T Nation

Nutrition for a boxer?


#1

Hello, Im a boxer from saddoboxing.com and was directed to come here for info on my nutrition, I looked on the subject box and tried to find any info people or previous posts about boxing. FOund very minimal directed to me, anyways can anyone describe what a boxers diet should looke like as far as how many meals? nutrient breakdown? supplements? and whatever else you would like to provide. My trainer knows squat about nutrition as he recommends bagels and bananas all the time. He also recommends, get this, soy milk. Well, please help, and if anyone is interested I fight out of San Antonio, TX. If this helps, im currently trying to drop about 6-7lbs. of fat then simply maintain my weight, I have been at this weight for about a year now. ALso, no carb diets suck, I got my ass kicked the 2nd week on that, I could barely fight 3 minute rounds.


#2

Start with articles by John Berardi. And yes, the no carb diets for any boxer is Bad, Bad, and Bad.

I've been looking for a good boxing forum site, haven't seen saddoboxing - maybe I'll check it out.


#3

you really need to have a collaboration between your trainer / conditioning coach and anyone else in the mix to figure this out. Boxing is a little more complicated as you need to ensure proper nutrition but not blow the guy out of his weight class. Feel free to contact me if you wish. In faith, Coach Davies


#4

Yeah, it's tough for you. As a boxer, you'll want to maintain a carb-dominant metabolism, and it's difficult to lose fat on a carb-dominant diet. Actually, if I were you, I'd contact Coach Davies AND John Berardi directly and ask their opinions (remember to give good details) - BUT, before you do, go through some past issues by John Berardi and read up on some of his nutrition stuff. It takes a bit to get your head wrapped around the effects of insulin and glucagon, etc.

Personally, I'm guessing they'll advise you to ramp up your metabolism to fierce levels and then use Berardi's P+C, P+F meal combining to bleed the fat out.


#5

I think that the previous few posts have all been pretty sound advice and I agree with them but have a few things to add. First, I myself am a fighter (mostly NHB, though) and can relate to what you're going through. I would start with reading John Berardi's "Massive Eating" articles to get an idea of how his thoughts on nutrition are structured. After you understand them, I would do a search for his "Don't Diet" plan; it's contained in one of his Appetite for Construction columns. Personally, I follow a modified a T-Dawg diet when I'm trying to cut. I usually have two protein and carb meals (one of which is a post work out shake) and then four or five protein and fat meals. However, I think that this is going to be very individualistic. I think I do very well on a lower carb diet whereas you may not (especially when training hard). You'll have to just mess around and see what works for you. But, I do suspect that a lot of this has to do with the fact that I only train boxing/Muay Thai two hours per week on separate days and then two hours of jiu-jitsu per week also on separate days; it's tough, but not overly draining. The point is, if you're someone who trains boxing for something like a few hours every day, your diet would probably drastically different than mine. Anyway, I hope this helps a bit.


#6

Well, I have read all the John Berardi articles all morning, my brain is full of info and questions of course. To a degree I have been following something similar to his idea, most of my carbs are of whole grain type. Meats with every meal. The problem is that I think I eat a bit more fat than what he recommends, I have a salad before every meal and I use a UDO salad mix with the good fats. It's a sound diet with a good nutrient breakdown, I just cannot drop weight but also am not adding any. The problem is that I still feel slugish since I do limit my portions trying to cut, Im scared if I raise them I will also raise my diet. As far as training goes Coach Davies, I follow a workout from Coach HALE's website called weight training for Boxer's, its basically a couple of lifts at 50% max increasing weekly and focusing on bar speed. My boxing trainer is very smart when it comes to boxing and conditioning, but not at lifting-diet!!! Well if any of you can keep bringing the info I appreciate it a whole lot. THanx


#7

What weight class are you in and what is your current weight and BF% (approximate). Are you scheduled to fight at a certain weight class? Or are you just trying to get to a weight that you are comfortable with.


