Best Professional Boxers Diet for 2018
If you are new to the boxing world or have just begun your journey in turning it up a notch, really committing to the sport and the health and nutrition of your body, the next step should be to take action. With every action, all you need is a plan: A boxing meal plan. For the boxer in you, there is a specific diet tailored to your athletic and personal needs. Each individual is different, but we’re here today to introduce you and give you the closest tips, tricks, and guiding steps to get your meal plan as close as you can to a professional boxers diet.
Whether you’re looking for a boxers diet plan for weight loss, or one to bulk up, there are a variety of specific boxing diet food lists to sway you one way or another. We’re going to be giving you the foundation, working with the mainstream of a typical boxer’s diet plan, to suit all.
Although you might be looking for a specific “30-day fighters diet pdf”, please read on. Our guide can help instruct and inform you on the basics of a healthy and balanced boxer diet to give you the foundation and understanding of what you need before you follow instructions just regurgitated at you. This guide can help answer your questions from “What do boxers eat for breakfast?” to “What is the perfect boxing diet to go with my workout plan?”
Whether they were Floyd Mayweather or Max Baer, Mike Tyson or Muhammad Ali, if it was George Foreman training for his next fight or Joe Frazier fueling up for training, all these boxers had a specific diet.
Whether they were black or white, Hispanic or Asian professional boxers, the diet might have a slight twist based on culture, but the basic principles of the diet are the same. However, being a man or a woman will alter your target diet. Here, we’re going to cover the basics, so even if you are on the look for a female boxer diet, we’re going to cover the basics of what you need.
You’ve heard before that your body is a temple, well that may be true, but you’re a boxer or you’re trying to be — so your body is a fighting machine. It should be fueled accordingly. Even if you were an athlete prior and you know how to eat healthy, having the perfect diet to become a boxer might look completely different.
Becoming a healthy individual and boxer all boils down to preparation. What you do before you even step foot in the boxing gym is a vital stepping stone on your way to be being the best fighter you can be.
Boxing takes a lot of discipline. It’s a sport of control, training, practice, skill, technique, grit, and a lot of hard work. Half the battle, however, is won before even heading into the ring: it’s how you prepare for the battle. Fueling up beforehand is inherently and directly affected by your food and eating the right food takes preparation.
Even if you aren’t a great cook, this is a great opportunity to learn how. The most popular excuse for eating unhealthy and not cooking is the fact that people claim they don’t have the time to get it done. However, if you meal prep, you can eat quality foods and split your time up into manageable pieces.
Follow our step-by-step guide and some tips and tricks to learn how to meal prep. This will not only help guide you to become a healthier person, it will play a large hand in the way you prepare and perform as a boxer.
Meal-prepping can be done in a numerous amount of ways. There is no right or wrong answer. However for a fighter, you have to get in the time between not only your usual work or school day and extra job, family affairs or friendly outings, you have to time manage your meal preparation around training as well. Here are our easy-to-follow steps to help you get the necessary requirements to plan food before you need it. This will help you always opt for a nutritious meal or snack, fueling your body in a proper way.
Everyone has heard of the food pyramid. Before we get into our steps, we just wanted to remind you to keep your plate as colorful as possible. However, if you are still a little wary of how much of what you should be eating, here is an “easy measurements” helping guide you on what your plate should look like.
- Fats-healthy fats like avocados and nuts, should be the size of about to 1-2 Thumbs
- Carbs-like potatoes, fruits, and breads, should fill up 1-2 Cupped Hands
- Veggies-like carrots, broccoli, salad, and peppers, should fill up 1-2 Fistfuls
- Lean Proteins-like meats, eggs, yogurt, and fish, should fill up 1-2 Palms
These “measurements” can vary depending on your size, gender, how much you train, etc.
Getting back to our step-by-step guide, here are helpful instructions that can walk you through a proper meal preparation.
- PLAN: Particularly, on the weekend or whenever you make a plan for the week or for the month, note which days on your calendar you will be the busiest. If you are not already just doing a meal plan for every day of the week, you can pick certain days where you know that you’ll be in and out of the house with little to no time to cook and prepare meals for those days. Once you know when you have to cook for, you can help fill in those gaps with meal prep. This step will take you 5 to 10 minutes.
