The Importance Of Good Diet To A Boxer
For the boxer, as with any other athlete, a good healthy diet plan is a crucial part of staying in shape and keeping up with the heavy physical demands that the sport placess on your body, so we will discuss nutrition in this section.
A healthy diet is vital. All boxers need to eat well in order to maintain muscle strength and provide energy in the ring to avoid feeling tired and sluggish during a fight. Fighters need to have flexibility, movement, strength, endurance and energy to perform well in the ring, as a result they require a nutritious healthy diet plan which will provide high levels of energy to last throughout the entire duration of a fight. Unlike most other sports, whilst a fighter needs muscle and power behind them, they are also further limited by the weight restrictions of their fighting weight class, so developing and maintaining a proper diet plan is essential for boxers.
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A healthy diet for all boxers must include carbohydrates, proteins and fats. They are all vital for providing the energy and nutrition that a fighter needs in his daily diet.
Calculating Your Dietary Needs
Here is a quick guide so that anyone at all can roughly calculate their daily dietary needs.............
You require approximately 1.3 Calories per hour for every 1Kg (2.2 pound) of your body weight, just to function normally - So if you weigh 65Kg (143 pound), you will require 65 x 1.3 x 24 = 2,028 Calories per day just to remain healthy.
When you exercise/train you require an extra 8.5 Calories per Kg of body weight for every hour you workout. So if you train for two hours per day, you will require an extra 65 x 8.5 x 2 = 1,105 Calories......Making your required calorie intake that day amount to 3133 Calories (2,028 + 1,105)
Some of those calculations can get a wee bit complicated, so i have gathered some calculators together that do the maths for you. Just click on any of the calculators below, enter your details and they'll do the calculation for you.
Boxing is an anaerobic activity which requires professional boxers to maintain high energy levels for fifteen intensive 3-minute rounds. Therefore a boxers diet must include nutrition which will provide the correct strength, power, and weight ratio. That is best maintained by including food sources of high energy and low fat content in their diet.
For this reason, carbohydrates are the ideal foodstuff for a healthy boxers diet as carbohydrates release energy slowly for a sustained period of time, replacing lost glycogen stores and increasing stamina during fights and. Some carbohydrates, particularly processed carbohydrates which are derived from white flour, such as white bread and pasta, contain calories that are less useful in a healthy boxing diet, given their low nutritional value. Instead, boxers should eat natural carbohydrates such as Sweet Potatoes (Yams) Beans, Whole-Wheat Grain, Fruits and Porridge, which are packed full of useful nutrients, in their daily diet plan.
Because carbohydrates are such effective sources of energy, boxers should include more of them as part of their diet than any other foodstuff.
Many sports nutritionists recommend that 45 - 55 percent of a boxers diet should be made up of carbohydrates.
For example, out of a boxers daily diet that consists of 4000 calories - 1800 to 2200 of those calories should be derived from natural carbohydrates, roughly equating to 550 grams in weight, in a healthy diet.
You can use this calculator to work out your daily carbohydrate needs (link opens in a new tab)
Boxers often experience small tears in their muscles after training or an actual fight, causing them to feel tired and sore, so it is crucial that sufficient protein is included in the diet.
Protein works to repair damaged muscle and increase muscle growth, preventing long lasting damage, but protein also acts as a further energy source, preventing the boxers body from using its much valued muscle for energy.
Chicken, Tuna, Egga and Lean Beef are all good sources of protein in a fighters daily diet, as are protein drinks(such as ‘Accelerade’ or ‘Rapid Recovery’) although these should only be taken by those engaged in a serious and intensive.
For concentrated muscle increase, boxers should consume a protein drink duringand another one immediately after training as part of their diet regime.
Many sports nutritionists recommend that protein should make up 30 to 40 percent of the boxers daily diet.
OMEGA-3 and OMEGA-6 FATS, also known as Essential Fats or Fatty Acids, are both needed for the production of Prostaglandins, a type of hormone which keeps the body in good working order.
Seafood or Walnuts are ideal sources of Omega Fat, or alternatively, Flaxseed Oil and Cod Liver Oil can be taken as healthy diet supplements. They are purified of the contaminants often found in Fish.
The healthy body also needs Monounsaturated Fats which are found in foods such as Olives, Seeds and Avocados.
Many sports nutritionists recommend that boxers should ensure that roughly 15 percent of their daily diet is made up of Essential and Monounsaturated Fats for maximum health benefits.
Good Fats absorb certain vitamins that are essential for a healthy body, so keeping fat intake to lower than 15 percent is likely only to have a negative effect on a boxer.
