Best Diets For Boxers

Best Diets For Boxers

A boxer’s diet has to be on point in order to be at their best for their fights. One thing fans always ask is what are the best diets for boxers to make them perform at their best?

Here is a list of some of the best diets for boxers and what they all entail. We’ll also break down common questions about boxer diets and what must be included in them.

What Elements Would the Best Diets For Boxers Include?

The best diets for boxers must include certain elements to ensure the fighter is properly nourished and trains optimally. Here are the elements of a good diet for boxers.

  • Lean Protein
  • Complex Carbohydrates
  • Healthy Fats
  • Fruits & Veggies
  • Hydration 
  • Pre-Workout Fuel
  • Post-Workout Nutrition
  • Supplements
  • Portion Control
  • Consistency

Lean Protein 

Good sources of protein are a must for the best diets for boxers. Protein is essential for muscle repair and growth. 

Some of the proteins that boxers should consume should include:

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Turkey
  • Lamb
  • Protein-Rich Legumes
  • Tofu

The average person’s diet should consist of at least 10% of their diet. For a boxer, their protein intake should be between 25-50% of their overall diet. 

Boxing is a demanding sport that burns a ton of calories, so naturally a boxer will need more protein.

Complex Carbohydrates 

Due to the heavy amount of calories burned in a boxing session, a fighter will need to replenish the carbs they lose. Not just any type of carb, but complex carbs that will boost energy levels along with proteins.

Many boxers opt to eat one or more of these types of complex carbs.

  • Rice
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
  • Beans

Healthy Fats 

Along with good proteins and complex carbs, boxers will also include various different healthy fats into their diets. Healthy fats are also a must for providing energy and supporting a person’s overall health.

Some of the fats that most boxers consume include:

  • Olive Oil
  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Eggs

Fruits & Veggies 

Fruits and veggies are favorites of boxers and are loaded with numerous health benefits. Both types are rich in vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants which aid overall health and recovery.

If you’re a boxer, always choose from a variety of different colorful fruits and vegetables. The most colorful fruits are generally the ones that are the most rich with beneficial nutrients.

Fruits & Veggies 


Proper hydration is a factor that not a lot of people think about. For a demanding sport like boxing, boxers have to stay properly hydrated at all times. 

Boxers on average drink gallons of water per day or more during their heavy training days. Keeping this level of hydration is crucial for them to have energy, recover, and prepare for weight cuts.

Pre-Workout Fuel 

To provide energy and support muscle function, many boxers will eat or consume food/supplements as pre-workout fuel. These light meals are drinks that are usually low calorie and a mix of complex carbs, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

These small pre-workout snacks will provide boxers with ample energy to get through their hard workouts.

Post-Workout Nutrition 

Not only should boxers have their pre-workout nutrition mapped out, but also their post-workout nutrition. After a workout, their body is craving sustenance and wants to recover its energies.

Timing is also crucial as they must consume a small snack/meal between 30 to 90 minutes after a workout. At this time, their body’s will consume more nutrients that they just lost during the training session.

Some of post-workout snacks include:

  • Protein Shake
  • Fruit(Bananas, Blueberries, etc.)
  • Veggies(Carrots, Celery, etc.)
  • Natural Energy Bar


To aid the best diets for boxers, they must also include proper supplementation. Boxers may benefit from using different supplements, such as protein powder, creatine, BCAAs, and joint support supplements.

Portion Control 

Aside from heavyweights, lighter boxers will have to implement portion control into their diets. No matter what their diet might be, they will have to keep track of the calories and portions they consume. If they don’t watch their portions, they could be in for a brutal weight cut.


The key to all of the best diets for boxers is consistency. Keeping consistency is essential for maintaining energy levels, controlling weight, and performing in the gym. If a boxer stays consistent with a good diet, they will reap the benefits.

Foods That Boxers Should Avoid

When constructing the best diets for boxers, there are many types of foods that they should avoid. Here is a list of bad foods that boxers should avoid consuming.

  • Highly Processed Foods
  • Sugary Beverages
  • Excessive Alcohol
  • High-Sodium Foods
  • Excess Fatty Foods
  • Fried Foods
  • Empty Calorie Snacks
  • High-Caffeine/Energy Drinks
  • Large Meals Before Training

Best Diets For Boxers

Boxers use a variety of diets that have been beneficial for their performance. Here are some of the best diets for boxers, which have shown to be effective.