- PICK: This is where you make a menu for those meals. You can find recipes, quick and easy ones all over the internet. Even better, you can find recipes where, for example, use the same ingredient and split it to cater to a variety of recipes that can spice up your week from meal to meal, so you won’t eat the same glazed salmon three days straight. Keep your options as simple or as complex as you like. If you’re new to cooking, keep the recipes pretty basic and easy to follow along. Obviously, the fewer ingredients — the better, but you also might be bored after a while if you’re eating the same ingredients day after day. This step will take you 15 to 30 minutes, depending on your knowledge of food and search for recipes.
- PURCHASE: After you have your list, now it’s time to hit the grocery store and pick up the ingredients you need for the week. The benefit of doing this beforehand is that you won’t spend as much as you would if you shop the day of, looking for and checking off exactly what you’ve written down. Make sure to not only account for meals but also buy food that is great to grab as a snack, like veggies and hummus, for example. That way, you can also cover your in between meal snacks. This should take you 45 minutes to an hour.
- PREPARE: Finally, you’re ready to cook all the meals for the week, or the ones you’ll be needing. Depending on your knowledge around the kitchen, this can be an enjoyable time or a learning process. If you don’t want to specifically cook every single small ingredient, start with the ones that normally take a long time to cook, for example, the chicken, vegetables, and potatoes. Follow your recipes and cook them as stated. If you are more advanced, don’t be afraid to add your twist to it. This should take you anywhere from an hour to three, depending on how much time you like spending on your food.
- PUT AWAY: Now is the time to divide the food you just made into good-portioned sizes and place them in storage containers. Depending on how organized you are, you can separate, label, and organize them according to day, type of food, and even time of day into your fridge. Make them as accessible as possible, but you can feel free to do with it as you want. This step should take little to no time at all, but if you are organizing, it might take you a little longer. Plan on this step taking about fifteen minutes.
Once finished, the entire meal prep should have taken you less than five hours, which is less than a fifth of your day! If you put it into perspective that it’s now prepared you for the entire week, you’re cutting off the time during your day you would be shopping, looking for recipes, etc. Now you can focus on your training.
How to Prepare the Evening Prior
Time is of the essence during your day. You can actually eliminate cooking time by preparing the food beforehand and leaving it getting ready during the hours of the night. This can even save you up to an hour of cooking time when you’re awake and preparing. Do this on the night before you start cooking for the week with ingredients like beans, grains, and oatmeal, right after you went shopping. (Between steps 3 and 4).
Think Ahead: Knock Out One Meal Prep for Two or more
When you’re planning your meals, you should choose ingredients that spread out to one or more meals. For example, when you prepare eggs or egg whites, you can whisk two instead of just one and split them into two different meals. This will eliminate prepping time but can knock out two meals with one meal’s cooking time. This can be done easily with vegetables as well and “lasting” foods like kale, rice, chicken, etc. Even though you want to extend your time, try not to keep these foods longer than a day or two, or else they will lose a lot of the nutrients that come along with being fresh.
Now that you know how to fully prepare, let’s get to the meals. Nutrition is important in any sport but especially boxing. Boxing is a sport that uses all of your physical attributes. It is 100-percent based on you and your body. This means that the way that your body is fueled directly affects the way you perform. The way you recover is also directly preparing for the next fight.
A Boxer’s Diet
The important components of a boxers diet, although there are several, include protein, carbohydrates, and water. These three aspects will help fuel you as a boxer to not only be able to compete and train at your peak performance level but keep you filled for your recovery to plan for your next training or fight. You might have the question: “What do boxers eat before a fight?” Well, here is your answer:
Photo Credit: Bitter-Sweet- Flickr via Compfight cc
All athletes, especially boxers, need a healthy diet with an immense amount of protein to fuel your body. This type of food is actually specifically critical right after your training. Basically, while you’re training, especially during a weight training session, you’re tearing your tiny muscle fibers to make room for bigger ones to grow and then repair themselves. When you intake protein directly after your workout, they help speed up the recovery process.
Lean protein. On a regular basis, try to aim for white meats like turkey, fish, and chicken. Red meats are also a great source, but digest a bit slower than white meats, like beef, pork, and steak. If you are a vegetarian or if you also want to balance your diet with other sources of protein, you can implement egg whites, natural nut butter, and milk (low fat).
Even though the popular take on carbs is that they’re bad for you, that is far from the truth. As a boxer, you need carbs to fuel your body. Carbohydrates are basically your source of energy, so without them, you will feel sluggish for training and competition. There are two different types of carbs, labeled refined and whole.