Water is an essential part of the diet for staying healthy and energised, particularly in a strenuous sport such as boxing where it is very easy to become dehydrated.
Boxers should ensure that 8 - 10 Glasses of Water are included in their Daily Diet, increasing their water consumption during a fight.
There is more detailed advice about water consumption further down this page.
What NOT To Eat
The following foods are all high in fat and sugar content, and although they may provide you with temporary high bursts of energy, those are short lasting energy sources and will soon cause you to feel tired, sluggish, and to put on unwanted. For this reason they should be excluded from a fighters healthy diet as far as possible:
Off Season Diets
What is a good off season diet for a boxer?
During the period when a boxer is not fighting or in pre fight training, their diet will need to change slightly due to the less.
Sports nutritionists usually recommend that during the off season period, a boxers diet should alter slightly to contain a daily ratio of 60% Carbohydrates, 20% Protein and 20% Fats.
In order to delay feelings of tiredness during a fight, a boxers diet must include food that will provide energy, be easily digested and maintain normal blood sugar levels during the fight.
Sports nutritionists recommend that a healthy diet plan for a boxer should involve taking increasingly smaller meals as a fight gets closer, sticking to lighter starchy foods such as Brown Bread Sandwiches, Fruit and Cereals. Most Vegetables, Beans and Bulky Fruits should be avoided as these can cause diarrhoea, and similarly Cabbage and Dry Beans can be bad, given their gas forming potential.
Boxers should never add new foods to their daily diet just before a fight, to avoid the risk of a bad reaction.
Fighters should Drink 400 - 600 ml of water two or three hours before the fight, to help maintain hydration, although drinking too much water just before entering the boxing ring could have an adverse reaction.
Post Fight Diets
What is a good post fight diet for a boxer?
The main intention of the after fight diet is to help the boxers body recover as effectively and quickly as possible, by restoring glycogen levels and preventing the body from consuming its own muscle mass for energy.
Immediately after a fight, the fighters diet should contain food which are high in protein and carbohydrates, low in fibre, and consume low fibrous drinks, eating a similar meal every two hours. The recovery meal is even more effective if the diet is liquidised, aiding quicker digestion. The combination of protein and carbohydrates in the boxers post fight diet aids the repair of muscle tissue, speeding up the period of recovery before he can return to intensive training again.
Once six hours have passed after the fight, the fighter can return to their ordinary diet.
General Boxing Dietary Tips
Proper hydration is very important for a boxer during aor an actual fight.
It is obvious that you will quickly begin to struggle physically and mentally if you are dehydrated, so everyone knows that you should drink plenty water, but not everyone knows that it can be almost as bad if you drink too much water!..........So how much water should a boxer drink as part of a healthy diet?
Well as a basic rule for the average person working out, it is roughly 5 ounces of water for every 15 minutes of exercise. If you are a boxer, that can make the difference between winning and losing.
To begin with, calculating water intake during exercise can be a matter of trial and error as everyone is different - So weigh yourself before the workout or sparring session, and then weigh yourself again immediately afterwards. If you have lost weight, you are not taking enough fluids in your diet. If you have gained weight, you are taking on too much water. After a short time you will soon learn how much water intake is just right for you.
Another quick basic guide to your hydration is the colour of your urine - It should be fairly clear coloured. The darker the colour, the more dehydrated you are.
Boxers Will Also Need Some Nutritional Supplements
*First of all avoid ALL illegal drug supplements *
The Nutritional Supplements in this guide are very effective and they comply fully with the rules of boxing.
Multi Vitamin Minerals
Boxers are constantly on the move in the ring and this means that you will lose vitamins and minerals from your body very quickly. If you do not supply your muscles with the minerals and vitamins they need, you are going to tire much more quickly and your legs can lose strength. What’s more, you may begin to experience cramping in your thighs and calves during a fight. You need a quality Multi-Vitamin and mineral products added to your diet to help avoid this.
Your ideal Time-Released Vitamins and Mineral product will be high in Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Zinc, and the B Vitamins.
Vitamins C and E are powerful Anti-Oxidants that help protect your immune system, Zinc is necessary for the production of Muscle Supporting Hormones, plus B Vitamins help a boxer to build new muscle tissue and help prevent muscle tissue loss during long bouts of endurance activity.
A quality Multi-Vitamin and Mineral product added to a boxers diet will also help to repair damaged muscles after a long fight or work out. By speeding your recovery you can enhance your training and develop your boxing skills more quickly. Time Release Multi-Vitamins are best taken as part of the fighters diet with a meal in the morning upon rising, and then again in mid afternoon with lunch.
