5 Supplements For MMA Fighters

Are you looking for the right supplements to take your MMA performance and results to the next level?

But you may feel overwhelmed and confused. After all, so many products are on the market, so choosing the right ones can feel impossible.

In this article, we’ve compiled the list of the top five supplements for athletic performance below. Each offers its unique benefits, and taking them is worth every penny.

Let’s dive in.


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Protein Powder

Protein powder is as straightforward as it gets:

The product consists of protein in powdered form. Typically, the protein comes from dairy (casein or whey), but it can also come from beef, eggs, and various plants (such as hemp or rice). Protein powders also come in different forms based on the manufacturing process. For example, whey comes in three primary forms: 

  • Concentrate – the form consists of around 80 per cent protein, with the remaining 20 per cent coming from fats and carbs.
  • Isolate – this form typically consists of 90 per cent protein, with only 10 per cent coming from other nutrients.
  • Hydrolysate is a type where protein peptides are broken down into shorter chains, allowing for quicker absorption after ingestion.

Consuming protein powder is not essential, but it allows you to get a concentrated form of the nutrient and more easily fill your daily needs. Doing so supports muscle growth, fat loss, recovery, and general well-being. Plus, protein powder is versatile because you can consume it in many forms. For example:

  • As part of a protein shake
  • As an addition to oatmeal
  • As part of protein pancakes
  • In a nutritious fruit smoothie

Unlike chicken, fish, and beef, protein powder is cheaper, so you can save up some money while hitting your protein needs.

As far as side effects go, protein supplements are pretty safe. The most common side effects typically relate to stomach distress and mainly apply to dairy-based protein powders (whey and casein) because of their lactose. If you have a sensitive stomach or are lactose-intolerant, go for meat, egg, or plant-based powder, and you should be okay.

In any case, getting your protein from a reputable brand is best, preferably those with third-party testing seals of approval (such as NSF International).

In summary, protein powders offer quick, tasty, and convenient protein for active folks.


Creatine is an organic acid comprised of three amino acids: methionine, arginine, and glycine. Your body produces small amounts of this substance, most of which is in your muscles, with trace amounts found in your kidneys, brain, and liver.

As a supplement, the organic acid is typically sold as creatine monohydrate – one of the purest and cheapest forms. Creatine is also great because you don’t have to worry about timing it. All you have to do is take your daily three to five grams, and you’re good to go.

Once you start taking creatine, it slowly builds up in your system, eventually reaching a point of saturation, which is when its benefits surface. To understand those, we first have to take a brief look at the energy currency of life: adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Your body produces and breaks down countless ATP molecules for energy each day. That energy is essential for absolutely everything you do – from breathing to walking, working, and more.

As you start training, your body’s demands for ATP increase drastically, often surpassing your body’s natural ability to synthesize the molecules in time. So, you reach exhaustion. After a brief break, your body produces a new ATP reserve, allowing you to exercise again.

Creatine speeds up the ATP synthesis process by donating its phosphate group. As a result, you can train harder, lift more weight, and hopefully see better MMA performance. 

As far as side effects go, creatine is safe. The worst thing that’s happened to people is some mild stomach distress, typically due to loading (taking large amounts of creatine for a week to achieve saturation quicker).

In essence, creatine is a proven, effective, safe, and affordable supplement you should consider if your goal is optimal MMA performance and efficient recovery.


As the name suggests, multivitamins are products that contain several essential vitamins in a single product. Sometimes, multivitamins also include minerals (such as calcium or iron).

The premise behind this supplement is simple:

Take a pill or two per day to get enough essential nutrients and prevent deficiencies. For instance, folks often struggle to get enough zinc and magnesium. Taking them as part of a multivitamin prevents deficiencies, allowing you to maintain your health and feel good.

Multivitamins come in many forms, so it’s difficult to say precisely what benefits they offer. For example, one product might benefit your immune system, while another might benefit brain and cardiovascular health more. It depends on what product you choose to get based on your diet and nutritional needs. 

It’s also important to note that multivitamins are a supplement. Meaning it serves to supplement an already existing nutritional plan. Eating junk food and taking a multivitamin is similar to fitting an entirely new suspension to your car but never changing the engine oil. You’re bound to run into trouble eventually.

Regarding side effects, multivitamins are safe, but you should get your supplement from a reputable brand, preferably one with a stamp of approval. The only potential risk is toxicity, but the chances are low unless you consume lots of food rich in a specific nutrient and take the nutrient as part of a multivitamin.

Overall, multivitamins are a great all-in-one health supplement that goes well with a healthy and balanced diet.

