Are you a boxer that will binge on junk food after a weigh in?
What if we told you, the type of food and how much you eat of it after the weigh-in would affect performance? Would you consider being more strategic with your food choice?
If you’ve restricted your diet for a long time before a weigh-in, eating badly can lead to insulin spikes and leave you feeling sluggish and you may not top up your muscle glycogen levels leading up to the fight, therefore not fueled and ready to perform.
It can also cause stomach upset and diarrhoea, which increases the risk of dehydration and poor sleep.
Lee Rickards gives Boxing Science readers tips on how to Refuel from the scales to the ring walk.
Immediately After Weigh In
Within an hour after the weigh-in after drinking a suitable volume of fluid I’d recommend you eat a high carbohydrate meal or snack.
Because many boxers travel to the weigh-in, a good snack option, would be low-fat cream cheese/cottage cheese with a bagel and/or a sandwich and banana. Skimmed milk is also a good option for rehydration and refuelling, if your stomach can tolerate it.
24 Hours Before Fight
Three hours after a weigh in, research suggests you can tolerate 60 g of glucose every hour of exercise in long endurance.
Anything above this spike in sugar intake can leave them feeling tired and sluggish, likely to have a negative effect on performance.
For increased physical performance it has been recommended that carbohydrate load of 12 g per kg of body mass to be consumed after a weigh in before a fight.
This is to replace the muscle and liver glycogen lost when ‘making weight’.
The quality of the food is important too, many boxers are known to binge eat after a weigh in on junk food such as takeaway pizzas and chocolate. This can lead to gastric distress and diarrhoea of which could cause dehydration and impaired sleep.
Consuming 80g of starchy carbohydrates such as potatoes, pasta, rice, bread and fruit at timely intervals of 2.5-3 hours from 24 hours prior to the fight will ensure that all glycogen stores are refilled.
Here are some ideas of high carbohydrate meals to be eaten at timely intervals throughout the day containing roughly 80g of carbohydrates.
- Large jacket sweet or white potato with chicken salad and a fruit yoghurt
- Large bowl of fruit porridge with milk berries and dried fruit
Less Than 3 Hours Before Fight
Nutritional intake three hours before a fight needs to be well structured so you are energised for the fight, but not too full or leaving food undigested, this can cause uncomfort and nausea. Having high GI carbs as light snacks will help top up glycogen stores and are easily digestable.
Be sure to try these foods in training and importantly don’t try anything new leading up the fight
Examples: Rice pudding banana. Jam on toast, weetabix and milk, energy bar such as 2-3 nakd fruit bars.
Can your jittery belly deal with all this food before the fight? Or do you have a weigh-in quite close to the fight?
Maybe having Supplements might be useful? Look out for our article Pre-Fight Nutrition: Supplements in the next few weeks.
It is important to also drink the right fluids for effective Rehyration before the fight.