The following article was submitted by Freelance writer Jennifer Maxwell.
Eddie Hall, a Former World’s Strongest Man is eating a massive 7,000 calories every day in preparation for his boxing match with strongman Hafthor Bjornsson. At a weight of over 360lbs, his body needs three times the number of calories than an average adult male. Whatever your weight, as a fighter you too will need extra calories in order to provide your body with the energy it needs for such a demanding sport. However, more important than simply consuming a larger number of calories is the variety of your diet during training and particularly before a fight. Eating an appropriate mix of the three macronutrients, carbohydrate, protein and fat, before a match not only provides you with plenty of fuel, but can enhance your performance in the ring.
Eating the Right Carbs for Energy
Carbohydrates are important before a fight as they are broken down by the body and stored as glucose and glycogen, essential sources of energy in the body. Eating starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes and rice roughly every few hours in the 24 hours before a fight will ensure that your stores of glycogen are sufficient to sustain you during a challenging bout. While boxers need plenty of this energy, it can also be easy to overeat carbohydrates. An excess of this macronutrient is then stored as fat which is a problem if you are trying to make weight before a fight. If you need to drop a few pounds, tracking your intake of carbs can help you to identify those that contain more fiber which passes through the body without being absorbed.
Building Muscle with Protein
During a fight, your body will use a range of different muscles all of which need protein as a building block. Your pre-fight meal should ideally be a mix of carbohydrates and high protein foods such as chicken or eggs. These can help to settle the stomach and stop hunger pangs, however, some high fat proteins take longer to digest leading to feelings of sluggishness and slower reaction times. For these reasons, it’s best to avoid drinking milk and limit foods like cheese and nuts just before a fight.
Avoiding Unhealthy Fats
In fact, your body doesn’t need any high-fat foods before a competitive event. There are few good nutrients in junk foods and filling up on them just before you enter the ring could upset your digestive system. Saturated fats should be limited at all times, however non-saturated fats play an important part in your ordinary daily diet providing essential energy while you are training and preparing for a fight. Healthy fats in foods like salmon and avocado should be included in a balanced diet, making up around a third of your daily regime.
As a fighter, managing your diet and weight is important at all times but especially just before a fight. Ensuring your body has access to sufficient energy from carbs and is unhindered by high fat foods will increase your stamina and enhance your overall performance.
This article was submitted by Freelance writer Jennifer Maxwell.
The views and opinions in this article are those of the guest author and are not necessarily representative of Fight Quality’s own views. We welcome guest posts from knowledgeable and passionate writers, but have no affiliation with the author or connected companies/products.