PROTEIN intake is especially important for any boxer due to the demanding training schedule associated with boxing. Protein is an essential nutrient for the body and is vitally important for a range of different processes within the body that enable it to function maximally and adapt to training, including the growth and repair of muscle tissue. Everyday proteins are constantly being broken down and rebuilt as part of a normal body function but when athletes participate in exercise this happens at an increased rate. If the breakdown rate of protein outweighs the rate at which you form new proteins then you will be essentially losing muscle mass, having negative effects upon performance, recovery, adaptation and body composition. This means that it is key for any boxer to regularly consume a high-protein diet in order to make new proteins and prevent or minimise the breakdown of muscle during a training camp and also when making weight.
Proteins are made from different amino acids which can be found in a variety of protein-rich foods in varying amounts. With this in mind it is essential that a boxer includes a range of protein sources within their diet to obtain sufficient amounts of different amino acids in order to provide the building blocks needed to make new proteins and promote muscle gain and repair.
A ‘food-first’ approach to obtaining protein sources within a boxer’s diet should be recommended. Despite the use of protein supplements providing a quick and simple protein hit before or after training, it is important to note that these supplements do not contain the essential vitamins and minerals that you would obtain from eating protein-rich foods.
Below are five of the most important protein sources a boxer should try to include regularly within their diet. Each source provides different benefits to improving the general health, performance, recovery, adaptation and body composition of a fighter.