Diet for Boxing

Overview

A boxer’s diet is of crucial importance. Before competing in a boxing match fighters are asked to meet stringent weight limits. Diet is an important factor in weight management. The nutritional diet of a boxer will also have a direct impact on the physical capacity during a fight, and on the energy stores of a fighter during the later rounds.

Types

A boxer must eat a nutritional diet high in carbohydrate and protein, though relatively low in fat during fight preparation. The Talk Boxing website recommends that a boxer consume a diet consisting of 45 percent to 55 percent carbohydrates. A boxer’s diet should also contain 30 percent to 40 percent protein, and 5 percent to 15 percent fats. Good foods for a boxer to consume during fight preparation are lean meats, chicken, fish and whole wheat pasta. Boxers should also drink at least eight to 10 glasses of water per day for proper hydration. A boxer should stay hydrated by consuming water or sports drink before, during and after any training.

Effects

Researchers from Northwestern University explain that carbohydrate is the main energy source for the body during exercise. Carbohydrate will be stored in the muscles and be used as an energy source during a boxing match. Protein plays an important role in muscle repair. Fight preparation will include rigorous exercise that breaks down muscle; a good protein supply helps repair the muscle and develops strength.

Significance

A good nutritional diet during fight preparation will serve a fighter well during a boxing match. A well conditioned body will have energy stores for the later rounds warding off fatigue. A less fatigues fighter will be able to maintain punch speed and power, also not tiring and becoming vulnerable to attacks.

Time Frame

Fighters typically train for six to eight weeks before a fight. Consuming a good nutritional diet is important on a daily basis during fight preparation. It is recommended that fighters consume a good diet on a daily basis, though this is not always the case. Former world champion light welterweight Ricky Hatton was known for gaining and losing up to 40 pounds between fights.

Expert Insight

Boxing trainer Ross Enamait recommends fighters consume small, regular meals throughout the day. Regular small meals speed up the metabolism, and are beneficial to training and weight management. Enamait warns that fighters should eat well and not crash diet to lose weight rapidly before a boxing match. Rapid dieting to lose weight before fights carries health risks, and will likely lead to poor performance.

About this Author

Stewart Flaherty is in his early years as a writer. With a sport psychology master\’s degree and a successful coaching background, Flaherty has experience in improving performance in a number of areas. He has studied sport psychology, nutrition and coaching to a degree level.