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Boxing Training Diet

author image Dr. Rick Kattouf II
Dr. Rick Kattouf II has been writing health/fitness articles since 1997. His articles have appeared in "GO Magazine," "Velo News," "Chicago Athlete," "Champion," "New O.D.," "," and "Florida Racing Magazine." Kattouf received his Doctor of Optometry degree in 1997 and is a food psychology coach, wellness and nutrition consultant, sports nutrition consultant, MMA conditioning coach, and an ITCA triathlon coach.
Boxing Training Diet
The right diet will help well before fight night. Photo Credit: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

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.

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Eating Frequency

Eat five to eight times per day.
Eat five to eight times per day. Photo Credit: Digital Vision./Digital Vision/Getty Images

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.

Nutrient Timing

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.


Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes Photo Credit: Paul Cowan/iStock/Getty Images

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

Consume lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, beef, egg whites and protein supplements.
Consume lean protein sources such as chicken, fish, beef, egg whites and protein supplements. Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/ Images

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

Grilled chicken breast,
Grilled chicken breast, Photo Credit: Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

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.

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