Glucosamine Sulfate

Glucosamine sulfate is a naturally occurring sugar found in the tissues and fluids that surround your joints. Tissues surrounding our joints need to be elastic, and the fluids need to lubricate our joints for us to remain healthy and injury-free.

According to research, glucosamine sulfate plays a vital role in producing:

  • Cartilage – a resilient and elastic connective tissue that covers and protects the ends of long bones (at the joints).
  • Synovial fluid – a type of thick liquid that provides lubrication for our joints and keeps them healthy.

Glucosamine sulfate is most notably used to keep our joints healthy, prevent injuries, and help us deal with joint-related pain. Folks also use glucosamine for osteoarthritis pain, especially in the knees.

Taking glucosamine sulfate as a supplement is incredibly beneficial. Though the body produces some of this natural sugar, getting it as a supplement provides a more concentrated dose. Plus, glucosamine sulfate supplements often include other helpful substances – for example, chondroitin sulfate. These should amplify glucosamine’s effect on our joints and tissues.

Regarding side effects, glucosamine sulfate doesn’t appear to have any. Of course, mild stomach distress could occur like most oral supplements, especially at first. But that’s typically reserved for folks with a more sensitive stomach. If you haven’t had a history of upset stomachs from supplements, you should expect any issues with this product.

Glucosamine sulfate is an incredibly beneficial supplement for MMA because it keeps our joints and connective tissues healthy on multiple fronts. If you want to keep your body healthy and injury-free, consider supplementing with it.

Omega 3 / Fish Oil

Omega-3 fatty acids, commonly known as fish oil, are a health supplement with many functions inside the body. Most notably, omega-3s:

  • Improve mental health and battle depression
  • Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Promote brain health
  • Maintain eye health and vision
  • Protect the body from inflammation

And much more. Some research also suggests that fish oil can support muscle growth and post-workout recovery. But we need more studies in that area before making serious claims.

As a supplement, fish oil provides us with two fatty acids: eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Typically, we can also get these from food like fatty fish. But given how most people eat too little fish, supplementation is often a good option.

As far as side effects go, fish oil is entirely safe for consumption and even more so for pregnant women. The only side effect (if you could even call it so) is the potentially fishy taste in your mouth after taking your daily dose. Though that typically passes quickly.

As a whole, fish oil is incredibly healthy and offers a wide range of benefits. So, if you want to optimize your health and performance, consider taking the supplement for MMA.

Why You Should Take Supplements for MMA

Martial Artists should take supplements as they can help address nutritional deficiencies as-well as improve your athletic performance. MMA is one of the most physically demanding sports out there. For that reason, fighters must use every option available to keep their bodies well oiled and healthy.

Fighters preparing for a fight usually train at least two times a day and burn a crazy amount of calories. Supplements can be used to consume a large amount of calories quickly, enabling the body to start repairing itself ASAP.

Another benefit many people don’t often associate with supplements is cost. Fighters burn a lot of energy during training and need to replenish their bodies using food. The cost of buying and preparing food can add up during fight prep. Supplements can save you money as they often work out cheaper than food per portion of protien.

Other benefits of taking supplements for MMA fighters Include

  • Supplements can help with nutritional deficiencies
  • They can help prevent Injuries & Illnesses
  • Supplements are inexpensive calories
  • Supplements can give you energy before MMA class
  • They can reduce muscle loss during training

MMA puts a lot of stress on your physical and mental well-being. For that reason, you should always aim for your body to be healthy and in the best shape possible. Having an effective supplement stack will keep your body healthy and help reduce unnecessary injuries.

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What Is The Best Supplement for MMA?

There are plenty of supplements for MMA on the market today. Choosing between the good and bad ones is often difficult. With that in mind, the list of five supplements we shared above is great because each of these offers unique benefits to you:

  • Protein improves recovery, muscle gain, and athletic ability.
  • Creatine supports energy production, allowing us to perform better, recover a bit more quickly, and see better results from our training.
  • Multivitamins are a multi-purpose health supplement that prevents nutrient deficiencies from occurring and keeps us feeling good.
  • Glucosamine sulfate is incredibly beneficial because the naturally occurring sugar plays a role in our joints and connective tissues.
  • Omega 3 fatty acids offer numerous incredible health benefits, elevate our well-being, reduce the risk of various diseases, and might even offer muscle-building benefits in the long run.

If you want to improve your strength, power and optimize your recovery, check out our strength & conditioning program for MMA

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Gareth Davies

I'm a martial arts competitor and enthusiast. Over the last 15 years, I have trained and competed in several martial arts. I live in Manchester U.K working as a strength & conditioning coach when I'm not travelling and exploring martial arts around the world.
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