Rio’s warm climate can leave some visitors struggling – it gets very hot here at times, especially when on the mat! The effect of training jiu-jitsu in the Rio de Janeiro weather is too much for some people at first and requires a period of adaptation.
Many people suffer cramps and other effects of dehydration as a result of training BJJ, but left unchecked dehyradtion can be become a serious and even life-threatening problem.
So here is a simple tip to stay in top shape so you can enjoy your jiu-jitsu training to the max: drink plenty of agua de coco (coconut water).
Agua de coco is the Portuguese name for coconut water, and it’s available everywhere in Rio. But you won’t buy it out of a box like you do back home – you’ll find cafes, restaurants and kiosks across Rio selling beautiful fresh coconuts.
Why Coconut Water?
Water is good but doesn’t contain essentials salts and minerals your body loses she you sweat, and if you are training in the hot weather even during Rio’s cooler ‘winter’ months, you’ll still run the risk of dehydrating.
Many visitors come from countries with cooler climates, and even if you’re training BJJ in a gym with air conditioning, the amount you sweat during the day can leave you performing below optimum levels.
Health Benefits of Coconut Water (agua de coco)
1. Stops you from becoming dehydrated
Coconut water is like nature’s sports drink. It’s better than pure water because the potassium content helps keep your cells flush with water, lost when you sweat during exercise. And you’ll sweat a lot in Rio, so drink up!
2. Prevents muscle cramps
Due to the electrolytes, drinking coconut water both before, during and after exercise helps prevent cramps and spasms in your muscles.
3. Aids digestion
Coconut water helps improve your digestion and metabolism as enzymes aid food absorption.
4. Keeps you healthy!
Agua de coco can boost the immune system in fighting infection whilst helping to eradicate intestinal worms and candida.
Best of all, coconut water is cheap and easily available. Cups from street vendors run from R$1-2, a fresh coconut in a cafe or kiosk is between R$4-5 as is a large bottle.