There is so much to do to prepare for a boxing match. You’ve been training for what seems like forever, and now you are ready. You’re physically at your peak, you’ve got your techniques down-pat, and you are mentally ready. Nothing is going to stop you from clobbering your opponent the next day. Then someone in the household orders your favorite pizza from your favorite Italian restaurant, and you lose the match the next day because of a couple of slices of all meat pizza with double black olives and anchovies.
Of course, this is an exaggeration, but there are definitely foods to avoid before a boxing match. Here are some of the most likely suspects that may take you down before the big competition.
Foods to Avoid When Preparing for a Boxing Match
We know it seems like an obvious place to start, but believe it or not, there have been MMA, boxing, and other athletes that actually bragged about eating fast food before a match. Johny Hendricks, Daniel Cormier, and Jorge Masvidal refused to give up fast food, even when training for a fight. That love of fast food ended up costing Hendricks a few weigh-ins later on.
The issue here is the lack of nutrition and high amounts of fat that could harm your digestive tract and cause weight gain and discomfort. In addition, you are likely looking at copious amounts of salt. The amount of salt in a typical fast-food meal is going to cause you to retain water weight. And with a weigh-in looming before the match, water weight is the last thing you need.
Milk is going to make you feel sluggish, and it’s going to reduce your reaction time. So if you absolutely must have some sort of milk with your whole grain breakfast cereal, switch to almond or cashew milk. Milk actually contains a significant amount of tryptophan, the amino acid that exists in turkey that makes you want to sleep.
When it comes down to it, why put more fat in your body before fighting? Really, what’s the point? Also, you may want to optimize your carbohydrate intake before a fight. In fact, during refueling, you want to eat 60 to 80 grams of carbs per meal. Meals that are high in fat will affect the number of carbs you can intake.
There’s an old myth that boxers should eat junk food after their weigh-in. The reasoning is that the boxer’s body is craving the sugar you get from processed carbs and sugar-rich treats. But, strictly speaking, this is a bad idea.
The introduction of foods high in fat, carbs, and calories after eating clean for so many months during training will likely cause gastric distress. This, in turn, could cause diarrhea, which would lead to dehydration. Gastric distress could also cause a lousy night’s sleep the night before a match.
Junk food is also known to affect the patterns of your appetite. Before a fight is when you need to be eating specific meals at specific times to achieve optimal glycogen replenishment, and junk food can throw off your schedule and your appetite.
Foods to Eat When Preparing for a Boxing Match
Now that you know what foods to avoid, here are some suggestions on foods you want to eat before a fight to give you a competitive edge.
You want to drink lots of water in the days leading up to the fight so that you urinate frequently and flush any toxins from your body. Do this right until about an hour before the match, then only take small sips if you need them. The last thing you want is to go into the ring feeling bloated or carry a stomach full of water.
Because boxing, or any combat sport, is such a high-intensity sport, you will need enough carbs to provide the energy you are going to need while training and right up to the day of your boxing match. Complex carbohydrates are what you want to concentrate on because they provide the minerals and vitamins lacking in simple carbohydrates. In addition, the right amount of carbohydrates will help you stabilize your blood sugar levels for superior performance. The best source of complex carbohydrates is whole grains, fruits, and plenty of vegetables.
Protein is essential when working out because it is the building block for repairing muscle broken down during training. But as you start scaling back the level of intensity of the workouts the days before the fight, you’ll want to scale back some on the protein as well. However, after the weigh-in, you’ll want to eat plenty of lean protein foods like eggs, seeds, nuts, fish, turkey, and lean ground beef.
It is a good idea to reduce your sodium in the days and weeks before a fight to make weight. However, you should increase your sodium intake the night before. This will help your body to retain water so that you’re not dehydrated during the fight. Foods high in sodium are things like soy sauce, pickles, salted nuts, and cured meat and fish.
Helping You Get Ready for Your Boxing Match
We at The Fight Doctors are here to get you ready for your upcoming boxing match. Our physicians have an intimate knowledge of combat sports, and we want to use that knowledge to ensure that you are physically prepared to enter the ring. From our HIV|HepB|HepC|CBD lab work through EKGs, we offer examination packages for the required testing you need before the fight, as well as testing and examinations you may need after the fight. We also carry a full line of CBD and Delta 8 THC products to give you the training and recovery benefits you need.
It’s not just about avoiding specific foods, however — while focusing on foods to avoid is a great first step, there are other steps that can help you with a healthy pre-fight meal plan. Are you planning a difficult weight cut? Contact us three to four weeks before your fight – it’s what we do.
We want to be your go-to service and products provider for everything you need to get ready for the big day. So we invite you to shop our line of all-natural, hemp-derived products or book an appointment with us for a physical today!