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    5 Tips for a Better Sleep

    5 Tips for a Better Sleep

    People always look for magic recipes to have a better health, having more focus, recovering faster from physical activities or stress and, of course, for losing weight. But in reality, we have a very powerful tool from nature that will beat all those miraculous formulas:


    A nice and deep sleep night!


    A good sleep allows your body to recover and also to perform vital metabolic processes, such as getting rid of toxic proteins in the brain. During REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, your “sleeping” brain is very busy consolidating short-term memories into long-term memories.

    It's no surprise that sleep deprivation has been associated with a lot of health issues, the ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. 

    Research shows that not getting enough sleep, or getting poor-quality sleep, also increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes.(1)

    So, as this is a very important issue, most of times overlooked, we researched proven factors to consider if you want to have a quality sleeping time:


    1. Turn the Lights Off

    Light helps to regulate the body biological clock, especially through melatonin, a hormone that indicates to your body that it’s time to sleep. When we turn all the lights off the body starts to produce melatonin. But the blue light, naturally produced by the sun and also by the TV screens, computers, and smartphones disrupts the production of melatonin. So the important tip here is to reduce the exposure to blue light in the evening.

    2. Try to be consistent on sleeping time

    Your body aligns itself with sunrise and sunset. Being consistent with waking and sleep times can improve the quality of your sleep dramatically. It's just like a computer program. That's why on Mondays it is always a hard day to wake up and you feel sleepy and tired all day long.  If that's sounds familiar for you, probably your weekend sleep pattern is not the same as weekdays.

    Studies show that an irregular pattern of sleep can also alter your levels of melatonin (2).


    3. Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine during night time

    Alcohol is known to increase sleep apnea, snoring and disrupted sleep patterns. Drinking alcohol before bed also can reduce nighttime hormone production. A study (3) shows that ethanol decreases nocturnal plasma levels of thyroid hormones, causing the disturbance of many other factors.

    Regarding the Caffeine, it's a very popular substance that has proven to bring many benefits, like focus enhancement and energy boosting. Many people use it for improving the sports performance. But people don't realize that taking this substance in the late evening, will stop your body from naturally relaxing.

    So, be careful on what you drink with your dinner. Sometimes that glass of wine, soft drink or the expresso after the meal are the bad guys behind your troubled sleeping!


    4. Exercise hard to sleep well or sleep well to exercise hard?

    Definitively exercising during the day leads to a better sleep at night. But this is a kind of controversial subject with regard to the potential sleep disruption that may be caused due to a hard workout done in the late evening.

    The findings here are that exercising lead to an increase in the production of adrenaline and also raises your body temperature. (both negative factor for a good night sleep). But those factors are temporary. So, unless you finish your workout and jump straight to bed, these effects may be compensated by a warm bath and a cool temperature bedroom.

    A study also shows that increased physical activity improves sleep and mood in inactive people.(4). But not everyone is the same. You will have to listen to your body and determine is the time you go to the gym is causing you a poor night sleep.


    Now, one thing to watch is regarding the muscles or joints pains that the workout may produce in your body. If you did workout too hard this may be felt during the night and disrupt your sleep. Also in the next morning you will feel tired and sore because your body needs more rest to recover. With this regard, it's important to have the correct nutrition and post training supplementation.  Glucosamine formulas taken regularly can help to improve a lot the joints discomfort, while BCAAs (amino acids) will support your muscles regeneration process.


    5. Try to Supplement with Melatonin

    Melatonin is a key sleep hormone that signals to your brain when it's time to relax and go to bed (5). Often used to treat insomnia, it may be the easiest and fastest way to fall into a deep sleep. It can also help fight jet lag, and that's why melatonin is especially popular among frequent travel flyers.

    Other natural supplements that combined with melatonin can help:

    Magnesium: Lack of magnesium, a mineral that plays an important role in the brain, can result in abnormal neuronal excitations leading to a troubled sleep. 

    Valerian root: Valerian is an herb native to Asia and Europe. Its root is commonly used as a natural treatment for symptoms of anxiety, depression and menopause. This root is backed by several studies that show it can help you fall asleep and improve sleep quality.(6)

    L-Theanine: An amino acid, l-theanine can improve relaxation and sleep. (7)

    Tryptophan: Study reports that doses as low as 1 gram per day of this essential amino acid may help improve sleep quality. (8)

    And many other natural ingredients, such as Chamomile, Vitamin B6, St. John’s Wort, Gaba, Skullcap and Ashwaganda, are already being used in the best sleeping formulas that are available in the market.


