Boxing is a great way to stay trim and healthy and if you eat the right things before and after exercise, you will improve your overall performance no end. Here we are going to show you how to eat like a boxer so that your diet becomes a real training aid.
Why is Nutrition important?
Like with many sports diets, what we eat and when is very important. Boxing is about being light without losing power, so you’ll need lots of nutrients to keep those energy levels up. Professional fighters go to great lengths to make weight, striking that fine balance between body weight and muscle mass. Here we look at the best ways to achieve both.
How often should a Boxer eat?
In order to peak during your training session, you should forget the average of three meals a day that you normally eat. To maintain good levels of energy in time for an early evening training sessions, you should consider five to six reasonably sized meals a day, and avoid starving yourself as the drop in energy will affect performance.
Here is a breakdown of meal sizes and meal times -
<b>Breakfast (7-8am) - A large breakfast is important to kickstart the day (ideally after a short morning run)
<b>Mid Morning (11am) - A snack to keep you ticking over until lunch
<b>Afternoon (1-2pm) - This is your pre-workout meal and your biggest of the day, filled with a balance of key nutrients.
<b>Training (5-6pm) A bit of fruit and plenty of regular sips of water pre-workout will increase energy and hydration during sessions.
<b>Dinner (8-9pm) This is your recovery meal which shouldn’t be too big.
What foods should I eat for a balanced Boxing diet?
Eating the right types of carbs, proteins and fats is key to progressive training. Eating the wrong foods can make you lose energy and in some cases gain too much weight. So it’s essential you have a balanced diet made up of only the good stuff.
Carbohydrates, often referred to as carbs, are essential for boosting and maintaining your energy levels during fights or workouts, helping maximise your stamina. If you have tried diets or taken plenty of fitness classes in the past, carbs might be seen as a negative, but this is not the case for boxers.
Carbs can be broken down into two types, good and bad, each affecting your blood sugar levels differently.
Bad or Simple Carbs
These are the types of carbs that will give you a food coma, releasing excessive amounts of sugar into the body. They should be avoided at all times.
- Anything with white/wheat flour base
- White bread
- Pastries (including pizza!)
Good or Complex Carbs
Good carbs have less of an impact on glucose and insulin levels and they take much longer to absorb, meaning more long-lasting energy.
- Sweet Potatoes
- Whole Grain Bread
- Oats and Rice
- Fruits and Veggies
When it comes to taking care of your muscles, protein is number one. It is the very foundations on which your muscles are based and essential to their construction. Proteins also help reduce muscle injury and promote quicker overall recovery after sessions.
If you are choosing meat as a way to get your protein intake, try to avoid frying or bread coating as this can have a negative impact on your performance. Here are the proteins you should consider -
- Lean Beef
- Peanut / Almond Butter
- Protein Supplements
Good fats are very important to a boxer’s diet. They help energy levels and assist in mineral and vitamin absorption. They also stimulate brain health, which is key in a sport where frequent head impacts can be of concern. Here are some great ideas for good fats.
- Flax Seed
- Fish Oil
- Coconut Oil
People don’t often think of water as a dietary requirement but it can help with everything from losing weight to recovery. Staying hydrated is essential if you want to perform at any level. How much water you drink will depend on your size and how frequently you train.
You should constantly be questioning your diet. Are you getting enough protein with enough carbs to process it? Do you feel fatigued? If so maybe you need more fats. Are you fully hydrated during and after training? There is no one set rule for everyone, but using our guidelines you will find the right balance much quicker.