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What To Eat Before a Boxing Workout

Food is fuel. All athletes – especially boxers – take special care when it comes to their diet. Eating whole, healthy foods during well-timed meals is key to maximizing performance.

Following a boxing training diet plan is beneficial to fighters of all levels, whether you are just working out or preparing to compete. Before a boxing workout or jumping into the ring, it is critical to follow a proper diet and nutrition plan to ensure your body has the energy it needs.

What Is a Boxer’s Diet?

The foundation of a boxer’s diet is complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats. These foods are at the core of every healthy diet. Following a boxer’s diet will improve both your boxing workouts and your overall health.

Examples of the types of foods in a solid boxing diet plan for beginners include:

Complex Carbohydrates


  • Whole grain breads
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Beans
  • Fresh fruit
  • Peas
  • Rice

Lean Proteins


  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Dairy

Healthy Fats


  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Olive oil
  • Seafood

Realistically, it can be difficult to plan out meals with such a perfectly measured assortment of specialty foods. In real life, it is often easier and just as effective to add a quality protein shake before boxing (What To Eat Before Boxing). Most boxing professionals add supplements like protein shakes to make sure they are getting ample calories and balanced nutrition. Protein shakes made with a good blend of ingredients are an excellent way to give your body everything it needs quickly.

What Do Boxers Eat Before a Fight?

Eating well-balanced and well-timed meals is important for ensuring athletes do not feel sluggish prior to working out. When considering what to eat before a boxing workout, keep the three (3) core groups in mind: complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fats.

Since boxers want to achieve higher energy pre-workout, carbohydrates need to be the focus before a fight. A pre-fight meal will usually consist of:

  • 50 – 60% Carbohydrates
  • 10 – 30% Protein
  • 20 – 30% Fat

This balance gives boxers the energy their bodies require for peak athletic performance.

If it seems unrealistic to plan out every meal, consider adding protein shakes to up your game without complicated meal prep. Protein shakes shouldn’t replace every meal, but they are a great addition to ensure you are properly nourishing your body.

How Long Before Boxing Should I Eat?

Following a boxer’s diet plan means that meals should be timed out regularly--even on recovery days when you aren’t training. When you are planning a workout, try to adjust your mealtime or your workout schedule to allow ample time between when you eat a full meal and when you hit the bag.

Boxers should plan a meal around two (2) or three (3) hours before boxing. This gives the body enough time to begin the digestion process. After around 2-3 hours, the energy in the carbohydrates is released, giving boxers increased stamina needed for longer workouts.

How Long Before a Fight Should I Eat?

If you are planning on doing a more intense workout or entering a competitive fight, consider adding a solid pre-fight snack around 30 minutes beforehand. This will give you an extra energy boost.

To get the full benefits of that added kick, consider power snacks like:


  • Bananas and peanut butter
  • Cottage cheese with fruit
  • Almonds or macadamia nuts

All athletes take special care in nourishing their bodies. Boxers know that a well-fed body is necessary for optimal performance in training and in the ring. Your pre-fight food choices will make a huge difference during your workout and during recovery.


The Author: Tommy Duquette is the Co-Founder and Head of Content at FightCamp. He is a former US Boxing Team member with 136 fights under his belt and qualified for the 2012 Olympic trials as the #2 seed. He has 18 years of experience training clients in boxing and fitness.