Nutritionist Nathalia reveals diet secrets of 3 BJJ world champions

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To arrived in great shape at the IBJJF World Championships, which ended in the second week of December, Tainan Dalpra, Mayssa Bastos and Matheus Gabriel were even more professional during their preparations by hiring Nathalia Chantre, a specialist in sports nutrition for Jiu-Jitsu athletes.

Tainan won gold at middleweight in his first year as a black belt, after beating Isaque Bahiense. Mayssa, for example, was champion for the second time at rooster. Matheus, who had won the Worlds at featherweight, closed ranks with with a teammate at lightweight.

What made the difference in the performance of these three elite athletes of the new generation of the sport? Well, Nathalia will explain below.

“The biggest differentiator about Tainan that I see is the tireless search for improvement and professionalism. With this in mind, the only missing piece was precisely nutrition. The first simple and efficient adjustment we made was hydration. Tainan, for example, used to train practically every day dehydrated, since his water intake was approximately 1.5L. Another very important adjustment was the quantity and quality of meals. The current middleweight world champion ate just two meals a day. It was just lunch and dinner with a carbohydrate source and a protein source. The amount of caloric intake was far below his energy demands, making it difficult to recover. In the first week, Tainan evolved a lot and we managed to increase the water intake from 1.5L to 4L. We also included an electrolyte replenisher after morning competition drills. From two meals, we went to five meals, even when cutting weight. This contributed a lot to his recovery after the training sessions. He improved immunity, started getting truly restful sleep and minimized the chances of injury! Consequently, he had a performance boost! Simply, that 1% that was needed to finish the year at the top”, emphasizes Nathalia.

A certified nutritionist by the International Sports Sciences Association, in the United States, Chantre also reveals the strategy she concocted for Mayssa to have the best “career weight cut”. The rooster champion had three matches, all of which ended with a choke from behind.

“Although I’ve been working with Mayssa Bastos for almost two years now, this was the first time we did the weight cut for rooster in the IBJJF. As she said, this was the best weight cut she made for this event. It was really clear on the mat that she had a lot of energy in the first fight after weigh-in through the final, the next day. The biggest difference for this cut was the beginning time of nutritional periodization, Mayssa’s dedication to follow 100% of what was proposed and understand that an athlete should not cut carbohydrates from their diet! She used some supplements with an ergogenic effect such as creatine, for example. We took care of immunity, which was a frequent complaint from Mayssa, and I paid some attention in the pre-competition phase. It is at this stage that the athlete can have a drop in performance due to the intensity of training. When Mayssa entered this pre-competitive phase, she was practically at weight—that is, I didn’t need to reduce the caloric intake, which is not common when athletes do it on their own. In addition, I added foods and supplements that enhance recovery, such as curcumin, concentrated grape juice and tart cherry”, reveals the nutritionist.

With Matheus Gabriel, an athlete with whom Nathalia has worked for two years, she tells what were the main strategies and changes in the champion’s eating plan.

“At the Worlds Matheus was very good at his weight. He trained with high muscle glycogen stores, which not only boosted his training performance, but also helped his recovery. One of the carbs we used in pre-workout meals was tapioca, which he likes a lot, and fruit. He had a diet planned for his training schedule and we also used an electrolyte replenisher, after intense training sessions, supplements with ergogenic effect such as creatine and beta alanine, both of which improve sports performance. To help Matheus have restful sleep, we use foods rich in tryptophan for dinner, chamomile tea before bed with drops of propolis and also CBD of the ATH brand, which does not have THC and magnesium”, says Nathalia.

Matheus Gabriel with Nathalia Chantre.

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