#8

Hello, I WAS JUST FLIPPING THROUGH THE T-MAG WHEN I SAW YOUR QUESTION. IT SOUNDS SORT OF SIMILAR TO WHAT I'VE BEEN THROUGH. I ACTUALLY WRESTLED IN COLLEGE AND THROUGH HIGH SCHOOL AND WOULD SAY THAT BOXERS AND WRESTLERS AREN'T TOO DIFFERENT IN THEIR PREDICAMENT OF MAKING WEIGHT AND HAVING TO BE ABLE TO STILL PERFORM. I FOUND THAT THE BEST DIET STRATEGIES WERE TO USE A HIGHER PROTEIN, HIGH CARBOHYDRATE AND LOW FAT DIET. I FOUND THAT AROUND 35% PROTEIN WAS GOOD BECAUSE IT HELPED YOU BUILD OR AT LEAST KEEP MUSCLE (ESPECIALLY WHEN THE TRAINING WE DO SO OFTEN CROSSES OVER TO THE OVER TRAINING SIDE OF THINGS). I FOUND ALSO THAT A RANGE OF 45-55 (AND EVEN 60 FOR BRIEF PERIODS) HELPED A LOT WITH THE ENERGY SIDE OF THINGS. THEN I LIKED TO TRY TO KEEP THE FAT WITHIN A 15-20% RANGE (DEPENDING ON CARBS). THIS DIET WORKED GREAT FOR PRE-SEASON AND IN SEASON TOO.
IT ESPECIALLY HELPED WHEN I WAS WORKING ON GETTING TO A SPECIFIC WEIGHT.
THE EASIEST WAY TO DO IT IS TO CALCULATE YOUR BASAL METABOLIC RATE. WHAT YOU DO IS TAKE YOUR CURRENT BODY WEIGHT (FOR MAINTENANCE) OR YOUR GOAL BODY WEIGHT (FOR WEIGHT LOSS) AND THEN MULTIPLY IT BY A NUMBER FROM 10-15 DEPENDING ON YOUR METABOLISM, OR BASICALLY YOUR CURRENT PHYSICAL STATE. i.e. IF YOU ARE NATURALLY VERY LEAN YOU WOULD MULTIPLY BY 14 OR 15, IF YOU WERE MORE OR LESS "NORMAL" YOU WOULD MULTIPLY BY 10-13, AND IF YOU WERE ON THE CHUNK SIDE YOU WOULD JUST DO BY 10 OR MAYBE ELEVEN. SO WHAT YOU COME UP WITH AS AN EXAMPLE WOULD BE: 200LB BOXER WITH A NORMAL METABOLISM... 200 X 12 = 24OO.
WHICH JUST MEANS THAT YOU WOULD NEED 24OO CALORIES PER DAY TO STAY AT OR ABOUT 200 LBS. THIS USUALLY WORKS BUT YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO ADJUST TO YOUR PERSONAL NEED. I FIND THAT EVEN THOUGH I AM "NORMAL" I PREFER TO USE A 10 0R 11. SO YOU CAN TRY THAT AND THEN BREAK IT DOWN INTO THE PERCENTAGES AND GET THE AMOUNT OF PROTEIN AND CARBS AND FAT.
THIS IS ALL BASIC AND I AM SURE OTHERS HAVE ALREADY SENT YOU THIS SORT OF STUFF.
THE NEXT THING I CAN SAY WILL DEFINITELY HELP YOU MORE THAN MAYBE ANYTHING IS THE WAY YOU CONTROL YOUR BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS. THIS IS ACCOMPLISHED BY FINDING LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX FOODS, AND I CAN TELL YOU RIGHT NOW THAT IF YOU ARE EATING WHITE BAGELS AND BANANAS LIKE YOUR TRAINER SAYS THAT YOU WILL BE SEEING STARS AND LOOKING AT LIGHTS ABOUT THE THIRD OR FOUR ROUND BECAUSE YOU WILL GAS OUT TOO QUICK.
THE BEST THING YOU COULD HONESTLY DO IS TO GO TO THE LIBRARY OR BOOK STORE AND FIND A BOOK THAT CAN TELL YOU ABOUT THE GLYCEMIC INDEX AND A LISTING OF THOSE FOODS THAT ARE LOWER ON THE INDEX. I FOUND THAT WHOLE WHEAT BREADS AND WHOLE WHEAT PASTAS WERE THE BEST. I ALSO FOUND THAT MY PRE-MATCH MEALS NEEDED TO BE HALF LIQUID AND HALF SOLID WITH A MIX OF BOTH PROTEIN AND CARBS AND LOW FAT. I USED TO JUST DRINK GATORADE AND EAT BAGELS BEFORE AND AFTER MATCHES AND I ALWAYS NOTICED THAT AFTER A WHILE I WOULD GET SLEEPY AND LOOSE SOME OF MY FIRE. AFTER I STARTED HAVING A BALANCE OF PROTEIN AND CARBS THEN I FELT AWAKE AND READY TO GO ALL THE WAY TILL MATCH TIME AND THEN POST MATCH I WOULD HAVE A REGULAR MEAL OUT WITH THE TEAM OR MY FAMILY.
THESE THINGS MADE A BIG DIFFERENCE FOR ME AND I WOULD GUESS THAT THEY MIGHT HELP YOU OUT TOO. I HOPE YOU WILL GIVE THEM SOME CONSIDERATION AND HOPEFULLY RESPOND WHEN YOU GET THIS MESSAGE. THANKS FOR LISTENING AND GOOD LUCK WITH YOUR FIGHTING CAREER.
BRANDON RUIZ


