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18 NOVEMBER 2018


SUPPLEMENTS for the Professional and Amateur Boxer

By Dave “SCOOTER” HonigIt is often surprising how just adding or subtracting simple foods and/or supplements can improve athletic performance. Boxing is truly a physically and emotionally grueling sport. The athlete needs to seize any advantage he can. The athletic potential and physical conditioning begins with what the fighter eats and drinks along with supplementation.Some athletes cannot pinpoint what they are missing. However, an educated conditioning specialist or nutritionist may have the answer.Boxers can be deficient in numerous nutrients. This may prevent them from reaching their potential. If a fighter would like to gain lean mass, lose body fat, or increase energy levels, certain foods and supplementation must be digested.The following six nutrients need to be balanced for optimal performance:1. Protein2. Fats3. Carbohydrates4. Vitamins and minerals5. WaterI am not claiming to be a doctor nor a nutritionist. Nevertheless, from the perspective of a conditioning expert, in the weeks to come I will explain how supplements can be of great use to a boxer. The following is just a “taste” of the things to come.PROTEINS AND AMINO ACIDSProtein PowderOur body’s main building blocks are made up of amino acids. The body’s tissue is made up of protein. It is required for muscle growth, strength, and to make antibodies which fight disease and infection.Fighters do not often get the amount of protein they need from foods alone to sustain their tough workouts. That is why we advise them to add a protein powder supplement.GlutamineThe most abundant amino acid in our body is Glutamine. It makes up 50-60% of the total amino acids found in muscles. Hard work depletes the muscles of Glutamine. It is the “immunity” amino acid. It helps protein synthesis (production), which must occur before growth recovery can happen.Research indicates that prolonged and intense exercise such as the training regimen of a fighter (i.e., running, weigh-lifting, sparring) can deplete the body’s Glutamine stores easily. It is fuel for the immune system. With low levels, the body becomes highly susceptible to colds, flu’s and other infections. Studies show that much of the loss of muscle mass that can occur during dieting and hard intense training is comprised of Glutamine. Therefore, by supplementing the diet with Glutamine, all of the negative factors can be eliminated.Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA)BCAA are essential amino acids. They prevent muscle damage, and aid in muscle recovery and accelerate healing. They include: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. They must come from the diet. They are concentrated in the biceps, triceps, and quadraceps. If required for energy, the athlete will end up losing muscle mass and strength. As a result, BCAA supplementation will reduce muscle damage (loss) that could otherwise occur during strenuous training, and help in the production of muscle protein. The onset of fatigue is then delayed during intense exercise.Phosphatidylserine (PS).What does it do?1. Neurological enhancement. Improves brain function/attention span/concentration/ability to focus.2. Cell membrane and optimal cellular function.- Protects against cell damage that can occur with intense training- Can have an effect on transportation of key minerals in and out of the cells. (Including calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium) 3. Cortisol suppression. PS can be a powerful suppressor of cortisol, a catabolic hormone. The effects can help minimize the muscle breakdown that occurs after exercise. PS supplementation can significantly blunt cortisol release that occurs during stress. The longer you exercise intensively, the more cortisol release increases. Excess cortisol can adversely affect tendon health. The major catabolic (breakdown) effect involves it facilitating the conversion of protein in muscles and connective tissue into glucose and glycogen.PS also helps the immune system. If you are sick, you cannot train. In over-training, cortisol levels are high. PS helps to reduce these levels and therefore the negative effects of over-training. It will speed up recovery and make you feel better and stronger._______________________________________________Dave “SCOOTER” Honig has been a conditioning expert in the sport of boxing for over 15 years. He has worked with fighters including: Jameel McCline, Vivian Harris, Zab Judah, Kathy Collins, Oleg Maskev, Robert Allen, and Dimitri Salita.

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