Boxing is a challenging sport, and although proper training and nutrition can adequately prepare you for the ring, certain supplements may help. The best supplements for boxing are those that enhance the effect of your training and improve your stamina. The efficacy of supplements will vary by brand and specific ingredient formulation. Consult a doctor before using any supplements.
Amino Acid Supplements
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Although these are found in food, free-form amino acids may enhance your boxing performance because they can be absorbed more easily than food. Research from the October 2008 issue of the "International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism" found that a supplement drink containing amino acids and carbohydrates decreased fatigue in athletes training on consecutive days. This is important for boxing, as you will often perform on consecutive days, with weight training one day and sparring or cardio the next.
According to boxing trainer Ross Enamait, a typical training day for a boxer includes morning running and an afternoon gym session. An endurance supplement may be helpful to maintain training intensity all day. Research published in the November 2001 issue of "Sports Medicine" found that caffeine use may promote "enhanced endurance or resistance to fatigue" during exercise sessions lasting up to two hours.
The frequent training described by Enamait demands optimal recovery. If your muscles cannot recover adequately between training sessions, your boxing performance may be impaired. Although carbohydrates are your body's main fuel source, research indicates that recovery supplements that combine protein and carbohydrates are more beneficial. A study from the December 2008 issue of the "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition" found that a supplement with a 2:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein improved recovery significantly better than a carbohydrate-only supplement.
Although exercise provides many benefits, it also causes oxidative stress. Oxidative stress produces free radicals, which may damage your cells and cause disease. However, antioxidants help protect your cells from this damage. Antioxidants are found in vitamins A, C and E as well as lutein, lycopene and selenium.
- "International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism" Effects of an Amino Acid Carbohydrate Drink on Exercise Performance After Consecutive-Day Exercise Bouts; R.A. Skillen, et al; October 2008
- Ross Enamait: Be "Smart" When Training
- "Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition"; Recovery From a Cycling Time trial is Enhanced with Carbohydrate-Protein Supplementation vs. Isoenergetic Carbohydrate Supplementation; J.M. Berardi, et al; December 2008
- "Dynamic Medicine"; Acute Exercise and Oxidative Stress: a 30-Year History; K. Fisher-Wellman, et al; August 2009
- MedlinePlus: Antioxidants