Professional athletes don't get to the top accidentally. It takes a tremendous amount of effort, time and sheer will to reach it and stay there even for a little while. There are many risks to health and general well-being for both professional and amateur boxers. A healthy diet is perhaps one of the most important parts of keeping yourself healthy as a boxer in particular and as an athlete as a whole.
Healthy food such as vegetables and red meat fuel the body with energy while vitamins, probiotic supplements, and proteins keep the immune system boosted. However, it is crucial to keep them all balanced to prevent health problems in the future.
A demanding sport
Boxing creates the most athletic and muscular athletes out there, and that's why it is important for boxers to keep their bodies in shape at all times - without harming their health, of course. Many boxers are able to lose and gain weight overnight without losing the muscle mass. As incredible as it may seem when you need to get the body ready for the bout night, a team of experienced coaches can do wonders.
That's when proper nutrition comes into play. Some pro-level boxers such as Floyd Mayweather are used to training and eating off-schedule and that is a personal preference. Albeit eccentric behaviour, Mayweather keeps all of his food organic and works out for at least five-six hours a day, which helps him stay in a top-notch condition while he prepares for a match night.
As for the specifics of different ingredients, there is a wide variety of combinations boxers often use to achieve different results. Elite boxers consume around 5,000 calories per day and that's why it is crucial to keep the meals both carb-rich and healthy. Although red meat gives a boost of energy, it is important not to include it in the meals too often. On the contrary, the white meat is easier for the body to digest and process.
Proteins are the main source of fuel for the boxer's muscles. Besides regular meat, tuna, eggs, and milk are some of the best protein sources. The proteins help athletes to lift more weight perform stronger jabs. It is important to get enough proteins but not too much - it's still boxing, not bodybuilding.
Vegetables and fruits will keep you filled with vitamins that are crucial for the immune system of the fighter. Sometimes, it can be hard to get the right vegetables or fruits depending on the time of year. That's why many professional coaches recommend consuming vitamins and probiotics in autumn and winter. Although the supplements won't be able to provide the same level of nutrients as the real veggies, they still can keep you fit during the cold months. The body won't be able to absorb all the vitamins but the number of vitamins consumed will keep you on your feet.
Furthermore, liquids are by far the most important for any athlete, not just for boxers. Two litres of water per day is minimum for an average person. However, when you work out you need to drink at least four or five litres per day.
As boxers grow older, it becomes harder and harder to keep the ageing bodies fresh and fit. That is why a callisthenics workout programme is important, according to the Manny Pacquiao's coach Freddie Roach. Instead of weight training, which slows down the fighter, it is better to place an emphasis on a variety of different training techniques. This is also applicable for semi-professional athletes that don't have a team of coaches and personal cooks at their disposal.
Even when professional boxers are not in the process of preparation for the biggest bout night of their career, they still do train. The first priority for any athlete in their training is to get healthy and to reduce the chances of injury. The process of recovering from a bout can be a long process for boxers due to the injuries sustained during the fight.
Hence, most of the elite boxers are seeking to improve their performance and strengthen their weak links during the process of recovery. The weak-link strengthening is a process of improving the weakest parts of the boxer's body to correct possible bad habits. By doing this the fighter can become more efficient in the boxing ring in the future.
Additionally, some boxers also try to improve their sleeping habits. This is critical during the season prior to the competition. A healthy sleep helps reduce anxiety and stress. To get a healthy seven to nine hours of sleep some athletes are listening to white noise before going to bed in order to fall asleep.
There is no secret that if you train like a boxer you become more focused and the time spent working out flies by. Many people dream of being a heavyweight world champion. However, as you can see - it is one of the most demanding kinds of sport.