Like other sports, a UFC fighter needs to have proper nutrition. However, unlike many other sports, UFC fighters have to cut weight so that they’ll weigh about the same as the other person they’re fighting. This makes a UFC fighter’s nutrition plan more complicated than other sports. Here are some examples of what UFC fighters will eat on a daily basis when preparing for a fight.
The average day for a UFC fighter
Most high-profile UFC fighters will have a nutritionist who prepares for them a balanced daily meal plan that gives them everything they need. Their meals will be full of carbs, fats, proteins, and of course, every vitamin and minerals that a body needs.
How they get those nutrients will depend on the nutritionist and what the fighter likes to eat. For example, for carbs, champions like Conor McGregor, Cody Garbrandt, and Ronda Rousey, all eat either rice, bread, or potatoes.
For protein and fat, fighters have a lot of choices. Some prefer leaner meats like chicken and fish, while others prefer red meat like steak and bacon. Eggs, milk, and other dairy products are also popular for many fighters.
Georges St-Pierre, in particular, loves to drink a special protein shake that incorporates almond milk, berries, and of course, protein powder. In terms of drinks, like other people, most UFC fighters will drink a lot of water, but coffee or tea are not out of the question either. McGregor even drinks a glass of milk in the middle of the day for extra protein and hydration.
And of course, pretty much every fighter eats light and nutritious foods like vegetables, fruits, and other greens. This is especially true when they’re cutting weight in preparation for a fight. The diets of many fighters during fight week become more strict and generally less filling as many fighters will have to cut several pounds in order to make weight.
Many fighters have failed to make weight, and that’s largely because their diets weren’t up to par. Former champion Johny Hendricks famously made himself a meme when he bragged about eating fast food burgers before fights.
He said to just avoid eating the fries and you’ll be fine. However, in his very next fight, he missed weight and received a fine for that. He’d go on missing weight in his subsequent fights as well, largely because of his imbalanced diet.
Keto diets are also frowned upon by many UFC nutritionists, as McGregor’s nutritionist said that if he put McGregor on a keto diet, then McGregor would be screwed because he needs his carbs for energy.
And of course, many fighters will avoid sweets and desserts, as they view those as not nutritious enough to eat. However, McGregor does eat dark chocolate with his lunch, as dark chocolate does have some proven health benefits.
Some UFC fighters, like Nate Diaz, eat a largely vegetarian diet, though Diaz is actually a pescatarian. A pescatarian is someone who abstains from all animal products except for seafood.
Kron Gracie, a rising star in the UFC, is also a pescatarian. He largely eats fruits, vegetables, and seafood. Gracie did clarify, however, that if he or his friend hunted and killed an animal, then he won’t feel bad about eating its meat. He just refuses to eat meat from factories and farms.
Heavyweight fighters generally don’t have to cut weight unlike most other fighters. Because of that, with few exceptions, heavyweights can eat pretty much whatever they want. Most still stick to healthy foods however, but some, like former champion Daniel Cormier, loves eating Popeyes Chicken.