What Should I Eat Before Kickboxing?

By Judy Fisk

What you eat before kickboxing affects how you feel and how you perform. Eating too little can leave you depleted; eating the wrong foods can cause your stomach to act up. In the hours preceding your workout of cross-jabs, uppercuts and roundhouse kicks, eat a modest meal rich in complex carbohydrates. Steer clear of fatty and high-fiber foods, which can cause stomach upset, nausea or cramping.

Several Hours Before

Two to four hours before your workout, eat a meal featuring carbohydrates. These foods, such as whole-grain breads, pastas, fruits and vegetables, are easily digested and absorbed by the body. Your body stores carbs as glycogen in your muscles and liver. During high-intensity kickboxing workouts, glycogen converts to energy, which boosts stamina, power and concentration. Every body is different, so experiment with different foods and food combinations to determine what sustains you best. Try a bowl of oatmeal with sliced bananas; pair yogurt with a low-sugar granola bar; or top a piece of whole-grain toast with peanut or almond butter.

Just Before

Whenever possible, avoid eating more than a light snack within an hour or two of your start time. Heading into your kickboxing session with a full belly can lead to stomachache, nausea and cramping. On the flip side, kicking off your workout on a completely empty stomach can cause your blood sugar level to drop, leaving you dizzy and physically drained. If you must eat just before your workout, snacking on whole-grain crackers, an energy bar or a banana should help sustain you without upsetting your stomach.

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