We are what we eat.
This is a well-used phrase, but an important one according to Dr Philip Goglia a certified nutritionist with more than 30 years of experience.
For boxers, a good diet is critical for staying in shape and keeping up with the ongoing demands of training for boxing.
Boxers require a nutritious diet which will provide high levels of energy to last the duration of a fight and to support a dedicated training plan.
Dr Goglia, the WBC Nutrition Committee Chairman, is widely recognised as one of the most accomplished nutritionists in his field, here are his nutrition tips for boxers.
10 Nutrition Rules for Boxers
1. Avoid Multi-Ingredient Foods
Avoid all foods that have multi-ingredients such as bread, muffins, bagels, pastries, cereal, etc.
Basically, you want to stay away from any baked goods that include yeast, sugar, mold, and gluten (even if gluten is not a problem).
2. Avoid Low Fat & Low Sugar
Avoid any diet foods or beverages that have the label “Low or No Fat” or “Low or No Sugar.” You don’t need sweetening chemicals in your body. Frankly, nobody does.
3. Hydrate Regularly
Always hydrate your body. You should be drinking 1/2 oz to 1 oz of water per each pound you weigh every day no matter what.
4. Have a Mixed Diet
While each person’s metabolic body type is different, generally speaking, a healthy diet includes high-fat fish, carbohydrates (potatoes, rice, yams), organic poultry, fresh fruits and fresh vegetables.
5. Minimise Dairy
Try to eliminate as much dairy from your diet as possible. A splash of milk in your coffee is okay though! And if you’re very good, help yourself to one “tall cappuccino” at your favourite Starbucks (max, one per day).
6. Avoid Supplement Reliance
Never rely on supplements over real food and exercise. No matter what anyone else may tell you, supplements won’t fix a pizza or a skipped meal.
7. Protein at Night
The biggest protein meal you eat should be at night. This is when your body has time to rest and repair your muscle tissue.
8. Use Raw Nuts Pre-Workout
Looking for a great pre-workout snack? Eat raw nuts – like 12 almonds with a piece of fruit. This will give you a great source of fat as an energy source. The sugar and fat combination will be extremely energising and sustainable for a workout of 90 minutes or so.
9. Avoid Sports Drinks
Many sports drinks are high in sodium and sugar. Some contain over-the-top amounts of caffeine, which will cause digestive discomfort.
The type of energy you get from sports drinks is “spikey” at best and not sustainable. You’ll crash as soon as the effect wears off.
10. No Protein Bars
Generally speaking – NO “protein bars.”
Here’s the note about “protein bars. When asked about what type of protein bars are best to eat, Dr Goglia said:
“There is no such thing as a protein bar!”
He goes on.
“Does your protein bar taste like salmon, chicken or steak? Doubtful. It probably tastes like chocolate or cookies.”
And that’s his big point.
More than likely, your favourite “protein” bar has more in common with a common candy bar. In most cases, it’s a package of sugar with “fairy dusting” of some kind of low-grade protein in it.
On this point, Dr Goglia cautions patients about getting sucked into crafty marketing. If it’s not fish, poultry, steak, eggs or nuts, it’s not a source of protein. Period.
The only exception that Dr Goglia makes is that if you choose to use a pre-workout bar, then make sure it is one that clearly states that it is a “50/50” food: an even split between sugar and fat.
This type of food can be used for sustainable workout energy.
Lastly, the most important note of all is Dr Goglia’s reminder that portions are important and consistency is vital.
Eat what your body needs to fulfil nutritional needs. Moreover, be consistent and keep up with the program.