Combat sports like boxing are highly energy intensive and require considerable stamina, power, and focus. Sometimes, even the slightest dip in performance can make all the difference in a match.
If you’ve been training hard but your progress has plateaued, you may benefit from taking dietary supplements. These provide your body with important nutrients and substances that can help you maximize your performance every time you train to reach your fitness goals faster.
Specific supplements are designed to enhance certain areas of performance; by choosing the right ones, you can exceed your usual capabilities. Here are some of the best supplements for boxers.
A pre-workout is a supplement taken before exercise that can optimize your athletic performance. They contain a combination of different ingredients that enhance energy, focus, endurance, strength, power, and recovery, enabling you to push yourself harder and maximize the effects of your workouts.
Combat sports like boxing are very demanding on the body and quickly deplete essential resources such as brain chemicals, energy stores, electrolytes, and oxygen supply. A pre-workout consumed before exercise can help ensure your body is stocked up on all of these resources to fuel your training sessions.
This compound is popular among boxers thanks to its muscle-building abilities. Creatine is a precursor to phosphocreatine which is converted by the muscles into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body’s main source of instant energy.
Taking a creatine supplement can boost ATP synthesis to enable the body to sustain high-intensity exercise for longer 1. This means you can take your training up a notch to maximize muscle growth and strength and improve your endurance in the ring!
Beta-alanine is a non-essential amino acid that is converted into carnosine and stored in the muscles. Carnosine is an important compound as it acts as a buffer against the dreaded lactic acid build-up.
During high-intensity sports like boxing, the body mainly performs under anaerobic conditions, meaning without oxygen. This increases the likelihood of lactic acid build-up, every boxer’s nemesis. Once muscles become too acidic, they become fatigued, and muscle fibers can no longer contract. Not what you want mid-match!
According to research, beta-alanine supplements can increase carnosine production in the muscles to help delay muscle fatigue caused by lactic acid 2.
Caffeine is one of the most popular pre-workout ingredients and could help you unlock your true potential. By acting as a central nervous system stimulant, it boosts blood flow and energy and improves focus, all of which are key to increasing your performance 3.
However, those who have consumed too many coffees in one day will be aware of the adverse side effects of caffeine. Pre Lab Pro uses low-dose natural caffeine combined with L-tyrosine and l-theanine to minimize the unwanted side effects while allowing you to take advantage of the benefits 4.
Red Beetroot Powder
This powerful substance provides a rich source of nitrate to increase the production of nitric oxide, a vasodilator that relaxes and widens blood vessels to improve circulation.
Increasing blood flow to the muscles ensures plenty of oxygen, nutrients, antioxidants, and proteins are delivered to power their movement and accelerate muscle building and repair. Blood leaving the muscles also removes lactic acid buildup 5.
Not only does better blood flow benefit the muscles, but it also improves brain function, including focus, drive, and motivation. If your head isn’t in it, it’s game over!
Iron is a crucial mineral that is a necessary component of hemoglobin, a molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.
As such, it supports mental and physical performance and recovery. A lack of iron means you will tire out faster, feel weaker, and lack focus 6.
Low iron levels are extremely common in high-intensity sports because iron absorption is reduced, and iron loss through sweating is accelerated.
Other Supplements That Benefit Boxers
Amino acids derived from proteins are the building blocks of muscles. During intense exercise, muscle fibers are broken down and damaged and must be repaired.
Taking a protein supplement can provide the essential amino acids needed to repair and build new muscle tissue 7. During this process, muscles become bigger and stronger.
Calcium is an essential mineral for building strong bones and teeth, as well as regulating muscle contractions. During prolonged, intense exercise, high calcium levels are lost through sweating.
This change in calcium balance in the body may affect bone health, increasing the risk of fractures and injury 8. Low calcium levels can also lead to muscle problems like cramps, aches, and spasms.
Omega-3 fatty acids are powerful inflammation fighters that can significantly benefit boxers. Muscle soreness after a hard training session is sometimes caused by inflammation in muscle cells, potentially hindering motivation and performance the next time you train.
Taking an omega-3 supplement has been shown to help prevent muscle damage and inflammation after intense exercise 9.
Boxing is an intense sport that is highly demanding on the body and often involves hardcore training regimes. Taking a dietary supplement can help ensure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs to perform at optimal capacity every time you box.
Pre-workouts like Pre Lab Pro are especially beneficial to boxers as they boost energy, endurance, and focus and help your body recover quicker.
Other supplements that reduce muscle inflammation and support muscle protein synthesis are also effective at accelerating muscle growth and strength.
Combining supplements with an appropriate diet and regular training may help you reach your goals faster and allow you to box way past what you thought you were capable of!
- Casey, Anna, and Paul L. Greenhaff. "Does dietary creatine supplementation play a role in skeletal muscle metabolism and performance?." The American journal of clinical nutrition 72.2 (2000): 607S-617S.
- Derave, Wim, et al. "β-Alanine supplementation augments muscle carnosine content and attenuates fatigue during repeated isokinetic contraction bouts in trained sprinters." Journal of applied physiology 103.5 (2007): 1736-1743.
- Pickering, Craig, and Jozo Grgic. "Caffeine and exercise: what next?." Sports Medicine 49.7 (2019): 1007-1030.
- Haskell, Crystal F., et al. "The effects of L-theanine, caffeine and their combination on cognition and mood." Biological psychology 77.2 (2008): 113-122.
- Oral, O. N. U. R. "Nitric oxide and its role in exercise physiology." The Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness(2021).
- Volpe, Stella Lucia. "Iron and athletic performance." ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal 14.5 (2010): 31-33.
- Tipton, Kevin D., et al. "Ingestion of casein and whey proteins result in muscle anabolism after resistance exercise." Medicine and science in sports and exercise 36 (2004): 2073-2081.
- Henderson, S. A., et al. "Calcium homeostasis and exercise." International orthopaedics 13.1 (1989): 69-73.
- Dupuy, Olivier, et al. "An evidence-based approach for choosing post-exercise recovery techniques to reduce markers of muscle damage, soreness, fatigue, and inflammation: a systematic review with meta-analysis." Frontiers in physiology(2018): 403.