Protein for Boxers: Part 1

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Boxing Science Nutritionist Lee Rickards outlines the benefits and general guidelines for protein in a Boxer’s diet.

Boxers, athletes and keep fitters will have been told that protein is an important part of the diet…. but why?

Each macro-nutrient is important for different reasons. Carbohydrates are important for fuelling high-intensity performance and aiding recovery, whereas fats are used during low-intensity activity and help the function of vitamins.

In this 3 part article series, we explain the importance of protein, the different types and how much you should have

Why Is Protein Important?

Protein is an essential nutrient which plays an important role in recovery from exericse – helping muscles repair and grow.

When Boxers make weight, they are very often in a negative energy balance. When cutting foods out of a diet, carbohydrates are often restricted increasing the likelihood of gluceneogenesis.

Gluceogenesis – the synthesis of glucose from non-carbohydrate sources, such as amino acids (protein) and glycerol (fats)

What Does This Mean for My Performance?

So, due to being restricted for carbs the body is looking at different sources for energy, resulting in breakdown of proteins (bad) and fats (good).

If you don’t enough protein in your diet, this can lead to protein breakdown and potentially losing lean muscle which will incur performance decrements.

This means that boxers and combat sport athletes require a greater protein intake compared to individuals who do not take part in exercise.

Increasing protein intake will help recovery from training, keep you feeling full as well as helping increase and maintaining muscle mass.

Click here for Part 2: Types

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Lee Rickards is a nutrition consultant and sport scientist currently working at Sheffield United Football Club and with professional combat sport athletes competing for regional, national and commonwealth titles. Lee is an UKSCA accredited strength and conditioning coach (ASCC) and an accredited body composition analyst by The International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK).

Lee was awarded his Bachelor of Science in Sport Science for Performance Coaching in 2012 and will be completing Master of Science, Sport and Exercise Science at Sheffield Hallam University in 2015. Lee is currently undergoing his research project, which will investigate strength exercise selection on gluteus maximus activity in order to reduce injury incidence and increase hip extension to aid sports performance.

Lee believes in evidence based nutrition practices to improve performance whilst debunking myths surrounding making weight. Lee will be sharing his nutrition knowledge through a series of articles relating to Boxing performance.