Boxers: Top 5 Sources Of Protein!
Monday, 19 October 2015 | Carl
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.
1. Lean white meats
WHITE lean meats are extremely useful within a boxer’s diet as they provide a rich source of protein (chicken breast containing approximately 20-30g of protein) and essential amino acids such as leucine which is needed to stimulate muscle growth. These types of meats also contain less calories and have a lower saturated fat content compared to other types of meats. White lean meats are also packed with vitamins and minerals as chicken and turkey both provide excellent sources of selenium (antioxidant properties that prevent muscle damage) and B-vitamins.
2. Red meats
RED meat is a high-quality source of protein that can contain approximately 20-30g of protein per 100g whilst also including many essential amino acids needed to make new proteins. Red meat is also packed with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12, B6, iron and zinc. Red meat is the richest natural source of creatine. However it must be noted that some types of red meat will have a high saturated fat content which may not be beneficial for cutting weight. Therefore boxers should only consume red meat two-three times a week depending on the magnitude of weight-loss needed.
3. Oily fish
A BOXER should try to consume oily fish at least three times a week due to it providing a quality source of protein and essential amino acids alongside being packed full of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D and selenium. The likes of wild salmon provide a quality protein basis for a meal (100g serving contains 25g of protein) whilst the likes of tinned tuna can provide a protein and ‘good’ fat-rich snack.
4. Dairy and eggs
THE inclusion of dairy foods such as milk and cottage cheese within a boxer’s diet will provide casein proteins which are known as slow-release proteins. These foods should be consumed before going to bed due to their being absorbed slowly by the body when sleeping and minimising or preventing muscle breakdown. Greek yoghurt provides a protein-rich snack that can be consumed by itself or part of a smoothie and contains approximately 18g of protein in a 170g pot. Eggs provide one of the most effective protein sources (1 egg = approximately 6g of protein) and can be consumed as part of a protein-rich breakfast through the use of omelettes, scrambled eggs, poached eggs or boiled eggs. When having eggs, the yolk should not be thrown away as it contains a good source of both saturated and unsaturated fatty acids. Eggs also are packed full of all B-vitamins, biotin and choline.
5. Vegetarian sources
FOR those fighters who may be vegetarian or simply want to add different non-meat or dairy protein sources to their diet may benefit from such foods as beans, lentils, quinoa or buckwheat that are packed full of high-quality proteins and essential amino acids that can be added to such meals as salads – 50g of soy beans provides approximately 18g of protein. Adding a palm-sized serving of nuts and seeds, i.e. almonds and pumpkin seeds, to a salad, smoothie or simple snack can also provide a simple source of protein and fat.