Perfecting a fighter’s diet plan can take months of testing and trialing before an event. So, how does this Irishman guarantee his diet is preparing him for a struggle?
“We focus on food for functionality,” McGregor has stated in the past. “Giving my body what it needs for the physical training. My diet is usually pretty consistent whether I am training for a particular struggle or not.”
Harley Street Clinical and Sports Dietitian Rick Miller has worked with various combat sports athletes. He insists their diet must be rigorously maintained all year round. “Their diets are based on good customs,” he states. “It isn’t a fad or even a crash diet, it’s a lifestyle”
What does McGregor’s diet look like? “I do not eat a lot of carbohydrates – should I do it is something such as sweet potatoes,” he advised AskMen.com. “I eat great meat – chicken, salmon, some beef – and a lot of quality greens and a few fruits such as bananas. I consume eggs an omelet with my Americano for a late breakfast or brunch. Getting enough protein is significant once I train, to help build muscle and recover, so I will supplement with protein shakes. I drink mostly water or coconut water. It is important to stay hydrated – first thing I do in the morning is stretch and drink water.”
Miller claims fighter’s diet needs to match the energy demands of their training that could change from week to week.
Listed below are the key pointers to consider.
Up your daily protein consumption
Martial arts athletes need a medium to high protein diet to construct and keep their lean muscle mass. Muscle demands energy constantly and if an athlete does not consume enough protein, they can lose muscle — that is especially bad for a boxer who relies on strength to succeed.
Stick for a five-a-day
The nutrients, minerals and antioxidants found in fresh fruits and vegetables aid repair and recovery and include essential fibre needed in every diet. They are essential components of a healthy diet which can improve wellbeing of an athlete’s career.
Control Vitamin intake
A zero carbohydrate diet as McGregor describers doesn’t suit everybody. Carbohydrates in the shape of wholemeal bread or cereal and root vegetables are beneficial as they provide slow release energy that helps a fighter perform and aids brain functions.
The usage of carbohydrates varies hugely between training so there will be points in their training that athletes require significantly less, and times they need more.
Water impacts all body tissues, including round the mind which affects cognitive function. At least 2 litres should be consumed throughout the day.
When individuals are trying to’make weight’, it’s common that they will sweat themselves to eliminate water weight. This works to some point but needs to be managed very carefully. Should they become too dehydrated, often it takes a long time to rehydrate their bodies, which will hugely affect their performance.
“Through training, we work out their ordinary’sweat speed’ so we understand precisely how much water their body needs so they won’t over-drink,” explains Miller.
Healthy fats are in
Walnuts, olive oil, avocado and other sources of healthy fats help the body to recover faster by reducing inflammation. In boxing, blows to the head and concussion are a real concern. Supplements like protein shakes as McGregor mentions, a joint health supplement and carbohydrate healing beverages before or after training can be really beneficial.
Get serious about supplements
A good, healthful diet must be the first priority. But a lot of athletes reach a point where their body needs more nutrients than they can eat through their diet.
Supplements ought to be a temporary measure, used in combination with their training plan. Protein shakes, hydration joint supplements and carbohydrate healing beverages before or after training can be quite beneficial.
The most important aim of a combat sport athlete’s diet would be to build and keep muscle, supply enough energy for performance and training, while keeping weight to a minimum. This, combined with a rigorous training programme, will leave the human body in peak condition for a fight.
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