Sick of hearing about what to eat as a bodybuilder?
After all, we aren’t bodybuilders and so we don't care about ‘The ULTIMATE eating plan for building muscle’.
We are Boxers
And all we care about is optimizing performance so we are less likely to get whooped.
But how exactly are you supposed to eat before and after training
In order to maximize both your physical and mental performance
So that you can stay sharp, and not get your ass kicked on sparring day.
The first thing you need to consider is the amount of calories you are eating.
For those who don’t know what calories are…
They are essentially the amount of energy that each food has.
So because your body burns energy daily, you can use calories to measure how much energy you need in order to properly supply your body.
If you oversupply your body with energy then it will store it as fat/muscle,
Making you gain weight (Calorie Surplus)
If you undersupply your body with energy then it will burn that stored fat/muscle,
Making you lose weight (Calorie Deficit)
And if you perfectly supply your body with energy then it will only burn the food that you are eating
Making your weight remain the same (Maintenance Calories)
Which Is Best For Boxing?
Whether you choose to be in a surplus, deficit, or maintenance phase really depends on what you want to achieve as a boxer.
Rarely ever will you need to be in a surplus(unless you want to move up a weight class)
So most of the time you will either be maintaining weight to make sure you are giving your body just enough energy to function
Or you will be in a deficit in order to cut weight right before a fight
So how do you know how many calories you need to eat in order to be in each state?
And how do you actually track how many calories you are eating?
In order to calculate how many calories your body actually needs, all you need to do is go on your app store and type in calorie tracker.
Personally, I recommend MyFitnessPal but any one of them will do.
You then type in your age, height, gender, and weight
Click calculate and it will give you a rough estimate of how many calories you should be eating, depending on your goal.
Once you know how many calories you should be eating, you can then use the tracker to document the amount of calories that each food has
And keep track of how many calories you are actually eating each day to accurately hit your targeted calorie intake.
Note * In order to properly track calories, you must keep track of everything that goes in your mouth, a common mistake is forgetting to track things like the oil and butter that are used when cooking.
Burning More Fat And Keeping More Muscle
Whether it’s an extreme weight cut or a steady calorie deficit
A common concern among boxers and athletes in general is
How can I lose as much fat and as little muscle as possible?
In order to answer this question there are 2 things you need to know…
Firstly, if you are going into an extreme calorie deficit (a deficit of 500 calories or more each day) then you are going to lose some muscle.
So if gigantic deficits lead to muscle loss then the best thing you can do is stay in a slight deficit, that way your body doesn't go into starvation mode and start taking extreme measures.
Secondly, if you want to maximize the amount of fat burnt and minimize the amount of muscle burnt then you need to track your macronutrients.
What Are Macronutrients?
Macronutrients, refer to the essential components of our diet that provide energy and also support various bodily functions.
These macronutrients include carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
By understanding and incorporating the right balance of these nutrients, you can optimize your performance and achieve your weight loss goals.
This is done by supplying yourself with the energy needed for intense workouts and helping in the repair and growth of your muscles.
Additionally, macronutrients also play a role in hormone production, joint health, and overall well-being.
So by ensuring the right balance of macronutrients in your diet, you can enhance your performance while forcing your body to target fat as opposed to muscle
And ultimately improve your physical capabilities as a boxer.
What Is The Right Balance Of Macronutrients?
It is important to note that this may vary depending on the individual and their routine
However, here is everything you need to know about the macron-nutrients and how you can incorporate them into your diet.
Carbohydrates (carbs) are macronutrients that serve as the primary source of energy for the body and can be found in foods like grains, fruits, and vegetables.
They play a crucial role in a boxer's diet, providing the necessary energy for intense training sessions and supporting optimal performance.
Before I tell you exactly when to eat them before and after a workout,
You first need to understand the difference between the 2 different kinds of carbs and how they will impact your performance.
Simple carbs are carbohydrates that are broken down quickly in the body into sugar molecules, which are then absorbed into the bloodstream.
This rapid digestion and absorption leads to a quick release of energy, giving you a short-term boost in performance.
However, it's important to note that while simple carbs can provide a quick energy boost, they are often low in fiber and other essential nutrients.
Meaning that if you rely solely on simple carbs then you may experience energy crashes and actually hinder your long-term performance.
So although simple carbs are a great source of energy, they just can’t be your only source of energy.
To use them effectively, consume around 15-30 grams of simple carbs, about an hour before your workout.
Examples of things you can eat in this time frame include fruits, honey, yogurt, energy bars, and sports drinks.
2. Complex Carbs
Complex carbs, on the other hand, offer a more sustained and long-lasting source of energy for your workouts.
Unlike simple carbs, complex carbs contain longer chains of sugar molecules that take longer to break down and be absorbed by the body.