Whole carbs. These carbs will be the ones that are unprocessed. If they are processed, they lose their nutritional value, or a lot of it, at least. Examples of whole carbs are potatoes, fruits, veggies, and wheat bread.
As for any athlete, but especially for a boxer, hydration is an extremely important aspect of your diet. This doesn’t mean just hydrating during, before, or directly after training. Keeping hydrated is a lifestyle and should be treated as such. Although it is common practice to see fighters dehydrating themselves and eliminating water directly before a competition to make weight, this is a very dangerous way of doing things. You want to regularly intake water throughout your day and throughout your training. Especially since boxing is a high, intensive training, hydrating is necessary to replace your sweat loss.
For an idea of how much you, personally, should be drinking during a normal boxing workout, measure yourself before and after. The recorded weight you lost is the amount of water you’ve lost during your workout. You should resupply and rehydrate yourself accordingly.
In general, you should have a healthy, balanced diet. There are a few things that one might not tell you when your buddy or coach at the gym is trying to help you get your nutrition right because they may think it is basic knowledge. However, here are a few noted tips that will help guide you about when, what, and how to best prepare your body and keep it fueled throughout your boxing and fighting career, whether it’s an amateur or professional one.
Here are our diet do’s
- Keep what you eat as natural as you can. Stray away from packaged and processed foods because once they are tampered with, they lose an incredible amount of nutritional value. Be conscientious of how you cook, as well. For example, certain forms of cooking, like frying, is less healthy than say, baking. This can drastically change the nutritional value of your food.
- Eat more often during the day than just the “regular” three meals a day. Eating often can help not only your metabolism maintain a healthy, regular speed which is helpful for digestion and processing, it also helps you eat less when it comes to big meals. You will be feeling less hunger when it comes to actually eating dinner or lunch.
- Aim for the target hours of post and pre-workout training. There is a window before and after your boxing workouts where it is a critical time that your body takes in food and recovers with that fuel. Once you get out of that window, it’s difficult for your body to take in and fully use all the nutritional value of your meal.
- Never skip breakfast. The time right after you wake up is also crucial to fuel your body for your early morning workout. Breakfast also kick starts your metabolism so that it is working at a normal speed throughout your day. This will help you nutritionally and to maintain and manage hunger. Breakfast truly is the most important meal of the day.
- Make your plate as colorful as you can. The more variety of colors your plate has, the better. This means that your plate has a lot of different food groups and you have all of it covered on your plate. Eat a balanced diet to get you fueled for your boxing workout and make sure all the main parts — carbs, protein, and water are definitely in there.
- Take your vitamins. Whether they are implemented into your diet naturally or you are covering them through natural supplements, make sure you are as healthy as you possibly can. Sick days mean days off and rest and recovery, which might keep you out of the gym for a while. If you have to add supplements, do your research beforehand.
- Hydrate. We cannot stress this point enough. Hydration is an extremely vital portion of your boxer’s diet. Depending on your size and how much you perspire during or the day or during your training sessions, re-hydrate what your body has already lost. Drink plenty of water not only during, after, and before your workout, but also during the day.
- Eat your meals when you should. Proper eating is about planning, not only meal prepping but managing your time, as well. For example, eating breakfast at most, an hour after you wake up is important to get in the nutrition that you need before you take on your day. Eating your last meal four hours or so before you go to sleep is also important to not have to sleep with a full belly.
Here are our diet don’ts
- Do not load up on carbohydrates right before you go to bed. They are essential for energy but when taken in incorrectly, for example, the wrong part of the day, they are simply stored in your body. You might think that this is a good thing, but they are stored as fat, which is the last thing that you want to have when you’re trying to keep your body in high physical form.
- Do not skip meals by simply substituting them with a supplement. We all know that losing weight might be in your goals to become a better boxer, but doing it the wrong way will be even more detrimental to your performance and journey to the top. While you’re training, you will need the right amount of fuel. Sacrificing that fuel in for supplements that you think will cover it, won’t actually substitute the nutrition you need.
- Do not consume sodas and fruit drinks with simply no nutritional value. It’s an easy lifestyle choice to make: cut out all sugary drinks. Though they might taste good at the time, they not only have no helpful nutrients, they actually are filled with sugar and bad chemicals that will hinder you on your journey to a healthy, well-trained boxer’s body. If you find that you’re craving them, opt for the sugar-free or diet versions.
