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Nutrition for Martial Artists: Drink Your Avocado!

Turn Your Avocado into a Smoothie

In a jujitsu match, an MMA fight, or a karate competition, you need strength and endurance to compete as well as the nutrition to supply that energy. The avocado will help you sustain your punching, kicking, or grappling power. You may not be a fan of raw avocado, however, you can drink it, and, it tastes like vanilla.

Potassium

Fighters produce incredible amounts of sweat and a lot of potassium is lost through sweating. This essential electrolyte maintains the body’s blood pressure and regulates muscular contractions and nerve impulses to maintain speed and power. Therefore, it is one of the most important to be replaced. The RDA of potassium is 3.7- 4.2 grams a day.

  • 100 grams of avocado is .351g of potassium.
  • The total smoothie has 1.2g of potassium.

Healthy Fat

You will need energy to perform many static moves, multiple takedowns or various explosive kicks and punches. Out of 100 grams of avocado:

  • 10.1g is monounsaturated fat
  • 2g are polyunsaturated
  • 2g is saturated

The RDA for saturated fat is about 20 grams per day. Saturated fat is only harmful when you consume too much. It actually protects the respiratory, immune, and nervous system, so, don’t neglect it.

An important note, because of the high grams of fat in avocado, it is an excellent source to absorb the fat-soluble vitamins: A, B, D, E, and K. These vitamins need fats to be absorbed into cells.

Natural Anti-Inflammatory

Avocado has numerous antioxidants that act as a natural anti-inflammatory for the immune system, muscles, joints, and diseases like arthritis and Alzheimer’s.

Omega-3 and 6

Omega 3 and 6 are important for a fighter because they help reduce inflammation in muscles, joints, the respiratory and cardiovascular systems. They are also essential to develop the nervous system and the brain to enhance nerve potentiation. Furthermore, they also counteract heart disease by increasing HDL’s.

The avocado is actually lower in Omega-3 than 6. However, you can boost Omega 3 benefits by adding chia seeds. Chia has the best proportion of Omega 3 to 6 per tablespoon. You can add other seeds like flaxseeds that have more grams of Omega 3 per tablespoon. However, balancing the two Omegas, in a 1:1 ratio at 3g is how they work efficiently and most effectively.

Omega 6 seems to have given itself a bad name. Omega 6 is more widely consumed and is bad because it is treated with heat that denaturalizes them in refined oils, processed foods, and margarine. People consume about 10-15 times more of the bad rather than the good Omega 6. On the other hand, you get the good Omega-6, as well as Omega 3, from seeds, fruits, and plants that are not denaturalized nor radicalized.

Omega 3 and 6 basically have many of the same health-enhancing factors. They are important regulators to produce anti-inflammatory responses. However, Omega 3 has slightly more benefits like EPA and DHA not found in Omega 6.

Avocado has .17g of Omega-3 and 1.7g of Omega-6 in 100 grams.

2 Tbsp of chia seeds has 2.1g of Omega 3 and .7 of Omega 6.

Adding chia will balance the ratio to almost 1:1, boosting Omega 3 to 2.3g and Omega-6 to 2.4g. The ratio should be 3:3 per day.

Fiber

Fiber reduces inflammation and controls blood sugar from spiking. It decreases the risk of other diseases like heart disease and cancer. About 20-25% of the avocado is soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is beneficial for a martial artist because it slows digestion to feel full longer and less tired. Great for weigh-ins!

  • Avocado has 5.6 grams of fiber in 100g.
  • Chia seeds have 4g of fiber per tablespoon

Smoothie Process

  • Use 100g of avocado.
  • Add 2-3 cups of regular milk or soymilk, both taste good but it is your choice. You can add more or less milk. It is up to you. I use 2 cups of 1% milk because it has .834g of potassium (Many kinds of milk are higher or lower potassium).
  • Add sugar for taste. I use 2-3 tablespoons but you have to add the amount according to your taste. Using sweetened soymilk, like vanilla, you may add less sugar.
  • Add a scoop of vanilla protein powder (optional).
  • Add 1 tablespoon of chia seeds.
  • Blend.

The smoothie is excellent for after a match, practice, or training drink.

Enjoy!

This story first appeared on blackbeltmag.com

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