How do pro boxers recover faster for the next fight?

Ringside 30/08/2020
Efe Ajagba

Brian Schroeder

Top professional athletes in any sport need the right regime to recover after a match or a race in order to be fully fit for the next.

But there can be few sports, if any, that literally give the body a beating in the way that boxing does. Indeed, when someone feels they have been pushed to the limit, you will hear them say they “feel like they’ve done 12 rounds against Mike Tyson,” not that they’ve just run a marathon, played quarterback in the Super Bowl or driven in the Indianapolis 500.


Having a strategy for recovery, then, is a vital part of any boxer’s armory. In fact, the post-match regime is just as important for a successful career as the preparation leading up to a bout. 


The importance of doing nothing


Rest is probably the most important component in recovery. Even if there are no injuries as such, the rest period in between periods if activity is when muscle building actually takes place


Of course, knowing it is one thing, acting on it is another. Fighters are, by nature, tough, resilient and determined. Sitting with their feet up does not come naturally, and can feel counter-intuitive. However, doing so for a few days will help ensure a longer career at the top.


Reduce the inflammation


First round knock-out victories aside, few boxers leave the ring completely unscathed, regardless of whether they win or lose. Inflammation and bruising are almost inevitable, and can make it difficult and painful to start training again after that all-important rest period. 


Anything that can help reduce inflammation will be a big help here, and this is why so many boxers are utilizing the benefits of CBD. Seen as something of a miracle cure-all by some, CBD is an effective and natural anti-inflammatory. It also has analgesic qualities, so most boxers who use it start doing so as soon as possible after the fight. 


Eat right


After all those weeks leading up to the fight obsessively watching the scales, fighters are often tempted to reward themselves with all their favorite comfort foods post-fight. There’s no harm in that, provided it is given the “Christmas” treatment. Eating whatever you like of Christmas day will not ruin your weight loss efforts. The trouble comes when you do so from mid December till the second week of January! 


A day or two of indulgence after a fight is similarly absolutely fine and well-deserved. But then, it is important to follow a post-fight dietary regime that speeds up the recovery process. After all, healing needs the right fuel if it is to happen effectively. Protein and fat are ideal immediately after the fight to re-energize, while coconut water makes a good alternative to energy drinks, as it has all the right electrolytes but is not packed full of sugar. 


Finally, it is essential to get the appropriate vitamins and minerals, as these are vital for healing. For example, Vitamins C and K reduce blood clotting, thereby helping bruises to go down faster, and Potassium is a natural treatment to combat muscle cramps.