◼️ The will necessary to follow this regime is what separates men from children.

Mixed martial arts fighters must feed accurately in order to get the best out of their bodies before and during fight night. After all, unlike other professional athletes, mixed martial arts fighters only have a couple of opportunities a year to achieve success in their professional careers. A bad fight can have huge implications. This is why the nutritional plans of elite fighters are as important as their training regimens.

Chris Algeri, head coach and nutritionist at Stony Brook University, is also the nutritionist for several elite mixed martial arts fighters, including Ryan LaFlare, Dennis Bermudez and Gian Villante. He gave us a deeper picture of what mixed martial arts fighters eat every day, from the training season until fight night. And, as a former champion, Algieri knows a thing or two of what it takes to reach the top (he’s a former welterweight champion).

So, what does the diet of a mixed martial arts fighter look like?


PRE-TRAINING MEALS

Algieri says that, among all types of training, he wants his precleaners to be in the best shape to practice sparring. “It’s a simulation of the fight night, so we feed them as if they were preparing for the real fight”, Algieri explains. He adds that the sparring sessions can last between 60 and 90 minutes, and because fighters don’t eat, while they hit them in the belly, they need to make sure they have all the necessary fuel before they start.


RICH LIQUIDS IN NITRATES

In addition to an abundant meal, four hours before training, Algieri makes his athletes consume something about 90 minutes before. Generally, he said, it’s a kind of smoothie consisting of beet juice and pomegranate juice, which indicates, are high in nitrates. “I am a great advocate of nitrate-rich liquids, such as beet juice and pomegranate juice, which are vasodilators, so they act as a natural pre-workout [supplement].”

“I make them consume something for the next 30 minutes after training”, Algieri said of what he gives his athletes after a difficult session: “A shake of whey protein and some sour cherry juice is Normally, I like sour cherry juice because of its anti-inflammatory properties. “


DINNER 

“For dinner, it’s a lot of protein, protein is especially important to help you recover muscles faster,” Algieri said, “I try to change the protein source every night, so one night it could be salmon, another shrimp, roast chicken , sushi … and then once or twice a week some red meat, on Sundays at night, there will be regular steaks or hamburgers. “

He says he always combines proteins with healthy garnishes, such as rice and vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and broccoli.


THE CORRECT AMOUNT OF FATS

For a sport where recovery is emphasized, you may be surprised by the proportion of macronutrients. Algieri says he tries to make 50 to 60 percent of the calories in his athlete’s diet come from carbohydrates, 20 percent from proteins and between 20 and 30 percent from fats.

“It indicated fats because they are important for joint recovery and health.” Consuming polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats helps men feel more satisfied, and it has been shown that you sleep better with more fat in your diet”, he said.

Algieri likes salmon and avocado as good sources of fat. And always cook with real butter, from cows fed on grass and extra virgin olive oil.

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