- Do not train without eating anything. You might think that training on an empty stomach will help you lose weight faster, but actually, it can hurt you in the long run. You need your fuel to train, and without it, your body will succumb to sacrificial measures, possibly taking energy from not just fat, but sources you need to maintain, like your muscles.
- Do not bulk up on supplements. If you can, stay away from them altogether, but you should be getting your diet from natural sources. If you haven’t seen it be prepared, chances are, it’s loaded with certain chemicals and negative ingredients that won’t serve as any amount of nutritional value whatsoever. Companies will use labels with catchy words like “all natural” and so on, but the chances that they don’t have any kinds of chemicals that are far from natural are pretty high.
- Do not just focus all your energy on your diet. Once you put your knowledge into practice and get into a rhythm, you will definitely see changes. If you put too much emphasis on the details and specifics of diets, numbers, and ingredients, you might find yourself consumed by it, rather than you consuming your diet. Lead yourself in the right direction but don’t become obsessed.
How to prepare for a fight
Let’s first start with, preparing and eating right begins with the recovery after your last training or your last fight. If you don’t believe me, there are two logistically sound concepts that sports science has explained about recovery and the importance of fueling afterward—
#1: Progress can only be drawn on top of what you have already recovered.
Without recovery, there is no rebuild. With no rebuild, there is no foundation to make progress.
#2: The recovery time between competitive events is vital. If your body isn’t fully and properly recovered, your performance will take a toll.
Preparation goes alongside rest, you cannot have one without the other.
Recovery starts with fuel. There are specific time windows, primarily right after you train or fight that are vital to your recovery process. During this time, your body is just wanting more and more glycogen and it is fully prepared to store it. When you get the food in at the necessary time, it will:
- Put back the energy you have already lost into your body
- Kickstart the recovery process from one event and one training to another
- Get you prepared for your next training session, beginning the fueling process.
- Balance out the chemical imbalances in your body related to hydration, stress hormones and anabolism.
To be able to complete these concepts, we need to get in the right food right after your workout, training session, or competition.
Immediate Post Workout
Pertaining and going back to the three components you need that we spoke about earlier about a boxer’s diet, the post workout should definitely have carbs. This post-workout window is about four to six hours after your workout, so you should load carbs immediately after your workout or fight. Depending upon if it’s a high-intensity skill work training at the boxing gym or if you’ve hit the weights in strength training, your post workout meal and snack should change depending on how much energy you’ve burned and what type of workout you’ve just done.
Examples of full, complete foods, meals, and snacks to eat
- After High-Intensity
- 1 HOUR Post-Workout: Rice, Lean Meat, Veggies
- 2-4 HOURS after: Rice, Lean Meat, Veggies and Avocado
- 2-4 HOURS after: Apple, Natural Nut Butter, and Whey Protein
- After Strength Training:
- HOUR Post-Workout: Cottage Cheese, Pineapple (or any fruit) and nuts
Once you’ve gone past the post-workout window, you should start focusing on refueling and getting in your healthy carbs. These healthy carbs, to get scientific, boast a higher nutrient density, which is great to get in all the health benefits you need and a large amount of fiber.
Not only should you focus on getting in these carbs after your boxing workout or competition, you should also hydrate throughout the day! Here are some examples of good carbs to work into your boxer’s diet, whether it’s already prepared beforehand or if you add it in while you’re cooking on a daily basis.
Examples of full, complete foods, meals, and snacks to eat
- If you’re fueling up directly after the post-workout window, you want to try and aim for options like carbohydrate power, Gatorade and sports drinks with the least amount of sugar, supplements and white rice.
- If it’s your off-day and you’re looking for good sources of carbohydrates, you should aim for the healthy, yet very tasty options like fruits, oats, beans, sweet potato, and quinoa. These are great fixes for carbs and easy to add into any diet.
Getting your body prepared and fueled for your boxing workouts, competitions, and lifestyle is an important part of being a boxer. Whether you are professional, amateur, or somewhere in between, your diet should be a direct reflection of your goals and behaviors in the gym. If you put in the work in the gym, it might never show if you also don’t focus your efforts outside of your boxing, as well.
We hope that this guide to a pro boxer’s diet has helped you give the foundation of knowledge that you need to begin, maintain or take your boxing to the next level. As impacting as it is, your diet can actually be the difference between staying the same and getting better and better. Without a proper diet, you might never see your true potential as a boxer come to fruition. Try to implement a few, if not all, of these tips, tricks and guided steps to your diet to see how you transform into the best boxer you can be.