Best Diet For Boxers (With Meal Plan Example)

September 21, 2021

So, you want to eat like a professional boxer huh? Put down those Cheetos and pick up that steak. I’ve got the best diet for boxers that will transform your body and boxing performance.

The best diet for boxers is one that is high in carbohydrates (3 g per kg of bodyweight), lower in fat (1 g per kg of bodyweight), with moderate protein (2 g per kg of bodyweight). This ensures that you are adequately fueled for your boxing training while being able to build or maintain muscle mass.

Having this macronutrient breakdown is great. But I’m going to show you how to put it into action. Firstly, let’s cover how often you should eat a day.

How Many Meals Do Boxers Eat?

Boxers will generally eat enough meals needed to meet their caloric requirements around their training schedule. For example, Rocky Fielding would eat five meals a day leading into his fights. If you want a fully effective weight cutting strategy as well as Rocky Fielding's diet strategies by his performance nutritionist, check out our online weight cutting course.

As a boxer, you may be training once to twice a day. Sometimes three depending on your training schedule. This means you need to eat smaller, more frequent meals so you can train without feeling full and bloated.

Very rarely will a boxer eat only three meals a day as would be difficult to ingest the required calories while not negatively affecting boxing training.

How Do Boxers Lose Weight Fast?

How Do Boxers Lose Weight Fast

Boxers will lose weight quickly by cutting water weight. This is an acute weight loss strategy that is often employed a day or two before the weigh-in. Most importantly, this fast weight loss isn't done long term. And further, it only consists of between 5-8% loss of bodyweight.

Losing weight quickly through extreme food restriction and extreme dehydration is a quick path to poor boxing performance, adverse health outcomes, and potentially a trip to the hospital. Worst case scenario? Death.

If you are undergoing weight-cutting strategies, seek a professional to help with your game plan. It is well worth the investment to avoid these risks. Further, getting this right will have you boxing like an animal.

What Can Boxers Eat During Training?

It is well-known boxing training can be long and intense. During these sessions, it is smart to fuel yourself so you can maintain training quality and intensity. 

Research suggests that moderate to high-intensity intermittent exercise (i.e. boxing workouts) of greater than an hour would benefit from 30-60 g of carbohydrates per hour [1].

It's important to note that these carbohydrates need to be fast digesting. An example would be a full sugar sports drink that you can sip on during your training. You can also use dextrose or maltodextrin powder which are dirt cheap. However, they are unflavored so you need to mix them in something with flavor.

What To Eat After Boxing Training?

What To Eat After Boxing Training

Eating after your boxing training is going to help refuel your body to accelerate recovery and provide energy for your second session of the day if you have one. Some foods are better than others to consume directly after training.

Ideally, these foods should be fast-digesting so they can be broken down for fuel quickly to be used by the muscles. Fast digesting foods would be lean protein sources and sugary carbohydrate sources.

Some may opt to just consume a protein shake but the research suggests that protein + carbohydrates post-workout might be better than just protein to enhance muscle protein synthesis (the building of new proteins) [2].

So here are some post-boxing training meal options that digest quickly to enhance your recovery:

  • Whey protein and maltodextrin shake
  • Whey protein shake and rice cakes
  • Whey protein and Gatorade
  • Whey protein and cereal with low-fat milk
  • Whey protein smoothie with low-fat milk, banana, and berries
  • White meat (chicken breast or fish) and white rice
  • White meat and rice cakes
  • White meat and pasta
  • White meat sandwich
  • White meat, banana, and pineapple
  • Egg white omelet and toast with jam
  • Egg white omelet, banana, and pineapple
  • Greek yogurt and fruit

Boxing Diet Plan For Beginners

Firstly, you must calculate your macronutrient breakdown. Dr. James Morehen, performance nutritionist for many professional boxers (most notably Rocky Fielding) recommends an intake of 1 g per kg bodyweight of fat, 2 g per kg bodyweight of protein, and 3 g per kg of bodyweight of carbohydrates.

So, if you are a 165 lb boxer, divide your bodyweight in pounds by 2.2 which equals 75 kg.

Protein = 150 g

Carbohydrates = 225 g

Fat = 75 g

This is the easiest way to calculate your macronutrient breakdown. Here is a boxing diet plan for a boxer who is training twice a day. Boxing session in the morning and a strength or conditioning session in the afternoon.

Meal

Protein

Carbs

Fats

Calories

Breakfast (Pre-Training)

34 g

44 g

23 g

524 cal

Scrambled Eggs x 3 (Size 7)

Cell
Cell
Cell
Cell

Toast x 2

Cell
Cell
Cell
Cell

Apple

Cell
Cell
Cell
Cell

Post-Training 1

11 g

36 g

0 g

185 cal

Oikos No Fat Greek Yogurt (100g)

Cell
Cell
Cell
Cell

Banana

Cell
Cell
Cell
Cell

Lunch

33 g

59 g

26 g

580 cal

Chicken Thighs (120 g cooked)

Cell
Cell
Cell
Cell

Jasmine Rice (150 g cooked)

Cell
Cell
Cell
Cell

Avocado (50 g)

Cell
Cell
Cell
Cell

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1/2 Tbsp)

Cell
Cell
Cell
Cell

Pre-Training (Tuna Sandwich)

22 g

26 g

3 g

202 cal

Canned Tuna (60 g)

Cell
Cell
Cell
Cell

Bread (2 Slices)

Cell
Cell
Cell
Cell

Lettuce, Tomato

Cell
Cell
Cell
Cell

Post-Training 2

17 g

18 g

5 g

170 cal

Whey Protein (1/2 Scoop)

Cell
Cell
Cell
Cell

Quaker Rice Cakes x2

Cell
Cell
Cell
Cell

Dinner

36 g

43 g

19 g

497 cal

Sirloin Steak (100 g cooked)

Cell
Cell
Cell
Cell

Baked Russett Potato (200 g)

Cell
Cell
Cell
Cell

Garden Salad w/ Extra Virgin Olive Oil (1 Tbsp)

Cell
Cell
Cell
Cell

Total

154 g

226 g

76 g

2140 cal

"A really massive part of the success was the weight cut."

"Dr. James Morehen knew my body better than me. My performances were staying, my training in the gym, my sleep pattern was good. I wasn't going to bed starving, I was getting good rest in and sleep in." - Rocky Fielding (WBA Super Middleweight Champion)

References

1. Burke, L. M. (2010). Fueling strategies to optimize performance: training high or training low?. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 20, 48-58.

2. Phillips, S. M. (2011). The science of muscle hypertrophy: making dietary protein count. Proceedings of the nutrition society, 70(1), 100-103.

About the author 

James de Lacey

I am a professional strength & conditioning coach that works with professional and international level teams and athletes. I am a published scientific researcher and have completed my Masters in Sport & Exercise Science. I've combined my knowledge of research and experience to bring you the most practical bites to be applied to your combat training.


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