The Balance Between Nutrition, Training and Mindset: How Eazy Does it.
by Dania Sofia Alexirwan
SITTING quite comfortably in his martial arts training centre Khalifa MMA in Kiarong after an intense Friday morning session was 33-year-old MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) Fighter and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) athlete, Ahmad Faez ‘Eazy’ Anuar.
The athlete passionately shared his dietary routine and his insight into the significance of nutritional health and supplementary intake for professional athletes and sports enthusiasts.
It has become a universal understanding that sports and exercise are the most efficient way of maintaining our health and fitness. However, it has recently been recognised that our nutritional choices play a bigger role in how fit we really are.
When asked about his dietary prep routine for upcoming matches, he clarified that it really is a controlled clean diet that goes on for 365 days.
“But when it comes to 8-10 weeks before a fight, that's when I really start watching my portions. So I break it down into 5-6 meals a day,” said Eazy.
“These meals would vary from the more complex carbs such as brown rice, to breakfast and snacks which usually consist of oats, fruits and dietary supplements,” he added.
Eazy gets his supplement fix from Gator Sports, a local company that is focused on the sale of authentic sports supplements and accessories, and leverages on BSN (Bio-Engineered Supplements and Nutrition, Inc) products.
Brunei’s top combat sports athlete only takes two main supplements; Amino X, which helps with muscle endurance, injuries and recoveries, and IsoBurn, a weight management protein that helps with lean muscle growth.
“Most athletes use dietary supplements to support their nutritional health. You still have to eat your normal [clean] diet, but at the same time, we need supplements that can deliver branched-chain amino acids and concentrated weight protein. A normal diet will still provide those elements but it’s not sufficient enough,” he explained.
“However, there is often a misuse of supplements or a lack of knowledge on how much can be consumed and which supplements are suitable for one’s athletic competence,” he added.
Eazy emphasised the importance of only consuming the supplements which suit our own athletic capabilities.
He further added that before considering the use of supplements, we really need to understand our body and what it requires.
“Unfortunately, this lack of understanding is sometimes taken advantage of by gyms, training centres and instructors,” added the 33-year-old.
“They would just say it’s ‘MuscleTech’ protein, but it’ll come in zip-lock bags which they would sell for only $2 - $5 each. The thing is, we don’t know what they actually put inside, it could just be Milo!
“It is important to purchase your supplements from credible suppliers. Although it might be a little bit more expensive, we still have to evenly ration our supplementary intake and be more particular with what we put into our bodies, it’s a good investment,” continued the former national rugby player.
Not only can the over consumption of dietary supplements become an expensive habit, but consuming an excessive amount of vitamins and minerals from these supplements can also increase the risk of its side effects.
Some examples include headaches and liver damage from consuming too much Vitamin A and hair loss and gastrointestinal upset caused by consuming too much selenium.
“Sadly, some people are also unaware that these supplements have high uric acid content. That’s when they start saying ‘I have gout this and gout that’. Then they say ‘okay, I'm going to cut down on meat‘, but they still take too much protein supplements,” stressed Eazy.
“Indeed, this does not mean that you cannot aspire to perform beyond the average benchmark.
“Keeping a balance between nutrition and exercise can only maintain your health and fitness, but it is up to you to dispense this through your performance,” he added.
“If your body can keep on going, then you have to give your 110% towards the whole session to improve attributes such as agility, technique and other athletic traits related to the sport,” continued the BJJ brown belt holder.
The consumption of supplements is not the only reason why athletes are able to compete professionally.
All great athletes have to monitor and control the ratio between their nutrition and how intensely they train. This is how they maintain and further improve their athletic performance.
Putting nutritional health, physical training and exercise aside, Eazy assured that mindset is the main factor to how well one performs in a sport.
“If your mind is into it, if you are driven and motivated, everything else will come to you naturally,” said Eazy.
“Once we get out of a mindset where we set our standards too low, once we start believing in what we can do and start working towards that, then we will start seeing results because
‘Believing is achieving’,” he concluded.
With this mindset, Eazy is now able to follow a strict nutritional and training routine in preparation to compete in the ONE Warrior Series - an extension of ONE Championship, the largest MMA organisation in Asia.