Carl Frampton (Getty)Carl Frampton (Getty) © Copyright

Fuel like a fighter

Northern Ireland’s boxing world champion Carl Frampton talks us through his ultra-disciplined pre-fight nutrition strategy


“I’m really strict with myself when I’m in camp, and my training camps are probably longer than the average boxer. I go for about 14 weeks, and I’ll be clean eating for the whole time. I don’t have cheat meals or anything like that. It’s tough enough, especially if you’re trying to make super bantamweight, which is only 122lb. I’ve just moved up to fight at featherweight, and that’s 126lb.

 I know a four pound difference doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but it’s a lot to me, so I still have to be pretty strict with anything I’m putting in my body.”


“There is no real clever approach to it, it’s developed over time. Originally when I turned pro, I was on a high protein, high fat, and low carb diet. I could deal with not having many carbs in my system, and I could still train. But then when I started introducing more carbs, which I have done while moving divisions, I can feel the benefits, and I’m getting more out of my training sessions. As it’s progressed with trial and error, we’ve learned to keep it quite simple – I eat four small mains a day.

Generally there will be two meals that contain carbs like brown bread or potato, and then I’ll have one fish dish and two others with meat – one with white meat and one with red. It sounds boring, but discipline is the key to get to this level.”


“You have to be careful how much you eat. When I get closer to the weigh-in, I’ll have to restrict calories and cut carbs, whereas when I first start at camp, I don’t really have to calorie count. I don’t weigh myself everyday because weight fluctuates a lot.

I also put on lots of weight outside of camp, so I’ll give myself about three weeks of training before I jump on the scales, then I’ll check it once a week, and then twice a week when it gets closer just to stay on top of it.

After the weigh-in, even though I have to refuel, I don’t go off my diet. I’ll carb up with brown bread, and I’ll have copious amounts of water and electrolytes to replenish everything that I’ve lost.”


“I’ll have some fruit to snack on, too. Sometimes you crave something a little more but I’ll stick to something like carrots with hummus and things like that. I sound like an absolute bore but this is the life of a boxer trying to make weight.

Every now and again, maybe once a week, I’ll have a protein bar. MSC nutrition, who are sponsoring me at the minute, do these readymade protein shakes, which works well for recovery after training. They taste good, which is a bonus when you’re strict.”


“I’m a disaster post-fight. I eat terrible food, but just the normal stuff, and I think I’m pretty decent in the kitchen. Over here [Northern Ireland], we have soda bread with sausage, egg and bacon.

I love sweet stuff and all the usual bad things, too. I have a big appetite – I put on a fair bit more weight than I should between fights. I’m 29 now, so I don’t think that my pattern will change. I’ve just learnt to adapt my training camp around it.”

Carl Frampton is an ambassador for MSC nutrition


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