Page containing healthy fitness diet information useful for boxers and other athletes who need nutrition and health information and advice.
Boxing is traditionally a man's sport and men need a specific type of diet to ensure they consume sufficient nutrition to sustain a high level of athletic fitness with the ability to train, spar and fight at the top level always.
That aside, there is also women's boxing and for that, women need a slightly different type of diet to maintain a similar level of fitness. In this area of the website, we'll look at both diet types and provide some opinions and recommendations that might be useful for boxers of both sexes to take note of.
General Diet Information
We'll begin with general dieting data. Obviously for men, there needs to be high levels of protein to build muscle density, strength and stamina coupled with sufficient carbohydrates for energy, dietary fiber and healthy fats with a good balance of nutrients, vitamins and minerals essential for the well-running of a physical machine. Women also need all these constituents, just not in the same volumes or proportions.
For the purposes of this website article we can of course only deal in general data to take away and refine for each individual's needs, but when it comes to a fighter's personal makeup, their own trainer and dietitian should have the final say in what they should be eating and how much of it each day.
Top of most athlete's list of needs are foods high in protein. Depending on your individual nutritional preferences, this can come from meat or a vegetable-based diet. The old way of thinking was that nobody could get enough protein from plants, so most boxers ate a lot of meat each day to provide protein.
However, recent research into plant-based protein sources have turned up some surprises that are good news for vegetarian and vegan boxers. Many types of legumes including the many beans available are known to be good protein sources, but there are also several seeds and nuts that can also be included.
Chia seeds are the buzz-food of the moment being a rich source, along with hemp seeds. Several seaweed-based plants are also coming known and rising in popularity, such as Spirulina for example.
Not all carbs are good and those occupying the low end of the Glycemic Index are the best choices for providing energy and bulk to food. Low Glycemic carbs include most leafy green vegetables which are essential for their nutrient value as well as other rich health benefits from immune system boosting to antioxidants to help the body fight diseases such as cancer.
High Glycemic carbs are to be avoided and these include just about anything made from wheat (bread, pasta, cakes, pastries etc), white rice and all foods containing added sugar or sugar substitutes (for example high fructose corn syrup--HFCS). These sugars are bad for the body because it cannot process them into glucose fast enough for the muscles to use as energy, the resultant excess being processed into visceral fat which is deposited around the abdomen and can lead to dangerous medical conditions if allowed to increase in volume.
The rule of thumb is that if you need sweet stuff, then opt for raw, unprocessed honey or just eat good old fashioned fruit like apples, pears, apricots, bananas, plums etc because they contain natural fruit sugars that the body can process into glucose fairly quickly.
When we talk about fats, we really mean healthy ones that come from sources like extra virgin olive oil, a good balance of omega 3, 6 and 9 from oily fish, walnuts and flax seeds for example and some other mono-unsaturated fats such as coconut oil.
What you need to avoid are saturated fats from animal products such as fatty meats, processed and cured meats such as those used in sausages, deli meats etc, dairy products (hard cheese, butter, etc) and polyunsaturated fats such as those found in margarine.
Vitamins and Minerals
The body needs the right balance of certain vitamins and minerals., most of which it gets from the food we eat. However, in recent decades, the agriculture industry has so extensively over-farmed the land that the soil has become seriously depleted in many important minerals.
That means many of the vegetables and fruits we buy in supermarkets are deficient in some minerals and in order to ensure we get the right amount, it has become necessary to supplement. This needs to be done carefully and preferably under medical supervision as we need to know exactly what we are deficient in before we artificially replenish the shortfall.
While the idea of losing weight or attempting to maintain a slim figure is not really something that concerns a lot of boxers thanks to the nature of the training they do each day keeping them in shape naturally, there is some room for a mention of this concept. Many new to the sport will be beginning their journey quite likely being out of shape and unfit and in need of getting started toward fitness and strength.
There are many fad diets that need to be avoided since often they will omit one of the important nutritional factors such as carbs in an attempt to force the body to burn fat without exercise. Too get truly fit and "in shape" you need complete nutrition and that includes good carbs!
Again, men and women will have different dietary needs at the outset, so it will generally be down to personal preference at how each individual chooses to begin re-educating their body to accept healthier food in the right proportions. There are some reasonable programs available that can help in the early stages as the slow, incremental exercise takes over the fat burning and muscle building process.
Many people need to come from a lifestyle of being very busy with little free time. For those, we have heard good things about some meal replacement diets such as Nutrisystem or Medifast for example. Again, these should be considered as starter diets to work on removing an initial mass of excess fat and to provide nutrition to help with the early stages of exercise.
It is worth taking a look at one or more Nutrisystem for Men reviews as well as one or more of their plans for women as that company has a lot of good credibility and long-term success for a lot of customers. Of course it really depends on how much time and effort you are willing to devote to your own fitness and progress in the boxing arena as to how you choose to begin your dieting and fitness journey.
Many will prefer to enlist the help of a dietitian to provide a healthy, strength- and metabolism-boosting diet plan that they can work with on a day to day basis while they go through the process of gradual daily increases in exercise. What works best for you is what will work best for you!