If you want to look like a professional prize fighter than this article is your first step in that direction.
For boxers, as with any sport, a good diet is a crucial part of staying in shape and keeping up with the hectic demands of the training regime. Boxers need to eat well in order to maintain muscle strength and energy in the ring and avoid feeling tired and sluggish part way through a fight. Boxers use punches, jabs, speed and flexibility requiring strength, endurance and energy to defeat their opponent. As a result, they require a nutritious diet which will provide high levels of energy to last throughout the duration of a fight.
What to eat
Some of us train and some of us dont but there is something all of us Indians living in cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Gurgaon can learn from a boxer’s diet.
A boxer’s diet should be drawn up according to the recommended ratios of particular foodstuffs. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are all crucial for providing the energy and nutrition a boxer needs.
Carbohydrates – boxing is an anaerobic activity which requires professional boxers to maintain high energy levels for fifteen intensive 3-minute rounds. A boxer’s intention should be to eat foods which will provide the correct strength, power and weight ratio which is best maintained by sources of high energy and low fat content. For this reason carbohydrates are the ideal foodstuff for boxers.
Boxers should eat natural carbohydrates such as yams, beans, whole-wheat grain, fruits and oatmeal, which are packed full of useful nutrients. Because carbohydrates are such effective sources of energy, boxers should eat more of them than any other foodstuff. Dieticians recommend that 45 – 55 percent of a boxer’s diet should be made up of carbohydrates. For example, out of a daily diet that consists of 4000 calories, 1800 to 2200 calories of those should be derived from carbohydrates.
Protein – boxers often experience small tears in their muscles after a fight, causing them to feel tired and sore, so it is crucial that enough protein is included in their daily diet. Protein works to repair muscles and increase muscle growth, preventing long lasting damage but it also acts as a further energy source, preventing the body from using its much-valued muscle for energy.
Chicken, tuna, eggs and lean beef are all good sources of protein as are protein drinks (such as ‘Accelerade’ or ‘Rapid Recovery’) although these should only be taken by those engaged in a serious and intensive training routine. For concentrated muscle increase, boxers should consume a protein drink during training sessions and another shake immediately after training. Dieticians recommend that protein should make up 30 to 40 percent of the boxer’s daily diet.
Fats – whilst excessive fat consumption can cause unwanted weight gain and should be avoided, boxers do need some fats to maintain important internal bodily functions. 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 working order. Seafood or walnuts are ideal sources of omega fat or alternatively flaxseed oil and cod liver oil can be taken as healthy supplements which are purified of the contaminants often found in fish.
Water – water is essential for staying healthy and energised, particularly in a strenuous sport such as boxing where it is 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.
What not to eat
The following foods are all high in fat and sugar content and although they may provide the boxer with high bursts of energy, they are short-lasting energy sources and will cause the boxer to feel tired, sluggish and to put on unwanted weight. For this reason they should be avoided as far as possible:
- Fried foods
- Fast food/ takeaways
- Food high in sugar e.g. sweets and fizzy drinks
- Saturated fat
- Processed food
For anybody involved in Boxing, mixed martial arts like Muay Thai, Kick Boxing, Jiu Jitsu eating is almost more important than the training itself. So if you live in any of the Indian metros like Delhi, Mumbai, Gurgaon, you must eat foods that will fuel you and will help you reach the pinnacle.