Saturday, December 31, 2011

Dos and Donts of a Boxer's Diet

The challenge for boxers in training is to maintain a weight at the upper end of their class without going over while still taking in enough calories and nutrients to give them energy for grueling workouts. Staying within 3 percent to 5 percent of their ideal weight helps them avoid having to lose a lot of weight before a match. Balancing a diet with carbohydrates, protein, fat and sufficient fluids helps boxers perform at peak.


Boxers must train for high-intensity bursts of energy and have enough power to last for three minutes in the ring each round. Therefore, carbohydrates are an important source of energy for the anaerobic needs of the muscles. Boxers in training must consume nutrient-rich carbs, including brown rice, beans, sweet potatoes and whole grain foods. Conversely they should avoid processed carbs made from white flour, including bread and pasta, that provide only empty calories.
Carbohydrates should make up the largest percentage of a boxer's diet. Recommendations for carb intake range from 45 percent to 55 percent of total calories consumed.


Protein is important for recovery of muscle tissue after intense workouts. Lean meat, chicken, fish, eggs and low-fat dairy products are good sources of protein for a training boxer. High-protein energy drinks are also recommended during workouts for the serious boxer. Thirty percent to 40 percent of a boxer's diet should consist of protein while he is in training.


A careful balance of fat is important in a boxer's diet. Too much can cause weight gain, but a healthy amount of beneficial fats helps the body remain fit. No more than 15 percent of a boxer's training diet calories should consist of essential fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. Essential fatty acids, or Omega-3 and Omega-6 fats, are found in seafood, nuts and flaxseed. Monounsaturated fats such as those found in avocados and olives are also important. Fat supplements, such as cod liver oil capsules, can be taken as well.


Proper hydration for training is essential for any intense training program because the body loses water through sweat. Training boxers need to maintain a healthy level of body fluid by drinking eight to 10 glasses of water per day. Boxers should weigh themselves before a workout and again afterward to determine how much fluid is lost. They should replace the fluid with 1.5 times the amount of water that was lost in sweat. For example, if 1 lb., or 16 oz., of water was lost, the boxer should drink 24 oz. to replace it.

Foods to Avoid

Boxers in training should avoid empty calories, including high fat and high sugar foods. The list of foods to avoid includes sugary soda, fast food, foods with saturated fat, highly processed products and anything fried.

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