Diet Tips to Help You Prepare for an Upcoming Fight

(Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

After weighing in for your upcoming fight, the quantity and type of food you eat can significantly impact your performance. Making sure you refuel your body with a healthy diet will impact your energy in the match.  

Sometimes, restricting your diet can lead to insulin spikes and make you feel sluggish. Also, eating the wrong foods can impact your performance. For example, there’s a connection between gluten and acid reflux.

Sudden weight loss before you weigh in and then weight gain after may cause diarrhea and an upset stomach. Laziness, insomnia, and dehydration are just a few of the potential issues you may face if you eat a poor diet before your fight.

Because of this, you must be smart about your diet before your fight. Keep reading to learn more.


Mixed martial arts or MMA requires a lot of energy. This is true for your training and the day of your fight. Eating carbohydrates will help you maintain energy levels because they are gradually released throughout the day.

Non-fighters only need to consume a moderate amount of carbs. This isn’t the case for MMA fighters. Due to the high-intensity training exercises you engage in, eating a high-carb diet is recommended to help boost energy.

After you weigh in, it’s a good idea to consume about 12 grams of carbs for every kg of mass in your body. Doing this will help you replace your lost liver glycogen levels and muscle.

The day before the fight, try to eat about 89 grams of starchy carbs, including fruit, bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes, every two to three hours. This will help refill all the glycogen stores in your body and reduce sluggishness.


Most MMA fighters will reduce their training intensity several days before a scheduled fight. Cutting weight before a weigh-in will slow down muscle recovery.

While this is true, you can reenergize and rehydrate after the weigh-in to regain your strength and power. Eat lean protein to keep up internal body functions, such as vitamin and mineral absorption, energy stores, and building cells.

Some of the best lean proteins to eat include turkey, eggs, lean ground beef, seeds, low or non-fat dairy, nuts, fish, and soy foods.


Before a fight, you may want to avoid eating sodium. Cutting weight requires you to cut sodium intake completely. Reduced sodium levels mean more weight loss.

However, the night before your scheduled fight, try to eat a meal with a lot of sodium. Sodium will help retain water in your body. If you want to recover and rehydrate after a significant weight cut, be sure to add more sodium to your diet.

Some foods that will help add sodium to your diet include canned vegetables, baking soda, salted nuts, table salt, pickles, cured meat, and soy sauce.


Many people don’t realize that one of the biggest secrets to rapid weight loss in the world of MMA fighting, boxing, and similar sports is dehydration. You know that 75% of the body is water. Rather than reducing body weight, they cut water weight to reduce their pounds. However, it’s important to retain this lost water before fighting. Drinking enough water helps to prevent dehydration and dizziness. It will also make a fighter stronger and faster to prepare them for the fight ahead.

Eating Right for Your Upcoming MMA Match

Mixed martial arts is an activity that requires a lot of energy. This is true for your training and the day of your fight. Eating carbohydrates is recommended because they will maintain your energy level by gradually releasing energy during the day. As a fighter, you must watch your health and overall weight. If you aren’t sure what diet is best for you, it may be smart to talk to your trainer or a nutritionist. They can help you create an eating plan to ensure you are prepared for an upcoming fight.

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