Boxers are athletes with considerable stamina, speed, strength, and durability. These can be attributed to their rigorous training and workout regimen.
Furthermore, there’s another underlying factor that has helped boxers maintain their top fighting form – their diet. Maintaining muscle mass and regulating weight gain or loss are important for both amateur and professional boxers, which is why boxers watch their diet closely. The good thing is a boxer’s diet is nothing exceptional and is in fact something regular folks can follow.
If you are aiming for a change in your diet pattern and pursuing a healthy lifestyle, read on as we share here a guide to perfecting the boxer’s diet.
One important aspect of a boxer’s diet is its constitution. It is designed to keep the muscles healthy and strong while also regularly replenishing the energy reserves of the boxer through carbohydrates and fats. Maintaining a consistent dietary intake of protein, carbohydrates, and fats can be difficult due to the fluctuating supplies of protein sources like lean beef and chicken, dairy products, and fish. The same goes for vegetables and fruits. Thus, food supplements are necessary for filling the gap in dietary nutrient intake. You can read more about food supplements recommended for and by boxers in boxing magazines, boxing training sites, and boxing workout webpages. Remember that food supplements are taken to ensure that your recommended nutritional needs are met and it doesn’t mean that you can ditch your boxer’s diet. Supplements work best when taken additionally with a well-constituted diet.
Protein is essential for muscle growth, repair, and maintenance, making it important for competitions, training, workout, and daily functions. Boxers put their muscles through a lot of punishment and wear and tear. Thus, a protein-rich diet is needed to help the muscles recover from fatigue, injuries, and pains after training sessions and competitions. White meat from chicken, turkey, and fish and limited amounts of lean beef is recommended as meat sources for a high-protein diet. Other protein sources to be included for regular intake are eggs, peanut/almond butter dairy products (cheese, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt), and beans
Carbs are vital for maintaining optimal energy levels. Boxing involves footwork and regular movements aside from punching, making it an energy-intensive sport. Carbs are usually regarded negatively in the fitness and dieting world, but for boxers, carbohydrates are important for maintaining high energy, stamina, and for processing protein. Complex carbohydrates, those that have a slow effect on glucose and insulin levels, are recommended for boxers instead of simple carbs, which easily cause fluctuations in blood glucose and trigger insulin release. Complex carbs take longer to absorb to provide long-lasting energy. They also reduce cravings and reduce the chances of developing diabetes and heart problems. Wholegrain bread, oats, rice, honey, sweet potatoes, lentils, and fruits and vegetables are good sources of complex carbs.
We are not talking about just any fat, but unsaturated fats, in particular. Not all fats are bad, and there some fats like unsaturated fats that are useful to the body. Boxers need fat for energy maintenance, promotion of cell-building functions, and ensuring optimal vitamin and mineral absorption. Another good fat that boxers should take in is omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Even though these are good fats, they still should be taken in moderation. Seafood, avocado, walnuts, flax seeds, almonds, olives, and fish oil or flax oil supplements are sources of good fats.
Boxers generally are active throughout most of the day, with peak energy expenditures happening during training. Thus, having three big meals in a day, boxers adopt having six reasonably sized meals. The reason for this change in the eating schedule is the long wait or interval between meals if boxers follow a three-meal pattern. Waiting for too long creates a strong sense of hunger, which can push us to overeat during meals, and this can elevate the fat storage in our bodies. Having too much fat is not a good thing for boxers and regular folks, which is why switching to six meals is a good move. Two big meals upon waking up and two hours before training is the recommended intake. The rest will be supplementary snacks or meals in between. This way, you are ensuring that you have sufficient energy to last through your entire training session, and you are keeping yourself from getting too hungry by eating every two to three hours in between big meals.
We specifically mentioned “regulate” instead of “avoid” because it is almost impossible to deprive ourselves of our favorite foods. Treating yourself every once in a while is fine as long as it does not disrupt your boxing diet plan. Some boxer’s diet followers have one cheat meal a week, while others have the entire day for pigging out on the foods they love. You can decide what works for you and stick to that cheat meal schedule or better yet, gradually eliminate it.
A boxer’s diet is not that hard to follow. It is not anything special or anything too restrictive, either. However, it demands that the person following the diet is physically active to reap the full benefits of the diet. If you are looking for a diet that is not too complicated and can support your active lifestyle, then follow the healthy boxer’s diet and some of the recommendations in the short guide we provided. Try it out now and see the changes that this diet can bring for yourself.