    For athletes, a good night sleep worth as much as a heavy day of training. Recovery is very important to take you to the next level of performance of your sport. So, make sure to follow these tips and have a good night!


    Rilion Gracie

    Gracie Essentials Team




    (1) https://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/sleep/conditioninfo/sleep-deprivation

    (2) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12220314

    (3) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8675588

    (4) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25903450

    (5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9556097

    (6) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20347389

    (7) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15378679

    (8) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19715722/

    No Gym? No Problem.

    No Gym? No Problem.

    No Gym? No Problem. The Best Workouts That Can Be Done At Home! 

    By Travis Stevens 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist & BJJ Black Belt: FUJI Fit - Train Like The Pros

    Never doubt the amount of quality training you can get in from the comfort of your own home. Too often people complain about not being able to get to a gym. Whether you don’t have time, or don’t have money, there is never a good enough excuse not to train. If you really care about your craft, you’ll find a way to work on it every single day. The good news is, at FUJI Fit, we’re here to help! Follow these guidelines to a quality at home workout and find a way to get it done!


    We like to break up workouts into modalities. Meaning components, and build upon one to the next. The main modalities we want to hit? Mobility, Activation, Plyometrics/Speed, Strength Training, Conditioning.


    Every workout for any judo/bjj athlete who is any good will include some component of mobility. From a simple 90/90, to ankle mobility work, and even hip CARs (controlled articular rotations) the best way to prime your body for the workout to come is through mobility work. Additionally, we find that a body that moves through full ranges of motion every single day, tends to gain more strength through those ranges. Ultimately this will yield in you being in control of your body, no matter what position it gets put into on the mats.


    From mobility, we’ll move next into some activation work. It definitely helps to have a few varieties of bands at home. They’re pretty cheap but are incredibly versatile pieces of equipment as well. This will allow you to get some solid banded hip flexor drills in, some glute bridges, monster walks, some bear crawls, and even banded pushups to really fire up the body!


    Depending on how much room you have in your house, plyometrics may or may not be possible. While not necessarily pertinent to the at home workout, they can definitely elevate the level. When we talk plyos at home, we mean explosive stuff! This can include medicine ball work (if you have one), bodyweight jump squats, and sprinting/speed work (if you have the space. Keep this simple and keep it fun!

    Strength Training

    Now it’s time to get right down to it. Your workout for the day. Body weight workouts can be made more challenging by adding a tempo to each exercise. A tempo written as 3/1/2 means a 3 second descent, a 1 second pause, and a 2 second ascent. Consider this when you’re programming your workout too. For the actual workout we like to follow the concept of KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid). That means: Push, Pull, Core. For the entire workout, for the upper body, program a push, a pull, and a core. For lower body program a push, a pull, and a core. For variety, we like to program an upper body push with a lower body pull and a core. And an upper body pull with a lower body push and a core.

    So what does that look like using body weight? Take a look at the potential at home program below for some general ideas:

    DAY 1



    Toe Sit to Squat

    Shin Box

    Activation (Tri-Set):

    Band Matrix 3 x 8 each

    Monster Walks 3 x 10 each direction

    Bear Crawls 3 x 10 Forward/Backward

    Plyometric Circuit:

    Jump Squat 3 x 5

    Med Ball Rainbow Slams 3 x 5 ea

    Lean Fall Run 3 x each leg

    Workout Tier 1 (Tri-Set):

    Single Leg Squat 3 x 10 ea (set a tempo to make it harder 3/1/2)

    Chin Up 3 x 5 ea (find a stairwell or doorframe if you don’t have a chinup bar!)

    Plank Circuit 3 x each (:60 front, :45 each side, don’t drop down!)

    Workout Tier 2 (Tri-Set):

    Single Leg DeadLift or SLDL 3 x 10 ea (Set a tempo for a big challenge!)

    Push Up 3 x 12 (set a tempo or add bands or elevate feet for a bigger challenge)

    Straight Leg Sit Up 3 x 12 (Add weight or reps for a bigger challenge)


    It is always a good idea to finish with some kind of conditioning workout. Even in the comfort of your own home, this is still possible to accomplish. You can do 10 minutes straight of ladder drills if you have one, and keep your heart rate high (and improve the neuromuscular response of your footwork as well). Or you could lace up some running shoes and hit the streets for a longer run. Or head to the track for some sprints. Have an exercise bike? Great! Get some low impact interval work in! The options are endless here.