  • High-Protein-Low Carb
  • Mediterranean Diet
  • Paleo Diet
  • Ketogenic
  • Intermittent Fasting
  • Paleo Diet
  • Ketogenic Diet
  • Weight Cutting Diets

High Protein-Low Carb 

The high protein-low carb diet is one of the best diets for boxers and one of the simplest to follow. This diet emphasizes boxers consuming lean proteins like chicken, fish, tofu, along with starch vegetables.

Carbohydrates are limited to complex carbs like sweet potatoes, rice, and quinoa. Following this diet can help maintain muscle mass while promoting fat loss.

Mediterranean Diet 

The Mediterranean diet focuses on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. For protein, the Mediterranean diet allows for the consumption of lean proteins like chicken and fish.

This diet provides a good balance of nutrients and healthy fats, which can support overall health and performance. These positives make the Mediterranean diet easily one of the best diets for boxers to use.

Mediterranean Diet

Paleo Diet 

The Paleo diet emphasizes the consumption of whole foods that were available to our Paleolithic ancestors. The history of the diet isn’t accurate, but it can be beneficial for an athlete.

For this diet, you are permitted to eat lean beef, chicken, fish along with nuts, seeds, and fruits. Grain and dairy products are not permitted within this diet.

Ketogenic Diet 

The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that forces the body to use fat as fuel instead of carbs. This diet permits the consumption of high-fat foods like avocados, nuts, seeds, fatty fishes, and beef.

Some boxers used a modified version of keto to promote fat loss, and help improve their endurance.

Intermittent Fasting

The cycling period of eating known as intermittent fasting is another one of the best diets for boxers. One of the most common fasting periods that some boxers use is the 16:8 cycle(16 hours no eating, with an 8 hour eating window.)

Boxers will generally plan out their meals after their training sessions to absorb the most nutrients. This diet will also help ensure that a boxer doesn’t over eat.

Weight-Cutting Diets

 For boxers, who have to cut weight, they will have to follow altered weight-cutting diets during weight cutting periods. During these periods, boxers will reduce their calorie intake in order to help with the weight cutting process.

The benefit of these types of weight cutting diets is they reduce the dangers of extreme weight cutting. Boxers will gradually lose the weight instead of losing it all at once.

The Argument Against a Strict Diet For Boxers 

Aside from the best diets for boxers, there is a faction of fans and fighters who believe diet isn’t that important. They believe that being disciplined to a hard training regiment and not eating large amounts of garbage food is sufficient.

When this argument is made, they point to the GOAT Floyd Mayweather. Various times in the HBO 24/7 Boxing Docuseries, Mayweather has been featured eating basically whatever he wants.

In one episode, Floyd was eating three supreme tacos from Taco Bell before he went to the club. Some couldn’t believe a great world champion was eating fast food, but Floyd isn’t a normal person.

He is one of the most dedicated athletes ever who trains hours a day and burns thousands of calories per day. It’s a valid argument, but Floyd can get away with eating Taco Bell, because of this unique dedication.

Not every fighter can get away with this and must be forced to follow stricter diets in order to perform better.

Is There a Diet That Works For All Boxers?

Out of all of the best diets for boxers, there is not one single diet which will work for all boxers. It is impossible for there to be one specific diet that will work for all boxers for a number of reasons.

  • Nutritional Needs
  • Caloric Intake
  • Water Intake:
  • Food Allergies

Nutritional Needs

Not all boxers have the same nutritional needs. These athletes compete in various weight classes, which means each boxer will have different nutritional needs than the other.

Each fighter in different weight classes will need different amounts of protein, carbs, vitamin and mineral intake. 

Caloric Intake 

All fighters cannot consume the same amount of calories as other fighters. Fighters who are either in different weight classes or cutting weight will have different caloric needs.

For example, a welterweight who has to cut ten pounds can’t be eating the +2500 calories a heavyweight eats. They’ll be way overweight, be slower, and perform poorly.

Water Intake 

Along with caloric intake, fighters have different hydration levels. To train and perform optimally, fighters will have to drink a certain amount of water each day to perform and function.

Boxers who are also in the process of cutting weight will have to cut their water intake before weigh-ins. If a heavyweight cuts their water intake to a middleweights’ needs, it will have a negative effect on their training.

Food Allergies

Another thing that boxers have to account for within their diets is their food allergies. Because of this not every boxer can follow the same diet. 

For example, Terrence Crawford has an intolerance to pork. His body doesn’t process pork and he was once hospitalized for undigested pork stuck in his stomach.

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