Grappling, waiting, wishing, whining

I do try to keep this blog a place to honour companies making quality vegan sports products. And there is more progress almost every month, so I am optimistic.

However, I do believe there are a few gaps in the market which I think would do well to be filled – if only for my own selfish needs. Who knows, maybe a budding entrepreneur out there, or just a crazy chemist with a penchant for ethical products, will seize this opportunity to go forth and create!

Grappling is so tough on your skin but also your immune system. So as bad as I know it is for my skin, I do just scrub it senseless with the strongest cleansing products I can find. Because I do pretty much all of my showering at the gym, I spend very limited time or resources on my personal care routine, so I use the same products on my face as on my body, and don’t moisturise as often as I’d like. After a busy week, this does leave me feeling a bit frayed around the edges, not to mention that I am pretty sure I am subconsciously always alert for signs of tinea or other fungal infections.

Now I know that most of the health and beauty products out there really are totally superfluous to our needs, and that many simple remedies work just as well as expensive shiny packaged products. I am the first one to declare that a mixture of rock salt and olive oil rubbed into my skin before a soak in the tub is the best thing I have ever done. However, sometimes it is nice to have a nice-smelling, well-packaged, and convenient product. Unfortunately, not many of those available are vegan-friendly. So this is my imaginary wishlist.

1. Vegan sports wash

This is a big one for me, and something I have already talked about. There are sports-specific washes out there already which are just more intense formulas with stronger antibacterial agents, and with more people turning to eco-friendly and skin-friendly options, why not just go that extra step and make it cruelty-free too?

2. Vegan antifungal face wash

Totally superfluous to one’s needs, I know. But after years of slightly patchy slighty red cheeks (and years of my mum suggesting it is a fungus), I think I can safely say they is not just hormonal blemishes, nor even a reaction to cold, wet, or windy weather. But I don’t really care to do much about it as I know that it’s unlikely I will fend whatever it is off for long, considering I spend a few hours each week rolling around with sweaty people on sweaty mats. So it would be nice to have a product that will blitz anything that doesn’t belong on my face, whilst maybe also doing something nice like making it smell good or moisturising it for me, protecting it during my seemingly perpetually windy walk home.

3. Vegan antifungal moisturiser

Just an extension of the above. I have spent an hour having people grab at my wrists and ankles, flip me like a pancake, try to twist my limbs in the opposite direction from the one they are expected to move in, and occasionally choke me. I have then possibly sat in a sauna, before standing under a cold shower waiting for it to warm up, by which time I will stand under near-boiling water to make up for the cold I have just had to endure. Paranoid about what I have come into contact with curing my session, I will scrub at my skin with a vengeance, then towel it off vigorously trying to save precious minutes and get out of the gym at a vaguely sociable hour. Long story short, after a few days my skin is pretty much sandpaper. With a good antifungal bodywash, I guess a moisturiser doesn’t need to be antifungal, but it would be a nice option for that extra bit of protection.

4. Vegan boxing gloves, MMA gloves, and shinguards

I know there are some out there. I’ve used a decent set for years, and I have mentioned some on my training gear page. But there just aren’t enough out there, and they’re not very readily available. I don’t think I need to say any more about this. It’s just obvious.

5. Vegan collagen supplement

This is one from Ben. Whilst I just want to recover enough to be able to function and train the next day, he has a much higher vantage point and spares a few thoughts for the poor joints and tendons which not only get stressed during exercise, but which get deliberately twisted and stretched in grappling. Collagen helps with ligament, tendon, muscle and skin repair, and as far as I can tell, does not exist in a vegan-friendly form. This probably should have been number one on the list, as it is almost undoubtedly the most important, but I’m vain.

I guess that’s all for now – see, I don’t ask for much! I do truly believe that a few more products along these lines would make a huge difference.

You’ve got people out there like BodyArmour waking up to the fact that grapplers and mixed martial artists need sport-specific products, and that many of these people will appreciate the value of natural, organic ingredients. This product is vegan-friendly, and they are also launching a female version soon – yay! To me, this makes it fairly obvious that there is a market. And if there is a market for a vegan-friendly female MMA-specific body wash, surely someone can find it in their hearts to develop at least one of the above products?

If not, one can dream… Please do add your thoughts and wishes as it would be great to get a little creative here and help make the world a better place for everyone. Alternatively, please do tell me if any of the above exists already!