A leading nutritionist on what happens if boxers don't look after what they eat
By Mark Ellison
Performance Nutritionist, English Institute of Sport
Boxing is a weight-making sport, so nutrition is a critical element of success because if you cannot make the weight you cannot compete.
I work with the Great Britain amateur boxers every day and I'll be at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi so that I am on hand when it matters most.
Of the 13 boxers going to Delhi, 10 are representing England while the other three travel with the Wales team.
I have developed a unique strategy for each of them to ensure they are optimised to train and compete at their best.
I cover weight management and supplementation, while educating the squads on nutrition and what to eat when they are not at their training base at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.
The boxers have a heavy training load, so I am always looking at ways to help them get through. I make sure I stay abreast of new research in areas such as refuelling or supplementation which might help with this.
When I'm working in the United Kingdom, athletes work through a system I've set up, whereby they get weighed as they arrive at a training camp, as well as have their hydration levels checked.
Each athlete has their own targets for weight-making within the run-up to each tournament so we can regularly check progress and flag any issues before it gets too close to competition.
If athletes are off their targets, then the GB performance director Rob McCracken and I will have a chat with them. We might have that conversation once or twice but we don't have it a third time.
We will also trial individualised nutritional strategies so that each athlete knows exactly what works best for them in terms of fuelling and recovery.
Hopefully, come the first bout of the Commonwealths, they can just focus on their performance knowing that they've got this area covered.
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