Whenever you ask a Brazilian BJJ athlete why they’re good at Jiu Jitsu, they usually have the same answer. They train hard and eat açaí.
Now, if you’re new to BJJ, you probably have some questions about açaí. What the heck is it, why is it spelled that way, and does it really make your BJJ better?!
Believe it or not, açaí really might make your BJJ better! This article will examine what açaí is, its connection with BJJ, and why Brazilians frequently attest to the benefits of eating acai.
We’ll also give you a few recipes for how to prepare açaí and how you can buy a pack of it.
What exactly is açaí?
Açaí is a fruit native to Brazil that is grown from the açaí palm, a tree that grows predominantly within the Amazonia region of Brazil. This tree grows to over 25 meters (82 feet) tall, and thrives within swamp lands and floodplains common to this region.
Not only are the açaí berries cultivated from this tree, but also the leaves, palm hearts, trunk, and wood. This tree is very special in Brazil and the native tribes are deeply investment in protecting them and keeping them healthy.
Does açaí make your BJJ better?
Believe it or not, consuming açaí can in fact make your BJJ better. That is because açaí is a superfood with a long list of benefits.
Not only improving your BJJ game, but also your overall health. Here are some of the benefits from regularly consuming açaí.
BJJ practitioners will regularly consume acai after a hard training session. That is because the fruit is full of properties that revitalize you and give you more energy.
Açaí is full of good carbs and nutrients that are easy to digest and give you more energy, all while not making you feel heavy after eating it.
An acai bowl may even feel like you can hit up a second training session later in the day if you want to!
Açaí is good for your immune system
Açaí can not only provide you with energy and nutrients after a hard training session, but also boost your immune system. These are facts that have been backed by studies, so you don’t have to take my word for it!
The fruit contains immune boosting elements like arabinogalactan. This chemical has been shown to help your body fight against illness.
Eating açaí might be able to keep you from getting sick or help you recover from illness more quickly, and thus on the mat and training!
Not only is açaí good for your immune system, but it also contains a high amount of calcium. This can help to keep your bones strong for BJJ and fight off osteoporosis.
Helps with weight loss
Another reason to eat açaí after training is that it is low calorie* and can help with weight loss. If you’re trying to lose weight or make weight for a competition, you can indulge a little bit and not have to worry about putting on extra pounds.
*Note: an açaí bowl can be loaded up with toppings and end up being quite the calorie bomb! Use moderation in your choice of toppings, or this benefit will possibly be negated.
Açaí – More Brazilian than Brazilian Jiu Jitsu
If you’re in the BJJ community, you’ll be forgiven for assuming that açaí and BJJ go together. While it is a delicious post-training snack, the simple truth is that acai is only popular within Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, but within all of Brazil. Just about every Brazilian regularly consumes açaí on the regular!
In Brazil, açaí is just as popular as ice cream. There is an açaí parlor in just about every region of Brazil, and people sell açaí on every corner. It is readily available in every supermarket, with numerous brands of açaí available.
Almost all Brazilains love it, no matter if they participate in BJJ or not, and the connection between the sport comes from Brazilian BJJ practitioners exporting their love of BJJ alongside their love of açaí!
Recipes for açaí
Açaí is generally consumed frozen like ice cream and is prepared in two separate ways: either served in a cup or in a bowl with a bunch of different ingredients.
Açaí in a cup
Açaí in a cup is the most common way that Brazilian BJJ practitioners consume their açaí. The possibilities are almost infinite with what you can do with açaí in a cup.
In Brazil, açaí parlors generally serve it just like a yogurt or ice cream parlor. They will give you the option of a cup of straight açaí or mixed with strawberries, bananas, or both.
Then they will have an assortment of toppings that you can choose from. Anything from:
- Chocolate Syrup
- Chocolate Sprinkles
- Candy Sprinkles
- Whipped Cream
- Fruit Syrups
You have nearly infinite options for making açaí in a cup.
Now, if you’re in the USA and train BJJ with Brazilians, you’ve probably heard about acai bowls. These are incredibly delicious post training snacks that are really good for you.
A common recipe for an açaí bowl includes:
- Frozen açaí
- Optional: blend the açaí with strawberries, banana, or both
- Top with banana, strawberries, or both
- Add a layer of granola
- Top with a good amount of honey
Outside of Brazil, some other toppings you may commonly find on açaí bowls include:
- Peanut butter
- Any sort of fruit or berry
- Cacao nibs
How can I get açaí in the US or Europe?
Unfortunately, if you live in the US or Europe, açaí isn’t always as easy to come by. You may have to find it at specialty supermarkets or buy frozen açaí online.
In the US, the easiest way is on Amazon by way of their connection with Whole Foods.
Whenever possible, look for unsweetened versions. Acai is naturally sweet and doesn’t need to have extra sugar added to the mix to taste great!
Go try some Açaí!
Listen, eating açaí won’t make your buggy choke tighter or your kesa gatame escapes better, it can help you after training and boost your overall health. It is an incredible superfood that can not only revitalize you after training, but help fight off various ailments.
If you’re serious about boosting your health and staying on the mat, then you should give açaí a try. It’s not only good for you, but really tasty, and you’ll be hooked once you try it!