What Should Jiu Jitsu Athletes Look for in a Pre-Workout?

Jiu jitsu is a unique sport in that it takes a combination of aerobic (i.e. endurance) and anaerobic (i.e. short bursts of strength and power) activity.

If you want to optimise your jiu jitsu performance, consuming the right blend of pre-workout products is a great way to achieve this.

Sport Specific Dose: we have found that lower doses of caffeine in the 100-200mg range are ideal for a sport like jiu jitsu where being calm is critical.

So what are we looking for in a jiu jitsu pre-workout? We want calm energy (chill), a good mood, strength, and endurance.

Before going into more detail, here are the ten most beneficial ingredients for jiu jitsu:

  1. Beet Root Extract
  2. Red Spinach Extract
  3. L-Citrulline
  4. Beta-Alanine
  5. Creatine
  6. Caffeine
  7. L-Theanine
  8. Tyrosine
  9. Alpha-GPC
  10. ElevATP

Now that you have the list of ingredients let’s look at why each one is good for jiu jitsu activity.

Beet Root Extract

The scientific evidence we’ve reviewed suggests that beet root extract and other similar nitrates improve blood flow.

Enhanced blood flow allows more oxygen and nutrient delivery to muscles, enhancing exercise efficiency.

In other words, beet root extract will help you roll more efficiently, preserving more energy to use as the competition goes on.

Red Spinach Extract

This ingredient has similar effects as beet root extract in that both are nitrates that improve cardiorespiratory endurance performance.

The longer the jiu jitsu match, the more you’ll notice the endurance enhancing effects of nitrates.


Similar to nitrates, L-Citrulline improves blood flow but does so using different mechanisms. There is evidence that the two distinct mechanisms are synergistic.

In addition to providing more oxygen and nutrients to the muscles, the increased blood flow to the muscles also helps clear out waste from the ATP cycle that might otherwise interfere with muscle contraction.

The bottom line is that increased nitrous oxide and blood flow will help you roll longer, more efficiently and with less fatigue.


This pre-workout ingredient is the king of anti-fatigue, which can be costly when competing. Limiting fatigue is the key to maximising performance.

One thing to note about Beta-Alanine is that it is a chronic ingredient. It takes about four weeks to fully embed itself into your system.

While you’ll benefit from the first use, you’ll get more when it’s converted to carnosine and contributes to increasing your carnosine stores by up to 80%.


Creatine is something of a wonder supplement. Published studies show that it improves strength and performance in high-intensity activities.

It does this by rapidly converting ADP back to ATP and regenerating the ATP energy cycle.

Like Beta-Alanine, Creatine is a chronic supplement ingredient that needs to build up in your muscle stores over time. Daily supplementation is recommended.


There is no question that caffeine can be beneficial in a jiu jitsu match, but you have to be careful.

Caffeine will increase your energy and focus, but for jiu jitsu it’s essential not to be overstimulated.

One of the most critical considerations for athletes is how much caffeine they can tolerate without becoming jittery or impulsive.


If you’re taking caffeine in your pre-workout, we recommend L-Theanine to work synergistically in creating more relaxed energy.

L-Theanine helps you chill out a little bit while still benefiting from caffeine.


This ingredient helps improve cognitive performance in stressful situations. It will help you avoid feeling overwhelmed by the stress of a jiu jitsu match and act gracefully under pressure.

Alpha GPC

This pre-workout ingredient increases your ability to focus. It improves alertness as well as high-intensity physical performance and strength.


ElevATP is a blend of ancient peat and apple fruit extracts rich in bioactive compounds, including various minerals and polyphenols, that increase the body’s overall ATP production.

By increasing the body’s overall ATP levels, this ingredient allows you to carry more energy onto the mats whenever you roll in a jiu jitsu class or competition.


Pre-workout products are helpful to take before any form of exercise, and jiu jitsu sessions are no exception.

There are loads of benefits to taking a pre-workout, but you should always exercise caution when consuming products containing caffeine.

If you plan on working out later in the day, it is probably best to avoid using pre-workout as the additional caffeine intake can play havoc with your sleep cycle.

Sleep is not only essential for helping you maintain good energy levels but also plays a crucial role in the recovery process.

If you train in the morning, a pre-workout can help you feel more energised, focused and alert without negatively impacting your energy levels and sleep pattern.

For an ideal jiu jitsu pre-workout, you may want a slightly lower dose of caffeine (perhaps half) than most pre-workouts provide.

You also want to maximise oxygen utilisation, blood flow, ATP and overall energy production from pre-workout products.

The ingredients we list above will make a noticeable difference the next time you hit the mats.