Nutrition Tips for Boxers
Training Tips / Jul 04, 2019
Eating the right things for any aspiring or professional athlete is extremely important to ensure you are always at the top of your game. The right kind of diet for any boxer will help to provide energy during training and bouts, as well as the right nutrients to help weight gain, promote muscle growth and to be low in fat.
Depending on what level and weight class of boxing you’re at, your calorie intake will differ. However, most boxers look to eat between 3000 and 5000 calories a day, and more towards the higher scale when training.
Following a strict diet plan can be difficult, especially if you are just starting out. We have put together some of our best nutrition tips for boxers, to ensure your body is getting the right nutrients to help boost your performance during training and fights.
When to eat
Having a regular schedule of when to eat is just as important as eating the right foods. Doing so will help you stay on track and allow you to have energy all day without needing to snack.
It’s best to avoid eating three big meals a day and actually have five or six smaller meals spaced out throughout the day. This helps to maintain a constant high energy level throughout the day.
Having larger meals can lead to you actually eating too much, which is bad for the body as it turns all of the excess food into fat. Having smaller meals throughout the day means you are never eating too much and you aren’t tempted to snack on unhealthy options throughout the day because of hunger.
The best time to eat slighter bigger meals are first thing in the morning, to help you get going, and 1-2 hours before training, to ensure you have enough energy to give a great performance and keep your concentration.
The rest of the six meals throughout the day can be slightly smaller, nutritious snack meals to help keep you going.
What to eat
There are four main food types a boxer needs that contain the essential nutrients to help boost performance.
Protein is the food needed to help build your muscle and promote recovery. Good sources of protein include:
- Lean meat such as chicken, beef and fish
- Peanut butter
When it comes to meat, ensure it is lean as this contains far less saturated fat than standard cuts.
Carbs are your source of much needed energy. You should focus on eating natural carbohydrates such as:
- Wholegrain bread
These types of carbs will leave you feeling fuller for longer and give you energy for a longer period over the day.
Healthy fats are great for the body. They give you energy, vitamins and minerals, and work to stimulate the brain.
Examples of healthy fats include:
- Oils such as olive oil, macadamia oil and coconut oil
Bad fats should be avoided, otherwise they can cause you to feel lethargic and not give your best performance.
Whilst water is not technically a food, it is extremely important to ensure your body is performing at its best.
Water helps to hydrate the body, which prevents any cramps and aches you may get. It is advised that you drink around 3 litres of water a day to keep your body hydrated, however do not exceed 6, otherwise this can cause issues for your body and brain function.
Other essential nutrients
Ensure you include nutrients such as vitamins and minerals into your diet, these can help to boost your immune system, organ functions and strengthen bones.
Fibre is also another essential nutrient, this helps with digestion and stops you feeling hungry throughout the day.
What to avoid eating
There are several types of food that can hinder your progress and should be avoided to ensure you are in the best shape. These include:
Bad fats are foods that the body struggles to digest. These tend to be found in pre-packaged products, processed and fast food.
Sugary foods such as chocolate, sweets and soft drinks will give you a short, sharp burst of energy but ultimately will leave you feeling bloated and tired. Avoid these and stick to things such as fruit for more natural sugars.
Highly acidic foods are linked with muscle deterioration, so stay away from these types of foods to maintain all of your hard work and training. These can include processed foods, fizzy drinks and some dairy products.
Alcohol is notorious for making your body very dehydrated. It can also leave you bloated and lethargic. As it can stop you being at your best the next day to train, avoid drinking as much as possible when you’re training and have goals to meet.
Nothing is a substitute for a good diet, avoid taking supplements and just focus on eating right and you will get all the nutrients you need to improve and perform. As above, they can also be acidic.
What to eat before and after a fight
Before a fight it can be difficult to know what the best food to eat is to ensure you have the energy and stamina to last in the fight, without being bloated or feeling sick.
It is usually recommended that food such as fruits, especially bananas, are your go to food before a fight. They are easily digestible, are a great energy source and are great at helping to retain muscle function.
It is extremely important to eat the right foods after a fight, to help aid your body’s healing process and get you back training quicker. Foods that are high in carbs and protein but low in fibre are great at aiding the recovery of muscle tissue. Also ensure you drink lots of water to help with digestion and hydration.
How else can you focus and improve?
Now you’ve got your food schedule and diet down, you might want to consider updating your training equipment and regime.