What's So Special About A Boxer's Diet?
Is a boxer's diet a training table diet like many athletes follow, a diet followed consistently whether training for a fight or not, or a diet which will vary from boxer to boxer? It's too bad more of the great boxers in the past cannot be interviewed to find out what their diets consisted of. Some no doubt were very conscious of what they should and should not be eating, right down to the serving of each type of food. Others no doubt got along reasonably well on a diet made famous by baseball great Babe Ruth, beer and hotdogs. "Two-Ton" Tony Galento, who gave Joe Louis quite a battle, though he lost, at least looked like be might have favored Ruth’s diet, and the two were after all contemporaries.
It's unlikely that today's boxer's diets ever follow the beer and hot dog approach. Today's athletes, whether fighting professionally or trying to make the Olympic team, take their training very seriously, and that includes taking their diet seriously.
The Boxer's Diet Is A Balancing Act - A boxer's diet may on the surface seem be not all that different from a diet any athlete would follow, but there are several important exceptions. During training, right up to the night of a fight, a boxer will burn a lot of calories, and therefore needs to consume plenty of calories, up to 4,000 calories a day according to some. A boxer's diet also needs to contain foods and help the boxer to build stamina, as a boxer requires more stamina than almost any other athlete. The most challenging aspect of a boxer's diet is that it must be such that the boxer stays within a rather narrow weight range. While a heavyweight has no upper weight restrictions as do the lower weight categories, every boxer has an optimum weight where he is at his best, and his diet must help him stay close to that optimum weight.
Carbohydrates - In any case, the design of a boxer's diet is somewhat of a balancing act requiring the right combination of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. It is primarily the carbohydrates that provide fuel for the body, and help the boxer in making it through up to 15 intense 3-minute rounds. Of the 4,000 or so calories the boxer needs daily when in training about 2,000 of those calories should come from carbohydrates.
Protein and Fat - Protein is needed in the boxer's diet to help the muscles, which undergo plenty of wear and tear, to repair and replenish themselves. Protein also supplements the energy the carbohydrates supply. Fat is an area where the boxer needs to be careful. The body requires fat as part of a balanced diet, but it needs to be the right kind of fat. The wrong kind of fat will inevitably cause the boxer to gain excess weight. Fried foods are generally to be avoided, and monounsaturated fats are best.
Obviously, there’s more to a boxer's diet than simply those foods that help build stamina while maintaining weight. The diet must still be well balanced and nutritious, containing the vitamins and minerals that boxers as well as non-boxers must have.
Specific Foods Suitable For A Boxer's Diet - Potatoes, sweet potatoes or yams, along with whole wheat and oatmeal are among the best sources of carbohydrates, while lean meat, poultry, and eggs are the best choices to provide protein. Some fat will be included in those foods providing protein, while vegetables such as avocados and nuts can be a good source of monounsaturated or vegetable fats. As far as liquids are concerned, plenty of water, especially importance into avoiding dehydration is best, and the diet should be rounded out with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, with processed foods being avoided where possible.