THE paleo diet has recently become very popular with an increasing level of publicity surrounding them. However, science is still trying to unravel what exactly constitutes this diet type and why it has become so popular. So what is it, and does it offer any benefits for a boxer?
IN simple terms, the paleo diet consists of foods that were presumed to be eaten by the very early humans – our great ancestors. In the ‘hunter-gatherer’ era of human existence, we would have eaten food sources that were readily available via capture (meat produce), growing (vegetables) or collecting (nuts and seeds). It all sounds pretty healthy, so why should boxers avoid it?
THE limitation of this diet is the removal of a lot of carbohydrate sources. As outlined in my blog on high-fat diets, carbohydrates supply the energy needed to allow your muscles to contract and move. This becomes even more important in the last minute or seconds of each round in a fight, or in the last few minutes in training. Paleo diets largely omit sugary carbohydrates as these are genuinely man-made and full of refined carbohydrate sources; these would have been inaccessible during our early human existence. However, these carb sources play a vital role in preparation, in-competition, training and the recovery stages of your boxing career.
DURING training or competition, sugary carbohydrates are a quick source of energy and are vital for you to perform optimally during exhaustive exercise. In the last few minutes of a round, carbohydrates are vitally important to supply energy to the muscles to allow you to continue throwing explosive punches. Diets that lack high-sugar sources will therefore not provide optimal conditions for you to supply this energy and could compromise performance or training.
Paleo diets have been gathering popularity as a novel and unique diet. However, despite offering good protein and fat sources, they restrict the types of carbohydrate in the diet, and therefore are not suitable for boxers looking to provide enough energy to survive intense training sessions or a full 10 or 12 rounds in competition.
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