Boxing is a sport of endurance, speed, quickness and strength. Just as in most sports, the better shape you are in, the better chance you have to excel. Diet has always been considered a critical part of boxing, a concept Sylvester Stallone helped make famous by drinking a raw egg in the movie “Rocky.” While raw egg is no longer considered a healthy choice, the protein it provides is an integral part of the boxing diet.
Protein is considered the building block of muscle, and while boxers aren’t bodybuilders, it doesn’t hurt to be rock hard when entering the ring. Protein also goes a long way when it comes to assisting recovery after an intense training session. Chicken, turkey, fish, lean beef, tuna and yes, eggs, are all good sources of protein. Boxers should consume at least two to three servings of protein a day, with each serving being the size of your fist.
Many diet plans insist that carbohydrates of any sort are bad, but such is not the case for boxers. In fact, it has been said that boxers in training should receive anywhere from 40 to 55 percent of their calories from carbs--an essential part of energy needed for a fight. Of course, the key is to eat the right types of carbs, avoiding flour-enriched foods, such as white bread, crackers, sugary cereals or some instances, pasta. Instead, a boxer should get his carbs from fruits, beans and according to some experts, oatmeal.
Water is an important part of anyone’s diet, especially an athlete, as water provides most of the day‘s essential vitamins and minerals. Boxers should drink eight to 10 8 oz. glasses a day to help improve circulation and flexibility, and to stay hydrated. They should drink even more on the day of a bout, consuming as many as 14 glasses.
Boxers should eat five or six smaller meals throughout the day, as opposed to two or three large meals. At least three of the meals should consist of one protein and one carbohydrate. For instance, breakfast may consist of a serving of egg whites with a side of fruit (apple, orange and banana). That could be followed by a low-fat, low-sugar protein shake for a snack, followed by a broiled or chicken breast and broccoli for lunch. Another protein shake could follow for a snack, with salmon and salad for dinner. Following this plan, a boxer would want to eat another serving of fruit, or other healthy carb, before going to bed.
Experts recommend boxers avoid starchy foods on the day of the fight. This means no vegetables or beans. Instead, most of the calories should come from protein sources and “lighter” carbs found in fruit. The latter are easier to digest and keep a boxer feeling energetic.