#9

Well, currently I weigh 160 and need to fight at 154. I fight at 154 usually but I recently took time off (a year) do to elbow surgery and added weight, during that time I kept lifting with more weights and held back on boxing training and cardio because of it, now I weigh more with the same BF% but I did not grow in height. So, I need to loose weight to be a top competitor. I have been talking to DIRK D and A.B. who post here about the glycemic index and have found great foods or alternatives to keep my insulin levels in check. The thing is that I refuse to fight at 165, Knowing that I can fight and be great at 154. It's a task and battle I am willing to go through. If you have further help please chime in, so far you are all helping so do not stop by any means. thank you


#10

John, Im a boxer too, I also took time off from boxing to follow or pursue a different sport(football), I also gained muscle mass or unnecessary weight for boxing. Currently I am training under coach davies and what Im doing is I have lowered my protein intake but kept carbs high(low glycemic carbs). Coach Davies has me lifting 3 days a week with Rope and running two days a week, high volume work that demands tons of protein but without it muscle will fall, I hope. I fight at 147 and currently weigh 154 with water and full glycogen stores in the morning after a night of carbs.. to refuel after boxing practice. I basically eat very little in the morning before weights, then two hours after weights I eat a good size meal to refill glycogen stores then a light snack three hours later but one hour before boxing practice, after boxing practice I again refill glycogen stores for the next days workout. You can try this method if you like, talk to coach Davies as he is always helpfull.


#11

Check out this weeks issue Behind the Scences w/ Tim.


#12

Try 5x5 training. i tried it and dropped a %point or two, with no change in diet (I stay under 10 %bf. I also saw tremendous strenth gains. Six pounds should be fairly easy to drop with a slight reduction in calories. My bodyweight will easily drop 2-3 pounds in a day if I miss a meal or two. When is the weigh in? Normally i would not reccomend dropping water, but if you are within 3-4 pounds you can do it fairly easily with little ill effects.


#13

Well, the problem is that I only have so much fat to loose left. Im really skinny but I have huge legs and arms. Mostly muscle. I wish I could cut out about two pounds of muscle from each quad and ham. And maybe even a LB on each bicep. I like A.B.'s idea, what do all of you thin about that? can you write more about your situation A.B.???


