Most people who train BJJ have already heard about acai berries and we think it’s pretty popular. The jiu-jitsu community knows about it because of the Brazilian roots of our martial art. It also began to be known as a ‘super food’- which is a controversial term since there is probably no actual evidence that shows it’s better than other fruits. But we are not here to list you the boring nutritional facts about acai that you can easily find on thousands upon thousands of pages on Google. We are here to tell you about how much fun it can be incorporating acai into your daily diet.
It’s always best to get acai in pulp form since it makes it easier to blend with all sorts of other fruit. Acai is naturally a very bitter fruit and you will actually probably hate the taste. Depending on the brand, sometimes you can get it in pure form or mixed with natural sweeteners like honey or guarana-another Brazilian fruit that is often used in those popular energy shots. There are probably some brands out there that have prepared acai shakes for you already, but chances are they are not as all natural as they appear.
All that being said one of the most popular acai based meals is the ‘tigela’. Tigela means ‘bowl’ in Portuguese and you will see tons of MMA and BJJ fighters scarfing this down. It’s usually a bowl full of acai blended with guarana or honey to sweeten it. Guys usually like to place an assortment of other fruits and goodies on top of this. This usually includes sliced strawberries, banana, coconut shavings and oatmeal. This makes for a really huge meal since it’s usually a bowl full of stuff.
Strawberries and bananas also work well with acai if you just blend it all together. In Brazil, especially in Rio, you can get your acai in different cup sizes mixed with either strawberries, bananas or even with protein. You can combine those ingredients in whatever way you want.
Citrus fruits are also an interesting accompaniment for acai. Oranges, lime, grapefruit and lemons can all add an interesting flavor to your acai shakes. Actually, this is something that hasn’t been very popular, but if you give it a shot, you will be surprisingly pleased.
Lastly, several brands have used this blend of acai with chocolate. Mixing it with some sort of dark chocolate can be great, but that can come down to personal choice. Make sure that whenever you blend acai, you want the consistency of your shake to be quite thick to get the full flavor.
So ultimately, acai is still a new and fun way for athletes to get their nutrition. You don’t necessarily have to follow my suggestions here, you can easily play around with your own favorite fruits, and even veggies, and see what works for you – the possibilities are endless.