What are the best BJJ supplements that will keep you performing your best on the mats?
Make no mistake: proper diet, sleep (7 hours minimum per night), strength training, and mobility (stretching, yoga) habits are the essential elements of recovery, performance, and longevity.
However, there are some supplements that will give you an advantage. And many of the supplements I’ve listed below will help fill the holes in your diet and improve your sleep.
In this article, I’ll show you science-backed supplements that are helpful for BJJ players.
I take all of these supplements myself, and I’ve noticed benefits to my strength, sleep, and mental function — all of which are beneficial for training jiu-jitsu.
Let’s dive in.
(NOTE: I am not a doctor. Consult with your physician before you start taking any of these BJJ supplements)
BJJ Supplements: Quick Links
Creatine is one of the most well-studied and proven supplements beneficial to athletes — particularly grapplers. It’s the most recommended supplement on r/BJJ. It’s cheap, safe, and effective.
Creatine is both an organic compound and a supplement. It works to recycle ATP in your muscle and brain tissue, which helps increase your maximum power and performance. Creatine is also found in milk, steak, and some fish. There is no research showing any detrimental effects of creatine.
When I take creatine, I notice a quick improvement in my strength: my squat and deadlift go up quickly. I find it easier to make strength gains and with progressive overload. The strength gains in these compound lifts carry over very well to my jiu-jitsu training. I take 5g of creatine monohydrate per day in the morning.
Benefits Of Creatine For BJJ Players
- Increased strength
- Increased muscle hypertrophy
- Increased muscle recovery
- Resistance to fatigue
- Increased brain performance
2. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is a steroid hormone. It’s one of the most beneficial supplements for both your physical well-being and mental well-being. From cancer prevention to depression management, Vitamin D is the foundation of your supplement stack.
Vitamin D is produced when your skin is exposed to the sun. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin produced by cholesterol. Despite the fact that you get it from the sun, many people are deficient in it: especially those who live in countries with long winters.
Since I live in Vancouver — where we only get 4 months of sunshine out of the year — I’ve been taking Vitamin D for nearly a decade. I notice an increase in my overall mood when I take it. I take 5000 IU per day with food.
Benefits of Vitamin D for BJJ Players
3. Omega 3
Fish oil (omega 3) is a fatty acid that provides many overall health benefits. You get it from eating fatty fish.
Omega 3s are among the most studied and beneficial supplements. They are a no-brainer, and will positively impact your health in many more ways than just your jiu-jitsu training.
I don’t eat a lot of fish, so I take 3000mg per day with food. When I take fish oil, my recovery feels better and my joints recover from workouts more quickly.
Benefits of Omega 3s for BJJ Players
- Improves sleep quality
- Improves joint health
- Improves bone strength
- Increased grip strength
- Reduced inflammation
- Reduce anxiety
Zinc is a nutrient that your body doesn’t produce, so you must get it from food or supplements. It helps drive many different processes in your body. It’s an excellent supplement for BJJ players because it benefits your strength and immune system.
I take 50mg of Zinc per day with food. This is on the higher end. I haven’t noticed any side effects. When I started taking zinc many years ago, I noticed that I only got sick half as much.
Benefits of Zinc for BJJ Players
- Improved immune system
- Reduces risk of infection
- Quicker wound recovery
- Decreased inflammation
- May be related to testosterone production
Magnesium is a mineral that’s found in every cell of your body. It’s involved in over 600 reactions, making it a critical supplement. 50% of US adults get less than the daily recommended amount of it.
There are many different forms of magnesium. And it’s another important supplement for BJJ players because of how it can improve your exercise performance, cardiovascular health, and bone strength.
I take 100mg of magnesium l-threonate at night, 30 minutes before I sleep. Before taking magnesium (as well as apigenin and l-theanine), I would wake up at 3 or 4 am every night and have trouble going back to sleep. But now, with this “sleep stack” (recommended by Andrew Huberman), my sleep quality is the best it’s ever been — enabling me to train BJJ 4 times per week AND strength train 4 times per week.
Benefits of Magnesium for BJJ Players
- Improves exercise performance
- Increased muscle mass and power
- Improved heart health
- Reduces inflammation
- Improved bone health
- Improved sleep
- Reduced anxiety
Apigenin is is an antioxidant found in chamomile tea. It has many different benefits from boosting immune health, improving skin health, and preventing bone loss. It’s most widely used for its benefits to sleep. So, if you struggle to get 7-8 hours of sleep consistently, apigenin is a useful supplement.
I take 100mg of apigenin before I sleep every night. It’s the most important sleep supplement that I take. It helps me stay asleep so that I can get 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
Benefits of Apigenin for BJJ Players
L-theanine is an amino acid. It’s found in green tea, but it’s also available as a supplement. It’s known for its ability to help you relax and reduce anxiety, especially if you get anxiety from drinking coffee.
I take 500mg of l-theanine 30 minutes before bedtime. It’s a part of my sleep stack that helps me sleep 7-8 hours a night. For me, l-theanine helps me get to sleep very quickly. I have no problem falling asleep in 10-15 minutes once I’m in bed.
Benefits of L-Theanine for BJJ Players
8. Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 is a nutrient that is hard to get on a Western diet. However, it’s a critical nutrient that plays an important role in various functions for your body to work properly. It’s known for its ability to improve your bone and heart health. It’s officially recommended in Japan for treating osteoporosis (weak bones).
After I broke my leg training, I started taking Vitamin K2. Along with my physiotherapy exercises, I feel as though I was able to heal more quickly thanks to this supplement. I continue to take it to keep my bones strong.
Benefits of Vitamin K for BJJ Players
9. Collagen (Type 1)
Collagen is a type of protein that is found throughout your body. It is a building block found in your muscles, skin, ligaments, and tendons. There are many different types of collagen. They are safe and low-risk — but, there isn’t a lot of research to support their benefits yet, and they take a long time to start working.
I started taking type 1 collagen to help strengthen my bones after suffering a tibial plateau fracture. I feel as though it helped me recover more quickly, as well as helping my joints recover after jiu-jitsu training and powerlifting.
Benefits of Collagen for BJJ Players
BJJ Supplements: Conclusion
So there you have it — my recommendations for BJJ supplements.
What supplements do you take? Have you noticed a difference?
Leave a comment in the section below.
Happy rolling. 🤙
Tsavo is the founder of BJJ Equipment and BJJ blue belt who started training in 2019. He’s a passionate hobbyist and BJJ gear/equipment aficionado who wanted to share his favorite pickups with other jiujiteiros. He launched BJJ Equipment in 2022 to make it easy for jiu-jitsu practitioners to find the best BJJ gear so they look, feel, and perform at their best on the mats.