#14

Try using a 55/25/20 macronutrient ratio or a 60/20/20 ration but I think you would be better of with 55%carbs, 25%protein and 20%fat to get started. You have to determine your caloric expenditure based on your current bmr and training activity as well as factor in your weight class so that you dont gain to much weight to cause any loss of speed or acceleration, at the same time make sure you don't go to low or you will face similiar problems. Eat every 2-3 hours not because everyone says to, but because it's sceintifically proven that you need to feed your body more often especially if your a competitive athlete. Choose your proteins from beef (flank steak, sirloin), boneless skinless chicken breast, salmon, tuna, halibut other fish that are high in omega 3 fatty acids. Carbohydrates should come from lower glycemic sources beans, legumes, oatmeal, yams, and some rice. You will need a large portion of your carbs to come from fruits and vegetables concentrating on green leafy veggies as they provide a large portion of phytochemicals in your diet. Depending on your training schedule you will need to schedule your meals accordingly. For breakfast you need to replenish glycogen stores with some higher glycemic carbs and proteins for amino acid uptake, you can slow down the assimilation of higher glycemic carbs by adding protein or fat to your meal. Your post training meal will also want to include some higher glycemic carbs and protein, other than that you want to concentrate on lower glycemic carbs and vegetables. Fats should come from meats, fish olive oil, and flax oil. This will put you on the right track.


#15

perfect, sounds great. i will begin with a diet in this fashion. one question though, will this diet maintain my weight or help reduce it? i like it and sounds perfect, i really don't want to lower my daily calorie maintance and change it by dieting. would you recommend that for maybe six weeks include a thermogenic and a thyroid booster to help reduce weight in this fashion?


#16

Those are the basic principals in which your sport nutrition plan should be based on. If you correctly factor and figure your bmr and training expenditure you will have an estimated number of kcalories that you burn daily. Take this number an either add calories to gain weight, subtract calories to lose weight, or keep it the same to maintain weight. Im assuming you have a relatively low % of body fat now, so you won't need to be as concerned with weight loss to due to water, so your scale weihgt each morning will be fairly accurate. If you notice big drops in weight after a couple days implementing your new nutrition plan, then add 200-400kcal a day from your total caloric intake, if you gain weight after a few days then subtract 200-400kcal a day from your total caloric intake. Ideally your body weight should stay the same (unless you specifically want to increase or decrease) what will change is your body composition, meaning you will increase lean tissue and decrease adipose tissue, but will remain the same weight. Making you a much better athlete at your current weight. You can use fluctuating days to better controll your weight, ie some days with higher caloric content and days with lower caloric content, the lower days would be non-training days all training days should be higher in calories to provide energy and keep catabolism to a minimum because of lack of kcal and macronutrients. This should not be a diet, its not that complicated. Clean up your diet by eating the proper foods to supply all the macronutrients/micronutrients/phyotochemicals and you will be on the right track, it is a lot harder to eat 5000 kcal a day of healthy food than it is 5000 kcal a day of junk food.


#17

I should have been more specific since you want to maintain kcal intake while decreasing 6lbs to 154 wt class. What is your current bodyfat %, that is key to determinining how much fat you lose and then how much lbm you will have to lose to make your weight class. Avoid fat burners and especially thyroid meds since they can wreak havoc on your natural hormone production. You need to take into consideration how much time you have to lose 6lbs, dont crash diet or drop rapidly because you will have no energy during your fight and will completely defeat the purpose of losing the weight. Take your bmr and daily energy expenditure and maintain it. Try increasing your daily training by 30 minutes or so of extra jump rope work, 5-10 minutes in sauna with cold water bath to improve recovery (which suana will help cut out extra water) but dont let yourself become dehydrated. If you start to lose to much water weight, drink 1qt of water with 1tbsp salt added in addition to your other fluid intake this will help prevent dehydration and vitamin loss through excessive fluid excretion. Keep accurate track of your weight every day and record so you can see what your current nutritional plan is providing in means of total kcal intake vs expenditure, then adjust your kcal intake accordingly to wether you are maintaining, losing, or gaining.


#18

What is you height?


#19

My height 5'7", my weight is 163lbs. need to be at 154lbs.. Bf% 7.5%. Good muscle build, very lean and ripped looking. Im very quick good metabolism.


#20

If you are at 7% BF you probably not going to be able to drop any more fat without sacrificing your stamina. In fact, if your BF gets to low it would negatively effect your performance. Your best bet is to lose 2-3lbs of muscle mass, and then drop some water. Forklift gave you sound advice, just make sure to keep track of your progress.