While many of the top-level MMA fighters are cautious not to give away any supplementing secrets, these are the six supplement staples that help them reach the sport’s highest level.

1. Creatine

This is good for fighters of every weight class because most of creatine’s gains are due to water retention, which can easily be shed when you drop weight for a weight. It ticks this box while helping to build strength, explosive power and giving you more endurance. The cherry on top is that it’s legal and might even give your everyday cognition a leg up.

2. Protein

Fighters wouldn’t be anywhere without protein, regardless of whether they’re in a fight camp or not. Protein builds lean muscle and is essential for recovery – a must for MMA fighters whose training schedules are possibly the most demanding of all the world’s athletes.

3. Vitamin C

While more of a health supplement than a sports supplement it has powerful immune boosting properties and may also keep a fighter’s adrenaline glands in good nick. This vitamin can help safeguard against illness, while maximising recovery and the adrenaline kick during a bout.

4. CBD

Whether it’s after a fight or at the end of a tough week, MMA fighters often use CBD to help with recovery, lower anxiety and improve sleep quality. CBD use is on the rise with fighters around the world as it is in coffee shops, variety stores and elsewhere.

5. Amino Acids

Amino acids are a low-calorie way to help repair muscle post training without adding unnecessary bulk and also lowering cortisol.

6. Caffeine

You’ll usually find this in pre-workouts, which vary by what ingredients they contain which is a danger for the world’s best fighters who are tested regularly. Caffeine is a safe bet as it improves energy and focus levels when used in moderation – old school but proven effective. But don’t over caffeinate as that has been shown to harm performance.

Safety First

How do the best MMA fighters tell if their supplements are safe?

Third Party Certification.

The Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG) is acknowledged as a leader in third-party certification by organizations such as UFC, NBA, CrossFit, the U.S. Department of Defense Operation Supplement Safety (OPSS), Drug Free Sport, Canadian Olympic Committee and others.

BSCG is trusted by UFC athletes and many others to make sure the supplements they choose are free of banned substances and meet quality expectations.

When supplement shopping, look for the BSCG Certified Drug Free and BSCG Certified Quality seals. Both programs start with an in-depth review of quality control, regulatory compliance, and verify products are made in accordance with Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).

The BSCG Certified Drug Free program is the sport standard providing industry leading protection with every lot tested for more than 500 banned substances offering the best protection available for athletes, first responders, military service members or other professionals subject to strict drug testing. The program also requires verification of label claims and environmental contaminant screening annually. The BSCG Certified Quality program provides annual testing for banned substances, label claims, and environmental contaminants and is designed for retail and consumer protection.

The BSCG seals should fill you with a sense of trust that a supplement has what it claims on the label and is not contaminated with banned substances in sport or other potential drug contaminants.

Third-party certification is essential for elite athletes, and also available to protect you.