Competitive fighters and athletes need special diets for their physical form and athletic performance. UFC welterweight champion Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards eats a healthy meal. His nutritionist Jordan Sullivan explains the champion’s daily diet and calories intake.
Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards and his wins
UFC welterweight champion Leon ‘Rocky’ Edwards is in great form now. He is winning titles after titles. Recently, he retained his title. He won in his third and decisive fight that was against his opponent, Kamaru Usman.
Jordan Sullivan is his nutritionist. Jordan bases his diet recommendations and weight making strategies on scientific facts. He advises his athletes to have jelly beans prior to the training sessions. These have energy producing sugar and gives his athletes the much desired boost to the training performance. The ‘fight dietitian’ explained:
‘Candies or fruits are what we call ‘fast-acting carbohydrates,’
‘We give them to the guys and I know that they can hit a certain amount and get their blood glucose levels up. By the time they get to the gym and they start training that glucose is going to be available for their muscles to use. That’s the physiological side of it.’
Consumption of jelly beans also helps the athletes psychologically. Jordan elaborated:
“Having something like jelly beans, frozen mangoes or some other type of candy or ice cream to look forward to, psychologically that really helps these guys.”
Leon’s food during fight week
The diet requires efforts, money, and planning. Jordan said:
‘We put a lot of effort in. We get Michelin star chefs from all around the world to help us create recipes. And [the fighters] really look forward to it.’
For instance, Leon for breakfast takes omelette with guacamole and fruit. In lunch, he usually has vegetables with minced turkey. And in dinner it is breaded chicken with dip. Desserts are mixed berries.
Before lunch, Leon takes a protein shake that has 20 g of protein. And in the evening, he has two snacks: the first one is chocolate protein pudding and the second has the pudding with a protein shake. And prior to training, it is 10 jelly beans.
Usually, Leon has 2600 calories in a day with 140 g of carbs, 190 g of proteins and 145 g of fats. Just a week before the actual fight, Jordan does a bit of carb manipulation on Leon’s diet. According to the Gatorade Sports Institute, a drop in calories by 10% and carbs less than 50 g per day, decreases weight without affecting muscle mass or performance.
Jordan allows 2 to 3 cheat meals in a week. He calls them refeeds or relaxed meals. Leon has this on e a week.
Leon’s diet between training camps
‘[Between training camps] you want to be eating a a performance-based diet. Because MMA is what we call a glycolytic sport, it uses a lot of carbohydrates as the main energy source. I know a lot of people really dislike carbs and carb shame. But for athletes who train, they’re your best friend because they’re what’s pretty much fuelling your training and your recovery after. So those guys are eating a really high-carbohydrate, high-protein and moderate-fat diet. Their main meals are looking like salmon, rice, potatoes, vegetables with some dressing.’
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“…we’re giving them what we call maintenance calories, so they just hold on to their out of camp weight and they just eat a general healthy performance diet.’