Best MMA Stack for Performance and Recovery

mma supplements

Best MMA Supplements Stack for Increased Stamina and Reaction Time

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a combat sport with millions of practitioners worldwide. In all MMA practitioners, athletes, and non-athletes, the most desirable characteristics are low levels of body fat, high  anaerobic  abilities, elevated  aerobic fitness, strength, and flexibility.

MMA has also been proposed as a fitness program highly demanding for most muscle groups of the body. Although MMA improves both aerobic and anaerobic capacities, some studies suggest that anaerobic metabolism is the primary source of energy in MMA.

MMA training is among the most intense, physically taxing activities you can engage in. Having good reaction time is essential for MMA.

MMA training combines the combination of stamina and peak muscle strength.  Choosing the right MMA supplements for improving performance and enhancing muscle recuperation is essential for peak MMA training.  Phosphocreatine (PCr) is one the most important substrates for adenosine triphosphate (ATP) resynthesis during high intensity exercise bouts, and it is accepted that  the development  of fatigue during maximal short duration exercise is associated with the depletion of muscle PCr stores.Therefore using creatine monohydrate may be a good supplement to include for re-synthesizing ATP.  Additionally, caffeine for improved stamina would also be a great supplement to include for MMA.  Previous studies have found that a combination of creatine and caffeine works better when taken in conjunction compared to each supplement taken separately. So choosing a supplement that contains creatine and caffeine would be a important pre-workout supplement for all MMA athletes.

BCAA’s, Arginine, and Citrulline Improve Reaction Time
In the past, athletes have had to rely on what other athletes have told them, but now there is peer reviewed research on what supplements taekwondo athletes can take for improved performance.  In the latest study in the International Society of Sports Nutrition, researchers reported that a combination of arginine, citrulline, and BCAA’s improved reactions time.  The exciting part about this is that this is one of the first studies to show that amino acids can improve response time after intense exercise.  In addition to muscle fatigue, researchers have also found that the brain can suffer decreases in reaction time as well.  The studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging have shown that the brain regions involved in high-order motor tasks, such as prefrontal cortex and supplementary motor areas, were affected during fatiguing exercise.


The researchers investigated the effect of the combined supplementation of BCAA, arginine, and citrulline on central fatigue after three simulated matches in well-trained taekwondo athletes. The researchers used three, instead of a single match to elicit the physical stress similar to actual competitions. The researchers investigated the effect of the combination of BCAA, arginine, and citrulline on the reaction time in a sport-specific setting after high-intensity exercise.

Two days before the study, they made sure all the athletes ate the same calories to make sure there was no effect of diet manipulating the study variables.  The meals provided approximately 1800 kcal/day with 54 % energy from carbohydrate, 30 % from fat, and 16 % from protein, according to the manufacturer’s label. Each trial included three simulated matches. After the second match, two supplementations were consumed. In the amino acid trial, the subjects ingested BCAA (leucine: isoleucine: valine), arginine and citrulline. In the placebo trial, the subjects consumed the identical amount of empty capsule and tablet containing starch.  All supplements were taken with water within 10 min.

Each trial contained three matches with a 1-hr rest before the second match and a 2-hr rest before the third match. A match included three 2-min rounds with repeated work to rest time of 5 s and 25 s, respectively. A 1-min rest was provided between the rounds. The work to rest ratio of 1 to 5 was determined according to the analysis of international taekwondo matches. After that, the subject’s performed a taekwondo-specific reaction battery, containing three single- and one dual-task movement has been shown to exhibit moderate to high reliability and validity in elite and sub-elite athletes.

At the end of the study, the subjects in the amino acid trial (BCAA, arginine, and citrulline) showed significantly faster reaction time in the three single-task movements, as well as the reaction time in the secondary task in the dual-task test, compared to those in the placebo trial. The improvements in these abilities by the supplementation could carry significant benefit in many sports.