Become lean and fit like a boxer by aligning four main nutrition principles: eating frequency, nutrient timing, balance of macronutrients and total caloric intake. This will provide the energy necessary for training, and also enhance recovery. Following these principles, you can increase your metabolism and encourage your body to burn fat as its primary fuel source.
Eat five to eight times per day to stabilize blood sugar and keep your energy levels high all day long. This eating frequency will keep your glycogen stores -- glycogen is energy for the body, formed from ingested carbohydrates -- loaded and reloaded. Just like a boxer, this high eating frequency will start with breakfast and will end with dinner and possibly recovery fuel prior to bed. This recovery fuel will assist in muscle repair, powering you up for the next day's workout.
Before your early-morning workout, consume a complex carbohydrate, such as oatmeal or whole-wheat toast, for a more productive training session. This will allow you to top off your glycogen stores to facilitate fat burning. During your workout, sip on a sports drink to replace calories and electrolytes to prevent muscle cramping. Following your workout, consume a recovery fuel source containing mainly carbohydrates and some protein to reload glycogen stores. This recovery fuel enables boxers to have productive training sessions day after day.
Carbohydrates are going to be the mainstay of your nutrition plan. Your carbohydrate intake should be 50 to 65 percent of your total daily consumed calories. Fat will burn in the presence of carbohydrates, and this high carbohydrate consumption keeps boxers extremely lean. Focus on complex carbohydrates (as opposed to simple sugars) such as whole-grain breads and pasta, brown rice, quinoa and sweet potatoes. You also want to consume fruit, which will provide antioxidants. Antioxidants are critical to your nutrition plan, as these will combat free radicals brought about during heavy training loads.
Protein and Fat
Protein will make up approximately 20 to 30 percent of your daily calories. It is the amino acids -- building blocks of protein -- in the protein sources that assist in muscle repair. Consume lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, beef, egg whites and protein supplements. Your third macronutrient, dietary fat, should consist of 20 to 30 percent of your daily caloric intake. Consume dietary fat from sources such as nuts, nut butters and flax.
Antioxidants and Total Calories
To combat free radical damage -- free radicals are formed during times of stress, such as training -- consume antioxidants from fruits, vegetables and multivitamins. Take a multivitamin each morning and consume fruit and vegetables with four to six of your meals and snacks. Your total daily caloric intake will be based on your weight goals. If you are looking to maintain your weight, determine your basal metabolic rate using a BMR calculator. If you have a BMR of 2,000 calories, consume 2,000 to 2,200 calories per day and add an additional 350 to 650 calories per hour of training.
2-a-Day Training Day
If you choose to train two times per day like a boxer, here is an example of what your daily nutrition will look like:
Consume a liquid carbohydrate pre-training supplement consisting of 60 to 70 percent carbohydrates prior to your early morning workout. During your training session, sip on one to two bottles of fluid replacement drink. Immediately following your workout, consume recovery fuel consisting of 70 to 80 percent carbohydrate.
For breakfast, consume a whole-wheat bagel with peanut butter, a banana and six egg whites. For a mid-morning snack, eat an apple, a can of vegetable juice, almonds and a protein drink followed by a 12-inch turkey sub on whole-wheat bread with vegetables and cheese for lunch.
Prior to your afternoon workout, repeat the pre-training fuel from earlier followed by a post workout recovery supplement containing 70 to 80 percent carbohydrates. For dinner, consume a grilled chicken breast, whole-wheat pasta with sauce, vegetables and a salad. Consume a protein drink one hour before bed.