Athletes In Focus
Feel Supreme sponsored Nick Santangeli

We sat down with mixed martial artist Nick Santangeli recently to get an insight into his diet, lifestyle and recent bout. Fighting out of the MMA Academy in Liverpool, Nicks latest performance was under the UK Fighting Championships banner, were he took an impressive second round submission win.

Nick combines his role as a martial artist with that of a Sergeant in the Royal  Army Physical Training Corps, both of which require a dedication to clean living.

We spotted Nicks potential as a martial artist and dedication to continuos self improvement through clean living early on in his career, and were keen to strike a sponsorship deal. Nick embodies the whole Feel Supreme philosophy of living an holistic, clean lifestyle.

First of all, congratulations on your win at the weekend. How did the fight go in terms of game plan and performance?

Thank you. Going into this fight, my main game plan was to relax into the fight and not rush my work, a mistake I made in my last fight. I achieved this by being In the moment at all times, not thinking or attaching myself to the end result of win loose or draw. (Head coach) Jason Tan said to me before I walked into the cage, “do what you do in the gym and you’ll be fine”, and I feel I done exactly that!

Other than training to fight, what  preparation do you go through in terms of mind set, diet, lifestyle etc?

The main point worth mentioning about my preparation is the plant based diet I have during fight camps. I stick to fruit, veg, nuts and seeds and I strongly feel like this makes the difference when it comes to performance. I have been experimenting throughout all my 4 camps of 2017 and since changing to complete plant based, I have noticed the most improvements both physically and mentally. Were able, I stick to organic food, ensuring I’m not eating any unnecessary chemicals. Being sponsored by a company such as Feel Supreme really helps with this as I know all my vitamins/mineral supplements are chemical free and fully vegan.

The second part of my preparation is the mental aspect of fighting. I myself suffer with a lot of nerves and become scared sometimes thinking about the fight haha! Crazy thoughts go through my head- everything from “what will happen if I lose?” to “will my coaches stop believing in me?” etc. A lot of nonsense. So I spend a lot of time reading and researching on how to overcome these thoughts and emotions.
I feel my last performance was a prime example on how I have learned to overcome these thoughts.  I was really nervous leading up to the fight and through reprogramming my thought process I was able to completely be in the moment once stepping in the cage and put on a clinical performance.
You’re not only a training partner, but also a close friend of BAMMA Champion and fellow Feel Supreme sponsored Tim Barnett. Tim is very vocal about his holistic approach to life, an approach you mentioned above with your plant based diet and training the mental side. Do you think the old school mentality of “eat what you want but train like a beast” is quickly being replaced with more of a conscious, clean lifestyle?
Tim is one of the main reasons I started looking into this type of life! I instantly connected with him as a training partner and friend, so it felt only right to explore his approach to his diet and mindset. Thank god I did because it’s been one of the most important changes to my life I could of made.

No to be completely honest, I don’t think it is. It is becoming more popular, which is amazing, but I see it in my role of head of physical development for an Army Unit, a Strenght and Conditioning coach and also a fighter. People are still really stuck in the old approach to dieting and training. Some people believe it works for them, but I guarantee no matter what your goals are, living a more plant based and conscious life will only propel your performance in a positive direction. I believe it’s our job to educate people to the best of our ability and to make a real difference.
We agree, being conscious of what you eat and how you live can only improve you and push you in a positive direction. 

A lot of people will scoff at the thought of giving up meat, but a plant based diet can’t be too bad can it? What would a general days worth of food look like for you?

I was one of them people, but because I love evolving as an S&C coach and a fighter I gave it ago! And I haven’t looked back!

Here is so pictures of the my day to day meals

Post workout smoothie
Raw, organic salads

Another misconception of a vegan diet, particularly for an athlete, is that you don’t get enough protein. What vegan protein sources do you consume?

Near enough every vegetable has protein in it, so because I eat so much veg I get a lot that way.  I also eat a lot of organic nut butters, beans, lentils and also hemp products such as hemp protein & hemp seeds.
And what kind of supplements do you include in your diet?

The main supplements I use are the core basics of minerals and vitamins, such as vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Vitamin D3, CoQ10 and a few others added in there like Cordyceps and Reishi mushrooms. All supplied by Feel Supreme of course!
How do those supplements help you. What role does the COQ10, the reishi and Cordyceps play?

CoQ10 is found in every cell of the body which is used as energy for cell growth. Using this was recommended to me during a tough period of one of my fight camps, I found it really beneficial and helpful.

The Cordyceps and Reishi benefits are endless, I could list so many! The main 2 reasons for myself are the help it gives your immune system and helps improve athletic performance. Any natural help we can get as athletes is a bonus haha.

Final question- what does the future hold for you? 

 Short term, I have 8 weeks before I start camp again so I’m working on my strength & conditioning and also my BJJ. Just enjoying my training with zero pressure. 

Come the new year I’m hoping to fight in February on FCC & UK Fighting Championship in March. That will be a solid start to the year!

​Long term, I’m planning on going as far as I can in this sport and also opening one of the best S&C gyms in Liverpool, specialising in fighter conditioning.

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Matt Murphy

Feel Supreme


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