanine_proteinworksAt Florida Atlanta University it was found that Beta Alanine and creatine improved the endurance and aerobic capacity of athletes after only 4 weeks of supplementation. Researchers believe its Beta Alanine’s ability to positively affect a substance called carnosine in the muscles which produced this improved performance since a similar study at the University of Tsukuba found that high levels of carnosine could help to reduce lactic acid build up in the muscle (the burning sensation you get in the muscles when you’re sparring or grappling for an extended period of time.) 250g of Beta Alanine is available from for £10.99


Supplement # 2: Carbohydrates

Now although not strictly a supplement, and certainly not rocket science, a study conducted at Loughborough University in England found that runners who consumed a high carbohydrate diet 7 days before a 30km treadmill time trial were 10% quicker than those who didn’t ‘carb load.’ Put simply carbohydrates are an athlete’s primary source of fuel so having a sufficient supply before a fight is absolutely essential to reducing fatigue and improving sports performance. An idea echoed by A. Bean et al, 2003 who in ‘The Complete Guide to Sports Nutrition’ states athletes need 5-7g of carbohydrate per kilogram of body weight or 60 per cent of your daily calorie intake from carbohydrates. This usually works out at around 1,500kcal from carbohydrate per day for most women and 1,800kcal for men or for a 75kg runner that works out at between 600g and 750g of carbohydrates per day.


Supplement # 3: Caffeine

caffeine_proteinworksAgain a very common ingredient found mainly in coffee, researchers from Yale University found that caffeine actually helped increase your resistance to fatigue by stimulating the production of the neuro transmitter beta-endorphin, which studies show can reduce pain and perceived fatigue. Furthermore, caffeine has also been shown to spare your muscle glycogen stores by encouraging your body to burn stored fat as fuel, essentially saving your muscle glycogen for later on in fight. This all takes place early in the exercise, according to Dr. Mark Jenkins of SportsMed Web, you may use as much as 50 percent less glycogen during the first 15 minutes. But this leaves larger stores intact for the rest of the event, delaying the point of exhaustion. 250g of Caffeine is available from for £10.49


Supplement # 4: Electrolytes

electrolyte-powder-proteinworksOften overlooked when preventing fatigue is the correct balance of electrolytes within the body, this is because primary ions of electrolytes such as potassium (K+), sodium (Na+) and magnesium (Mg2+) are all needed to regulate your body’s fluids, help to maintain a healthy blood pH balance and ultimately reduce the likelihood of getting cramp. Plus according to the Human Performance Laboratory in New Delhi ‘an electrolyte drink can increase endurance performance as well as enhance lactate removal and thereby delaying the onset of fatigue.’ (G.L. Khanna and I. Manna, 2005.) 250g of Electrolyte powder is available from for £7.99


raze-proteinworksLastly and worth noting is that the pre-workout formula RAZE from has been created to contain many of the ingredients mentioned above (and more) to combat fatigue. Find more information on RAZE

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About Steph 843 Articles
I'm a 1st Dan Black Belt & certified coach in Japanese Atemi Ju Jitsu, have trained in Muay Thai and currently train in CSW (Combat Submission Wrestling) and CSBJJ at MCKG under Mel Corrigan. I love to compete and have medalled at openweight events. I've a total appreciation for all martial arts and always eager to learn new techniques!

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