    Last Thoughts

    Working out at home has never been easier. Take a look at the FUJI Fit blog and talk to coaches you know and trust for more tips and tricks. Having access to bands and kettlebells will only elevate your home workout game too.

    The best part about working out at home? It is simple, convenient, and a real time saver. Access to the right knowledge about how to program at home workouts helps to keep you on track. And most importantly, having a plan is absolutely necessary if you’re going to find success!

    Check out some other body weight strength training we have at FUJI Fit too.

    Thirty minutes and your body is all you need to get a little bit better today. What’re you waiting for?

    by Gracie Essentials

    The Power of a True Miracle Finally Proven by Science

    The Power of a True Miracle Finally Proven by Science

    Following my father's steps and legacy, I became an autodidact when the subject is related to improve our health and overcome physical challenges.

    Now, imagine a pill that was proven to reduce mortality rates by two digits percentage rate, improve cognition and reduce metabolic disorders like obesity and fatty liver disease.

    Not good enough? How about a supplement that is also able to fight depression, some types of dementia and even cancer, autoimmune disease and kidney disorders?

    Well, this is not an invention of a distant future. Actually this is real and exists right now, available to all of us. The name of this magic ingredient is "FISH OIL".

    Several clinic trials revealed in the past the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids the cardiovascular system. But more recent data shows so much more. A series of benefits that can impact virtually every aspect of our health.

    A meta-analysis published last year found that highest consumption of Omega-3s from fish oil was associated with a 14% reduction in the risk of dying from any cause, compared to the lowest category of consumption. (1)


    Studies also have shown that omega-3 fatty acids like EPA and DHA have benefits in metabolic disorders such as obesity and diabetes, in neurological disorders like depression and Alzheimer's, as well as in auto-immune disease and cancer.

    Omega-3s favourably affect this wide variety of conditions because they reduce the body's overall burden of Inflammation. (2) By fighting inflammation, omega-3s helps us combat numerous age-related issues.


    Metabolic Syndrome is a cluster of conditions that includes some combinations of high blood pressure, belly fat, high blood sugar, and abnormal lipid profiles. The main driver of this syndrome is obesity. Omega-3 supplements show remarkable effects on the causes of these disorders. 

    Obesity is a major risk factor for chronic illnesses, in large part because in obese individuals, fat cells churn out massive amounts of inflammation-inducing proteins (called cytokines). (3) These proteins play a role of promoting insulin resistance as well as fatty liver disease and diabetes.


    Omega-3s play vital roles in the brain's structure and function. The problem is that as we get older our brain the omega-3 fats reduce gradually, leading to brain plasticity loss, which is the ability to form new connections and retain memories.  (4). The good news is that supplementation with Omega-3 can favourably alter brain structure and function, fighting age-related conditions such as memory impairments and Alzheimer's. (5) 


    Depression comes from many different forms and can arise for any number of reasons. Studies show consistently that omega-3s have benefits against depression, regardless of the cause.

    In a recent study, young adults with symptoms of depression were randomly assigned to take placebo or 1,000mg EPA / 400 mg DHA daily (6). After only 21 days, an amazing number of 67% taking omega-3s "no longer met the criteria for being depressed". This is a clear evidence of the power of this supplement in so many aspects of the human body activities.


    If you go to the nearest pharmacy chain store to buy their shelf available commercial formula of "natural fish oil" supplement, you will find enormous jars of softgels at a very cheap price. But when you take a closer look, you will see the recommended dose contains 3,600 mg of fish oil, but only 1,080 mg of total omega-3 fats. And you will not find how much of EPA and DHA is in the formula. That means only 30% of the daily serving may be beneficial EPA/DHA.

    To achieve the desired intake, you would need to take 6 large softgels of this commercial products and get fishy burps all day long. Seriously!

    Now, another important thing is the purity and quality of the fish-oil. Want to run a test with a cheap fish oil softgel brand? Put it in a freezer and leave overnight. If it gets frozen, that indicates a very low quality supplement.

    In summary, check for the following when buying your supplement:

    - High Potency per Serving
    - High EPA and DHA Content
    - Source Of the Fish Oil (Sea Harvest Pelagic Fish Oil are the Best)
    - Check if it is tested for impurities
    - Choose softgels with flavor or that do not leave you with that fishy aftertaste

    Now, If you really want to get an upgrade in your healthy lifestyle, this is the contribution I can leave for you in this blog post. After all that's all about keep up with my father's legacy.

