For athletes, diet can be as important as a strict training regime when it comes to achieving their goals, with many employing specialist dieticians in order to maximise their speed, strength, and stamina. Depending on the sport, the diet can really make or break a higher-level sporting star’s performance, whether that’s weighing in in the appropriate category for boxers, or keeping their digestive system in good order when preparing for the Olympics.
For a sport as purely physical as boxing, it’s important to have a diet that can help build muscle, but it’s also important to consider how much repair work the body will need after a big bout and factor in foods that will help with that process as well. Some boxers have made no secret of the punishing regimes they follow in the days and weeks before they get in the ring, and many link their success to their willingness to make sacrifices by training hard and eating well.
Having helped Conor McGregor and Daniel Cormier manage their weight and physical fitness, George Lockhart has earned himself a reputation as the best nutritionist and chef in the business. Fury has been the betting odds favourite in his fights for a while now and his interest approach to nutrition is a contributing factor to why. His approach to feeding Fury involved making him five meals a day to get around 4,500 calories into the boxer, mostly in the form of lean protein and a series of specially fortified shakes.
In recent months, however, he is enjoying a slightly lighter regime of around 2,800 calories, with a diet that’s carefully crafted around what works for his particular metabolism. Fury’s daily menu includes dishes such as:
- Salmon cakes with jalapenos
- Honeyed salmon
- Lamb with tzatziki
- Sirloin steak with quinoa
- Chicken curry with turmeric
- Peanut butter chicken
- Chilli bean shrimp patty with tomato rice
Chris Eubank Jr
Like all boxers, Chris Ewbank Jr’s regime looks pretty punishing to non-athletes, but there is one element that even he agrees is one of the more unpleasant parts of staying in shape. While preparing for his 2018 bout against George Groves, he revealed that he attributes at least some of his success to a ‘secret’ smoothie that he drinks.
Describing his special drink as containing egg whites, baobab, moringa, and a variety of seeds, Eubank did admit to having to wash the concoction down with water. However, he did also say that it was an important part of the daily regime that helped him put on weight to reach his 12-stone target, alongside an intense physical workout and sparring regime.
Taking an active role in his own training timetable, Chris Eubank Jr also has his father, Chris Eubank Sr to thank for advice and coaching when he’s preparing for a fight.
As a boxer that is used to making headlines, it’s no surprise that boxing fans are interested in how this powerhouse fuels his incredible boxing record. His nutritionist, Mark Ellison, has praised Joshua’s willingness to eat whatever he’s given, explaining that the boxer sees food purely as fuel.
But he also noted that he adds extra touches such as mini meringues in the boxer’s yoghurt to help increase his calorie intake. A typical day’s meals for the heavyweight includes between 4,000 and 5,000 calories, and could include:
Breakfast – five eggs, two avocados, several slices of wholemeal toast, and a fresh fruit smoothie with oats, honey and yoghurt
Morning snack – a sandwich, salad box or pasta dish with a recovery shake
Lunch – a large portion of wholemeal pasta or quinoa with chicken and vegetables, followed by yoghurt with granola, nuts, and more fruit
Dinner – steak, wholegrain rice or pasta and a variety of vegetables
This diet has certainly done the championship boxer good, and with a chance that he will fight Deontay Wilder for a hotly anticipated match, he will want to be on top form this year.
Conor Benn’s rise from relative unknown to elite-level fighter owes a lot to his strict training regime. Having been known to eat burgers before a fight and work out with friends, he now has a nutritionist and a tailored gym programme to keep him in peak physical condition.
Running, sparring, strength and conditioning workouts all need significant fuel, and Benn eats around 3,000 calories a day to maintain his physique. He’s swapped curries and fast food for tofu, tempeh, sea bass, and tuna, followed by beetroot brownies and chickpea blondies.
Experts are predicting great things for Conor Benn this year, and his training programme will certainly be an important part of how he performs.
All high-level athletes need to take care of their bodies if they want to see the results when it matters, and specially tailored diets can make the difference between winning and losing.