3 Simple Tips – Optimum Recovery For MMA Fighters

While most MMA fighters prefer to think about the more exciting aspects of martial arts, recovery is just as important.

Adequate recovery allows martial artists to train harder, feel better, and progress quicker. Without it, we wouldn’t be able to handle the same level of physical stress, we would feel tired more often, and it would take us longer to progress and martial artists.

So, without further ado, here are three simple tips to improve recovery for MMA fighters.


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1. Get Enough Sleep

recovery for mma

Sleep is the most critical aspect of adequate recovery. If you want to go through demanding martial arts workouts and recover on time, you need to get at least seven hours of sleep per night – preferably, more.

One reason why that is has to do with the body’s ability to repair our muscles better as we sleep. This is thanks to the elevated rates of muscle protein synthesis, as well as the higher production of growth hormone.

2. Take Good Care of Your Nutrition

Much like cars need fuel, the body needs calories and various nutrients. To optimize recovery, you need to:

  • Consume enough calories, so your body has enough energy to carry out its processes and repair itself. Being in a calorie deficit significantly impairs recovery.
  • Get enough protein, as this nutrient provides the body with the building blocks it needs to repair itself – amino acids. As a rule of thumb, you should aim for 0.7 to 1 gram per pound of body weight.
  • Consume a balanced meal in the hours before and after your training. That way, you’ll minimize muscle protein breakdown, and, thanks to having more glucose and amino acids available, you’ll be able to kickstart the recovery process much quicker.

3. Stay Hydrated

Adequate hydration is hardly an exciting subject, but it’s just as important as the other two factors. 

Up to sixty percent of the human body is made of water. So, naturally, staying hydrated plays a huge role in the body’s ability to perform athletically and recover from stress.

Male martial artists should aim for about 3 litres of water every day (roughly 100 ounces), and female fighters should aim for about 2.2 litres (about 75 ounces).

Depending on factors like your weight, activity level, and how warm your environment is, you may need more or less water. But this is a good starting point.

Supplements For MMA Recovery

In addition to the 3 factors above, supplements can help fighters recover quicker.

Below are out 3 favourite supplements for MMA fighters:

For more information on supplements for MMA check out our guide.


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Whilst there are multiple emerging methods used by martial artists for recovery, the same applies to recovery as MMA training. Do the basics well.

The three fundamental aspects of recovery are nutrition, sleep and hydration. If you get these areas right, your recovery will be optimal.

Check out my article for on the benefits of CBD Oil for Martial Artists!

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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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