    Rilion Gracie by Gracie Essentials

    Gracie Essentials - The Best Natural Supplements and Vitamins in the Market



    (1) Fish, long chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids consumption, and risk of all-cause mortality: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis from 23 independent prospective cohort studies. Wan Y1, Zheng J2, Wang F1, Li D3,4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28802305

    (2) Omega-3 fatty acids and inflammatory processes: from molecules to man. Calder PC1,2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28900017

    (3) Obesity and the role of adipose tissue in inflammation and metabolism. Greenberg AS1, Obin MS. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16470013

    (4) Long-chain omega-3 fatty acids and the brain: a review of the independent and shared effects of EPA, DPA and DHA. Simon C. Dyall. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4404917/  

    (5) Impact of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplementation on Memory Functions in Healthy Older Adults. Külzow N1,2, Witte AV3, Kerti L4, Grittner U5, Schuchardt JP6, Hahn A6, Flöel A1,2,4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26890759 

    (6) Short-term supplementation of acute long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids may alter depression status and decrease symptomology among young adults with depression: A preliminary randomized and placebo controlled trial. Ginty AT1, Conklin SM2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26188642


    There Is No Shortcut in Life! Where's Your True North?

    There Is No Shortcut in Life! Where's Your True North?

    I always say that Gracie Essentials is much more than just a new brand of supplements and vitamins in the market. It's actually a way I found to take my father's legacy to the next level, by helping people to overcome their physical challenges.

    So, in order to make this happen there is one thing one cannot forget: stay always truthful to your principles. Remember where you came from and do not let the society pressure corrupt your most valuable asset: Your True North, Your Mission in Life. This is the actual direction you have to follow. Doesn't matter how slow or how fast, but do not take easy detours. There is no shortcut to life.

    And that is where all the concern with the quality of our supplements come in the scene. I would never accept to add anything in my formulas that could go against everything I learned during my entire life journey.

    Gracie Essentials, the best quality functional nutrition for everyone, whether you are an athlete or just a weekend warrior, this brand was made for you. 

    And if you want to know more about my father's legacy, download for free the e-Book "7 Life Hacks by Grandmaster Carlos Gracie". A real journey through the real history of Jiujitsu and the modern MMA.



    Rilion Gracie 

    The Real History Behind the Origins of the Modern Multi Martial Arts

    The Real History Behind the Origins of the Modern Multi Martial Arts

    There are many controversial histories behind the origin of the modern MMA and how this new combat sport became so popular in the entire world, changing the life of millions. But I can tell you the real facts, show you pictures and give you my personal testimonial, because this is also the history of my family's legacy.

    Everything began when my grandfather Gastão, tried somehow to channel the energies of his unsettled son, convincing him to take martial arts lessons with a Japanese immigrant called Mitsuyo Maeda, aka Conde Koma. At the age of 14, in 1916, my father Carlos Gracie became the first Gracie to learn Jiu-Jitsu.

    That was how a very troublesome boy, who used to play with the caimans in the rivers of Belem do Para, north of Brazil, began the legacy that would grow exponentially until the modern days, several years after his passing.

    Curious and endowed with a strong sense of observation, my father studied and learned the JiuJitsu techniques in a prodigious way, earning Maeda’s trust.

    To have an idea of the specialization level my father reached in applying the techniques, he was able to tell the opponent in the sparring sessions that he would submit him with an arm bar in his right arm. The opponent was then very alert to the moves, hiding the arm, not giving a chance, but that was completely useless. My father was always able to execute the move anyway.

    That marked the beginning of the technical improvement and innovation in the techniques. The beginning of the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu. At around 22 years of age my father made a profession of the Gentle Art in Rio de Janeiro, to where the family had moved. He sought adversaries by issuing public challenges, sowed the seeds of the modern MMA, set up an academy attracting influential figures from high society and structured a family into the most famous martial arts clan in the world.

    On his very particular way of seeing the world, my father, Grand Master Carlos Gracie, was just in the beginning of his amazing journey.

    What happens next and what are the lessons learned? Well this is long so, in order to help to spread my father's history to younger generations, I put together several pieces of materials, publications, memories and created a bilingual e-book (English/Portuguese) where I summarized his main life lessons, which brought me here where I am right now and were able to perpetuate his legacy until today.

    You can easily download the first edition of the book for free clicking here:




    Hope you enjoy the journey of this reading! I would love to hear your impressions, comments and feedbacks about it! OSS!

    Rilion Gracie - Gracie Essentials

    free e-book gracie essentials

    This e-book is offered to you by Gracie Essentials, the supplements and vitamins company founded by Master Rilion Gracie