Boxing is a physical sport, to say the least. Fighters who try to compete in this activity who are not physically fit and do not take in the proper nutrition will have a difficult time being successful in the ring. A smart boxer knows how to take care of himself in and out of the ring by taking part in the proper exercise and nutritional regimen while working on his fighting skills. To maintain the strength needed to compete effectively, boxers need to eat certain types of foods and stay away from others.
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Perhaps the most important key to winning a boxing match is to make sure you do not get fatigued before the other fighter. A prefight meal is generally eaten around two hours before the match to promote strength and ensure that you are able to last as long as possible under the pressures of a bout. Generally the best foods to eat prior to a match are low-glucose foods like whole-grain cereals, sandwiches with whole wheat bread with low protein and fat content that may slow digestion, according to the Workout-X website. Foods that may encourage nervous diarrhoea or cause gas should be avoided. Prefight meals should also be kept small. Overeating can make a boxer sluggish and uncomfortable in the ring.
Unlike the prefight meal, the meal eaten after the fight is equally important to promote healing. The foods chosen after the fight should help restore glycogen levels and prevent the body from consuming its own muscle mass for energy to maintain strength for future fights. High-protein and high-carbohydrate meals are excellent for the recovery meal period. Eating meats, pastas or other high-protein and carbohydrate-filled meals should continue every two hours for six consecutive hours following the fight to repair muscle tissue and speed up the recovery from the fight. After six hours a boxer should return to his normal eating habits.
Water is an incredibly important part of a boxer's diet during training, before, during and after a fight. All muscle contractions need water and electrolytes, and this includes the contraction of the heart muscles. Proper hydration is essential in reaching peak performance and recovering after workouts or fights. Regular weighing before and after a workout can show how much water weight the fighter has lost during a workout. Always replace the liquids with one and a half times as much water as was lost during the session.
Foods to Avoid
There are certain foods that simply do not mix well with a boxer's nutritional needs. According to the Talk Boxing website, boxers should avoid foods that give quick bursts of energy but make them feel sluggish or tired later. These same foods also encourage unwanted weight gain. Some of the foods to avoid as a boxer include fried foods, fast foods, sweets, sodas, saturated fats and processed foods.
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