Considered a superfood, açaí is a source of multiple health benefits. No wonder athletes, amateurs and professionals, enjoy this magical bay originating in Brazil!
Açai berry is rich in antioxidants, fiber, fatty acids and essential nutrients. Thanks to this unique combination, this fruit allows to significantly optimize athletic performance, in addition to a healthy diet.
The antioxidants in the açaí berry, called anthocyanins, combat the free radicals produced during exercise. They help reduce inflammation and cell damage. They also promote faster recovery and help prevent muscle pain. Athletes performing endurance exercises consider acai as a fuel. Its complex carbohydrates and fibers provide energy to the body for a long time. The fatty acids (omega-3 and omega-6) of the fruit improve blood circulation and have anti-inflammatory properties that soothe painful muscles. In addition, vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C and zinc, support the immune system. Low in calories, açaí berry is therefore an ideal balanced meal or snack, to be consumed before or after a sports session!
The açaí berries has been consumed for centuries by the local populations of South America where this fruit grows. But it is only recently that this food has been exported to our countries and has become increasingly popular. It all started with the world of sport. In Brazil, surfers started eating this fruit in the 1970s. Seduced by the nutritional benefits of this berry, they quickly adopted it as an essential part of their diet. This sacred fruit allows them to face the waves during long intense sessions and promotes their recovery after the effort. Over time, the reputation of açaí has spread within the surfing community, beyond borders, and then beyond the beaches. Today, this trend has conquered athletes (in the broad sense) and supporters of a healthy lifestyle, all over the world. This ingredient with a thousand virtues is always associated with surfers, of course, but also with fans of jujitsu, tennis, yoga or fitness.
More than just a fruit, açaí berry is considered the symbol of a healthy lifestyle. Like yoga, it is linked to values related to well-being and health. It brings energy while low in sugar. Which is actually a food favoured by people to the philosophy “healthy”! Many fitness, martial arts or yoga rooms offer açaí bowls or other preparations based on this berry to their members because this menu fits perfectly with the practice of a sport. Taking care of your body also means paying attention to how you feed it!
Brazilian jiu-jitsu (a martial art that focuses on submission techniques and ground fighting) shares a common history with açaí. The training sessions of this sport are demanding physically. They require an energetic and recovery-enhancing diet. The nutritious berry of açaí meets these needs! “Açaí has been an integral part of the jiu-jitsu culture for about ten years,” says Santo, 24, a professional athlete, “I love this sweet, healthy little note as a snack. It is as delicious as it is light.” The jiu-jitsuka trains twice a day in the centre of Brussels. “I start my morning sitting on an empty stomach. Immediately afterwards, I go to Café LA ÇAÍ, located in Brussels city center, very close to my apartment, to taste a delicious açaí bowl. It's the headquarters of all the athletes in the corner. I feel at home!” says Santo. “This energy shot replaces a coffee. It has become my daily ritual that helps my body to recover after training. I'm addicted to it!" He said.