Fuel your fight - proper nutrition for boxers
by Kate Rosindale on Mar 15, 2023
Proper nutrition is essential for boxers to support their physical performance, stamina, and recovery.
Boxers require a well-balanced diet that provides them with the necessary macronutrients - carbohydrates, proteins, and fats - and micronutrients - vitamins and minerals - to meet the demands of their training and competition.
Combining proper nutrition with regular training, adequate rest, and other lifestyle factors can optimise performance.
Here we take a look at some key nutrition tips for boxers, but remember: nutrition needs vary depending on the individual boxer's age, gender, weight, training intensity, and overall health.
So, if you are planning big changes it is important to work with a registered dietitian or sports nutritionist to develop a personalised nutrition plan that meets your specific needs and goals.
Prioritise protein intake
Protein is crucial for muscle repair and recovery, which is important for boxers who are engaging in intense physical activity. Look to include lean sources of protein such as chicken, fish, eggs, lean beef, and plant-based options like beans, lentils, and tofu in your diet.
Simplify complex carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are a vital source of energy for boxers. Always try to choose complex carbohydrates like whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, which help maintain stable blood sugar levels and will provide sustained energy for your boxing training sessions.
Feel the fats
Healthy fats like those found in nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish such as salmon and tuna can help with brain function, joint health, and inflammation. It is best to include moderate amounts of healthy fats in your diet for optimal performance in the ring.
Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate
Staying properly hydrated is critical for boxers to maintain performance and avoid dehydration. Try drinking water throughout the day, especially before, during, and after training or competition to see what a difference it can make. Meanwhile, avoiding excessive consumption of sugary or caffeinated beverages is key.
Zoom in on micronutrients
A varied diet - including plenty of fruit and veg - should more than ensure you get all the essential vitamins and minerals required to be a strong fighter. Vitamins and minerals play a key role in supporting overall health, immune function, and recovery, so it could also be a good idea to look into supplements depending on your individual needs.
Make a meal of it
Timing of meals and snacks can be important for boxers. Aim to have regular meals and snacks throughout the day to maintain energy levels and support recovery. Eat a balanced meal with a combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats about two to three hours before training or competition, and have a smaller snack or meal within one to two hours after to help with recovery.
Weigh it up
Many boxers are required to maintain a certain number on the scales in order to fit into their weight class. If weight management is a concern, you should work with a registered dietitian or sports nutritionist to develop a safe and effective plan to meet weight goals without compromising performance or health.
Say nay to sugar
Foods that are high in sugar content and processed can be packed full of empty calories, and may negatively impact performance and overall health. It is always wise to limit your intake of sugary foods, fizzy drinks, fast food, and processed snacks.