What is the best way to fuel you body before a fight?

We ask GB boxing nutritionist Mark Ellison and GB judo nutritionist James Collins what the most effective pre-fight foods are to fuel your body for combat

26 November 2012    |    0 Comments

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To read our full article on tournament nutrition - where we find out how team GB’s combat sports athletes fuel their bodies for competition at London 2012 - please click hereto get yourself a copy of our July edition of Fighting Fit. To buy this edition via our app, please click here.

The roles are reversed in the hours before a fight - this time, it’s the TKD and wrestling teams that can afford to eat a proper breakfast. If there's time, a light lunch is also taken on board - pasta for the boxers, and sandwiches for the taekwondo players and judokas. “Ideally we get our last meal three-to-four hours before we box, but it's quite individualised,” says Mark Ellison. “Some of the guys can tolerate food in their stomach quite late, but some of the guys know that they can't eat anything within five hours [of a fight] or they will get a stitch.”

With less than three hours to go, cereal bars, gels and drinks become the staples for all of the teams. Ellison ensures these are medium-release carb foods in a two-hour window before the fight, and high-GI carbs 30 minutes before the first bell.

To this nutritional arsenal, James Collins adds a new weapon. “If we have someone with lower buffering levels [of lactic acid] we will give them sodium bicarbonates or sodium citrates, and those are both known as lactate buffers. These are mixed into a drink, which works as a hydration solution as well. Getting this sodium into the blood naturally alleviates lactic acid. It stays elevated in the blood for four hours plus. We've done tests that prove this allows judo players to sustain their muscle power output for longer with this. This is really cutting edge in our sport.”

To read our full article on tournament nutrition - where we find out how team GB’s combat sports athletes fuel their bodies for competition at London 2012 - please click hereto get yourself a copy of our July edition of Fighting Fit. To buy this edition via our app, please click here.

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Fighting Fit is published by Newsquest Specialist Media, the world’s leading combat sport publisher. Other titles include Boxing News, The Boxing News Annual and The Boxing News Health & Fitness Series

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