There are lots of diets available for boxers to follow. The choice you make will depend on the goals, work schedule, budget and the foods you enjoy eating. What is important is that you stay consistent and on path or you could end up undoing your precious work done inside and outside the ring. Wherever you are in your boxing journey, here are five tips to help you to get the most out of your diet. 1. Carbs
The first step people make when going on a diet is to ditch carbohydrates. Energy levels drop drastically and weight gain happens. It is true that there are good and bad carbohydrate sources, but more often than not the side effects are down to poor eating habits.
If you’re worried about the amount of carbohydrates slowly reduce the amount you eat. Even on a carbohydrate restricted diet (like the Ketogenic diet) you can still include small amounts. These small amounts include vegetables which are vital for aiding digestion.
The type of carbohydrates you mainly eat should be in the form of complex carbohydrates. Carbohydrates come in two forms: simple and complex. Simple carbs enter the bloodstream immediately and provide a quick release of energy which is short-lived, and more simple carbs are needed get another burst of energy. These are excellent for short timed sports, like sprinting 100 meters.
On the opposite side are complex carbohydrates which are slowly digested and released into the blood steam. As a boxer, training for long lengths of time (like 12 rounds of 3 minutes) taking complex carbohydrates will keep energy levels high and avoid running out of energy. Imagine being in the ring against an opponent and having no energy left after a few rounds.
Around 40-50% of a boxer’s daily diet should be made up of complex carbohydrate sources like brown rice and oats. Six small meals throughout the day is a great routine to have, with one meal timed shortly before a workout. The number of complex carbohydrates you’ll need will be different for each person depending on body weight and activity levels, but there are lots of online calculators to help you work out your daily requirements. Limit foods high in sugar like sweets, chocolate and white bread.
Before you ditch the simple carbohydrates, there are some great benefits in including them in your diet in limited quantities. Simple carbohydrates can be great for replenishing energy levels immediately after a workout. At a time when you feel drained and drenched in sweat, having a quick supply of simple carbohydrates can help you to regain some energy.
Fruits like apples (which contain both simple and complex carbohydrate) provide vitamins and minerals. Unprocessed, natural foods, are also great for helping to stave off sweet cravings, which can lead to a downfall in your diet. One reason is that they contain fiber, which is known to help reduce appetite and also aid with digestion problems.
Fruits and vegetables can also boost your immune system enabling you to regularly train without coming down with a cold as your body repairs and your immune system can drop.
Protein intake is always a hot topic and is important for repairing damaged tissue. Practicing on the bag or sparring can put pressure on your joints. Unless muscle tissue is repaired, the body recovers slower, and over time, risks of injury increases. The typical recommendations are around 1 gram of protein per kilogram in body weight. The amount you’ll need does depend on a number of factors, from the regularity and intensity of workouts, daily routine and body composition.
People who train harder and have more active daily routines will need a higher protein intake. There’s no shortage of protein sources from meats and fish, to tofu for those following a vegan lifestyle. If time is a struggle hundreds of different protein bars and powders on the market which are quick to take to boost daily protein levels. The problem with supplements like protein powders is that they can leave you feeling hungry afterwards.
Most people can’t live without coffee in the morning, and this hearty drink can be perfect for training. Lots of nutritional supplements contain caffeine for boosting energy and improving concentration. The fact boxing involves timing your punches can mean a lack of focus can lead to hitting or missing a target. Caffeine is excellent as a pre-workout an hour before training, allowing you to push and perform better. The easiness and absence of calories make drinking before a workout an excellent choice for those on a calorie-controlled diet.
There is still room to fit treats into a training program, especially if you have a sweet tooth. If you enjoy eating chocolate, you can still squeeze luxuries into your training diet. There are lots of low GI chocolate bars and snacks available containing no or less sugar than regular bars, to keep energy levels stable. Diet drinks are also a great choice over fizzy high sugar drinks.Keeping a healthy diet is essential for boxing, so the next time you’re training with the Corner Boxing Tracker, keep your performance high and keep moving forward with these five great nutritional tips.
Writer: Luke Dunkerley