This slower digestion process provides a steady release of energy, which can help you maintain endurance and performance throughout your training session.
Complex carbs are also typically higher in fiber, vitamins, and minerals compared to simple carbs.
So incorporating complex carbs into your diet is important because they provide essential nutrients that support overall health and optimize your long-term performance.
Examples of complex carbs include whole grains, legumes, and vegetables.
By including complex carbs in your pre-workout meal or snack, about 2-3 hours before your workout, you can ensure sustained energy levels and enhance your training performance without experiencing energy crashes.
Post-workout carbs are equally as important as pre-workout carbs.
While simple carbs can be part of the post-workout carbohydrate intake, it's crucial to include complex carbs as well.
Simple carbs are quickly absorbed and help to replenish glycogen stores rapidly, providing immediate energy for recovery.
However, relying solely on simple carbs may not be sufficient for long-term recovery and muscle growth.
Complex carbs, on the other hand, contribute to sustained glycogen restoration, help in muscle repair, and provide essential nutrients for recovery.
So including a balance of simple and complex carbs in your post-workout meal or snack, within 2-3 hours after exercising, ensures both immediate and sustained energy availability while supporting muscle recovery and growth.
Examples of post-workout complex carbs include whole grain rice, quinoa, and sweet potatoes, while simple carbs can be obtained from sources like fruits or a small serving of sports drinks.
This combination of carbs supports your body's recovery process and maximizes the benefits of your workout.
Fats are another essential macronutrient that plays a vital role in a boxer's diet, both before and after workouts. There are two main types of fats: saturated fats and unsaturated fats.
Saturated fats are typically solid at room temperature and are commonly found in animal-based products like meat, butter, and full-fat dairy. These fats are known to raise levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol and should be consumed in moderation to maintain cardiovascular health.
On the other hand, unsaturated fats, which include monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, are considered healthier options. They are typically liquid at room temperature and can be found in foods like nuts, seeds, avocados, and fatty fish. Unsaturated fats are known to promote heart health, reduce inflammation, and support overall well-being.
Before a workout, it is recommended to consume a meal or snack that is relatively low in fat, as fats take longer to digest and can cause discomfort during exercise. However, incorporating a small amount of healthy unsaturated fats, such as a handful of almonds or a slice of avocado, can provide a slow and steady release of energy.
After a workout, including a moderate amount of healthy fats in your post-workout meal can be beneficial. These fats help with nutrient absorption, help you feel full, and aid in muscle recovery. Opt for sources like salmon, olive oil, or a tablespoon of nut butter to provide essential fatty acids and support your body's recovery process.
In summary, while saturated fats should be limited in your diet due to their potential negative impact on health, incorporating moderate amounts of unsaturated fats, both before and after workouts, can provide numerous health benefits and support your overall performance as a boxer.
Protein is a vital macronutrient that plays a crucial role in the training and recovery of a boxer.
It is composed of amino acids, which are the building blocks for muscle tissue repair and growth.
So consuming enough protein is essential for boxers to preserve and promote muscle mass while supporting overall performance.
Before a workout, including a source of protein in your pre-workout meal or snack can provide the necessary amino acids for muscle repair and energy production.
Examples of protein-rich options include lean meats like chicken or turkey, eggs, Greek yogurt, or protein shakes.
After a workout, consuming protein becomes even more important as it helps with muscle recovery and synthesis.
Aim to consume protein within the first 1-2 hours post-workout to maximize these benefits. Sources of protein such as lean meats, fish, or whey protein shakes can aid in replenishing glycogen stores, repairing damaged muscle fibers, and promoting muscle growth.
It's crucial to note that protein requirements vary based on factors like body weight, activity level, and specific training goals. Generally, it is recommended for boxers to consume around 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day to support muscle maintenance and repair.
It is also important to note that distributing protein intake evenly throughout the day, including pre-and post-workout, also helps ensure optimal utilization.
So you can maximize your recovery and performance as a boxer
You now understand the importance of optimizing nutrition for boxers, and how it can maximize performance while minimizing the risk of burning out in the ring.
By tracking calorie intake and understanding the role of macronutrients, such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, boxers can effectively manage their weight and energy requirements.
So that they can stay healthy and still perform a high intensity during a weight cut.
They do this by maintaining a slight calorie deficit that enables fat burning while preserving muscle mass and incorporating a balanced combination of simple and complex carbs
Moreover, they also include moderate amounts of healthy fats and sufficient protein in the diet to aid in muscle recovery and growth.
By implementing these strategies, boxers can optimize their physical and mental capabilities, ensuring they stay sharp and perform at their best during training
And of course, prevent them from getting their ass kicked in sparring.
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