Nutrition & MMA: Q&A with Jack Della Maddalena

True Protein Blog Avatar Fallback reviewed by our Nutrition Team 17 June 2024

Jack Della Maddalena is an Australian mixed martial artist who competes in the welterweight division. He is known for his striking skills and has made a name for himself in the sport with impressive performances in various fighting organisations including the UFC. Read on to find out how he prioritises nutrition.

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Nutrition & MMA: Q&A with Jack Della Maddalena

1. Tell us a bit about your sporting career. How did you begin fighting and what has the journey been like up until now?  

I first enjoyed watching MMA and then started playing the UFC playstation game and since then have really enjoyed the sport, I am lucky enough to have a brother of similar age so we practiced a lot at home and eventually found a gym and have been training together ever since. Started competing when I was 18 and have enjoyed the thrill of competition, whilst also loving the continued day to day progression of skills. 



2. Can you tell us about your training routine leading up to a fight? How do you balance different aspects like strength training, conditioning, and skill work? 

Most the sessions I do leading into a fight are heavily based around skills training focusing on specific skills that we believe are going to be most useful my opponents style of fighting. Conditioning mainly comes from sparring which I do about three times a week. I then do maybe an extra 2 specific conditioning sessions a week maybe running, skipping, echo bike or swimming. I try and diversify extra conditioning and tend to do most my strength training outside of fight camp.  



3. Nutrition plays a crucial role in athletic performance. How does your diet change during training camp compared to the off-season? 

I try to eat a balanced diet all year around. Leading into fights I eat in accordance with the intensity of the upcoming training session to make sure I am fully fuelled to get the most out of each session. If I have a highly intense session, I will load heavily on carbohydrates to ensure I can push hard through the whole workout. If I have a lighter session or day I'll limit my carbohydrates. 



4. As a professional athlete, you have specific nutritional needs. How do True products fit into your diet and training regimen? 

The True supplements are really great and you have such a wide range. Creatine, Glutamine and Electrolyte products help me recover and push through each training session, I take these supplements religiously for each workout. I also like to have the ZMA and Collagen supplements at night. I take the Greens product most mornings too. 



5. How do you think they contribute to your performance? 

All the supplements I take, I take with the purpose to make myself better, they all contribute to my health and wellbeing and therefore lead to better performance. I know that the products are safe and tested for quality purposes. The products help with my recovery with Glutamine easing soreness after training and the nighttime magnesium from ZMA improves my sleep. 



6. Weight management is critical in combat sports like MMA. How do you maintain your weight while ensuring you have enough energy for training and competition? 

I find the best way to maintain a suitable weight, is by timing what foods I eat in accordance with the intensity of my training sessions. I don't want to starve myself as this can lead to injury, lack of recovery and an all-round bad headspace. However, I do need to ensure I am going to make the certain weight of my category on weigh-in day. If I do have cravings for certain high calorie foods, I make sure I time it so that it will be used efficiently as fuel in the coming hours or possibly the next day. 



7. In such a physically demanding sport, injuries are inevitable. How do you use nutrition to aid in your recovery process? 

Currently I am battling an injury, a broken Ulna bone. I have been supplementing with Collagen to help aid bone strength as well as Protein to help rebuild tissue. 

But just generally taking these supplements will help aid in recovery so that I'm ready to train hard in coming sessions. If recovery isn't optimised, I think there's a much higher chance of injury in hard sessions especially when there is a calorie deficit involved. 



8. Mental preparation is just as important as physical training in combat sports. How do you maintain focus and mental clarity? 

I think visualisation is a great tool to prepare yourself for competition, being able to put your mind in situations ahead of time will allow you to make faster and better decisions when there is pressure on. I also like to use sauna and ice baths for certain meditative purposes, which I believe are important for the body but also the mind.  



9. Can you share any pre-fight rituals or routines you have? Do you have any regarding nutrition or supplementation? 

I don't really have any prefight rituals or routines; I try to eat a meal 3 hours before a contest and then maybe some lollies for fast burning sugars 30 minutes before. I don't have a certain meal that I have leading into it the fight, just see what I feel like at the time. 






10. What advice would you give to aspiring athletes about the role of nutrition in achieving success in combat sports? 

I think what you put into your body is what you'll get out of it, everyone is different so different things work better for different people. I do believe that there are certain supplements that make a difference to recovery and performance. Creatine really helps in endurance during hard sessions and magnesium in ZMA definitely helps the body recovering overnight with better sleep quality. Competition comes down to small percentages but I believe nutrition and supplementation can actually make large changes to performance and the bodies well being. 



11. Lastly, how has being sponsored by our brand impacted your career and performance as a UFC athlete?

Just being able to have such a large array of different supplements at my disposal is huge. True have introduced me to different products that I haven’t used in the past but now are part of my usual stack. I have also been able to meet some cool people through the True connection. I'm so very thankful to be part of the True family and excited for the future. 

IMPORTANT INFORMATION: all content provided here is of a general nature only and is not a substitute for individualised professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and reliance should not be placed on it. For personalised medical or nutrition advice, please make an appointment with your doctor, dietitian or qualified health careprofessional.