Whey Protein is the highest quality protein source and is used by the body to repair muscle damage. In clinical trials, Whey Protein has been shown to be very effective for building muscle and reducing body fat.
Whey Protein helps to supply the hard working muscles with energy during exercise. In doing so, Whey Protein protects muscle from breakdown.
Used post or post match as part of the diet, Whey Protein quickly enters the muscles and repairs damage. This repair process can result in muscle growth and added strength.
Whey Protein has also been shown in clinical trials to improve mental function and to also promote fat loss.
Increases in muscle tissue and decreases in fat tissue will help increase the boxers agility and toughness in the ring.
Whey Protein is best taken as part of the boxers diet prior to, and after, exercise or a match.
In the boxing ring you need to have endurance, energy, and every needs to be explosive, well-placed, and damaging to your opponent.
Creatine Monohydrate is probably the world’s most popular supplement and it can help to greatly improve your energy levels and explosive strength if added to the boxers diet.
The more muscle you maintain, the more strength and power you will have. If you lose muscle, you lose the ability to be effective in the ring. Creatine as part of a healthy diet can help prevent muscle loss.
Creatine monohydrate has been scientifically proven to improve memory, thinking ability, and hand-to-eye coordination. By increasing your thinking abilities, creatine can help you keep the psychological edge if added to your diet.
Creatine can be loaded into muscle tissue by taking twenty grams per day for five days, followed by five grams daily for an eight week period as part of the boxers diet. A more effective way to dose Creatine is to take 10 x 2.5 gram doses daily. This protocol will ensure maximum absorption and maximum results. As excess sugars can result in more body fat and creatine can cause dehydration, you must be careful with your fluid intake..
PS - There are more powerful hybrids of Creatine available (eg. CEE) now. As with all of those types of food supplements, my advice is to check up on them and read about all the possible side-effects, and legality for use by boxers, before you consider adding them to your diet.
Glutamine added to your diet helps protect your immune system from the potential damage that can come from long bouts of . It can also help to improve the boxers endurance by supplying working muscles with critically important Amino Acids.
Long bouts of can deplete glycogen stores, and glutamine can be used as a glycogen source during long strenuous .
Glutamine protects your muscle tissue from wasting and it helps to improve your performance by allowing the fighter to recover more quickly from.
No boxers supplementation diet regimen is complete without a quality glutamine supplement.
Glutamine is best taken in divided dosages throughout the day. It is commonly taken upon rising, at lunch, dinner, and then before going to sleep. In this way, the glutamine delivers the best results.
Essential Fatty Acids added to the boxers diet help to make just about everthing work much better - Brain. muscles, tendons, joints, and your digestion in general. They also help provide the healthy body with the energy essential for high impact sports such as boxing.
If your fighting weight has crept up, crash dieting is never a good idea to get down to within your . The best solution to this is to always eat a proper healthy diet and never get into the position where you have to quickly lose weight in the days prior to a weigh in, under any circumstances. If you are in that unfortunate situation though, there is no real easy way to quickly lose weight without possibly adversely affecting your performance in the ring.
Your best hope is......................
In the two to three days prior to the weigh in, avoid excessive salt intake to help cut down on fluid retention.
Adopting a Low Residue Diet for the last 24 hours before the weigh in will help to reduce weight further as it empties the gut of undigested food and fibre. That alone can easily amount to a pound or two.
Some good low residue foods for this are - Corn Flakes, Rice Krispies, White Bread, Jam, Honey, Juice, Low-fat milk, Tinned fruit, Jam, Clear soup, White pasta, White rice, Tomato based pasta sauce, Liquidised meal (Meal Replacement Shake)
A lot of youris made up of fluids, so using a sauna or a sweat suit sure will help reduce your weight quickly......Unfortunately, unless the boxer is used to being dehydrated and fighting or under those conditions, it will have a very adverse effect on you during the bout. It will also greatly increase the stress on your heart.
As for Sweat Suits.....................Rubber, plastic and vinyl suits are very harmful and totally ineffective for losing weight. Your core body tempreture can quickly rise to an extremely dangerous level. Rubber suits drain water and electrolytes from the body, but do not allow the body to breathe. There have even been cases of death using this method.
Another useless way for the boxer to try and quickly lose weight is to use Albolene Cream. Whether it actually helps reduce weight or not, i don't really know and i couldn't care......What i do know though, is that it thins and softens the skin. Now i know plenty boxers who would benefit greatly from having nice soft skin and using some other beauty enhancement products. ^_^ However, it's hardly good news for a boxer as soft thin skin cuts much more easily during a fight.
Some 'health and diet calculators' are available on ScotBoxer - Here's a list of them all (The links will open in a new tab)
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