What Do MMA Fighters Eat?

MMA fighters are required to be in the best shape to compete at the highest levels. It requires a balance between working out effectively, and the diet they eat. In this article, we will look at what MMA fighters eat by comparing the diet of the most famous MMA fighters.

In general, MMA fighters eat a balanced mix of carbs, protein, vegetables, and fruit. Some MMA fighters eat 5 whole meals a day. Whereas, others eat 3 meals a day and have 2 protein shakes. Typically whole meals are rice, chicken, and vegetables.

Each MMA fighter is a little bit unique. Below, I will provide the typical daily diet the some of the most well-known and successful MMA fighters.

What Do MMA Fighters Eat in a Day

Every day MMA fighters need to maintain a strict diet to ensure they make weight, and their body has ample time for recovery. Although all MMA fighters have a slightly unique diet, there are some overall trends. This is what MMA fighters typically eat in a day.

On average, MMA fighters eat 5 meals a day, consisting of a balance of carbs, protein, and fruits and vegetables. Some eat 3 meals a day and have protein drinks as snacks in between. Whereas, others eat 5 meals consisting of whole foods.

To understand this better here’s a table that shows the typical diet of some of the most well-known fighters:

  • Connor Mcgregor
  • Dustin Poirier
  • Khabib Nourmagemedov
  • Israel Adesanya
  • Valentina Shevchenko
  • Rose Namajunas
MMA FighterDiet
Dustin PoirierAll natural organic foods with equal proportions protein, fat, and carbs.
Breakfast:8 egg whitesCup of kateBerries such as strawberries and blueberriesOatmeal
After morning training:Protein shake
Lunch:4 oz (400g) of chicken4 oz (400g) of avocado2 handfuls of spinachAlmonds
Post afternoon workout:Protein shake (contain flaxseed oil, berries, fruits, and greens)
Khabib NourmagemedovBreakfast:Smoothies made with 1 cup of leafy vegetables like spinach, 1 banana, whey protein, pea protein powder, water, and ice.
After morning training:Half a cup of blueberries, 2 tablespoons of walnuts, 1 cup of Greek yogurt.
Lunch:Completely vegetarian salad made of cabbage, tomatoes, mushrooms, baby romaine lettuce, cucumbers, and spinach 
Afternoon snack:2 red peppers (capsicums), 3 boiled eggs
Dinner:4 oz of chicken/turkey/fish½ a cup of beans1 cup of zucchini, or asparagus
His recommended foods are:
FishBerriesBeansLeafy GreensVegetablesEggsFruitWaterBrown RiceLean MeatGreek YogurtNutsWhey ProteinPoultryPea Protein
Connor McgregorIn general:
40% protein – meat, protein shakes30% vegetables – any30% carbs – rice, potatoes, bread
His go-to meal is chicken with rice and vegetables.
For dinner, a favorite is an Irish stew made from meat and potatoes.

Favorite protein shakes:Vanilla and peanut butter.ChocolatePeanut butter, banana, frozen berries, oats
(source)
Israel AdesanyaBreakfast:Overnight oats with, 1 banana, half a cup of strawberries, chocolate chips
Mid-morningProtein pancakes made with banana and chocolate chips. With a side of bacon and eggs.
Lunch:Teriyaki chicken served with a cup of rice and a cup of cooked potatoes.
Mid afternoon snack:Honey BBQ chicken with about 1.5 cups of rice
Dinner:Sweet chili chicken, with about 1 cup of rice
Directly before a fight:Rice cakes topped with Nutella, honey, and banana
(source)
Valentina ShevchenkoBreakfast:Egg whites, oatmeal, juice, and coffee
After morning training:Fresh or dried fruit
Lunch:Chicken breast, salad, other cooked vegetables, and rice. 
Afternoon snack:Fresh or dried fruit
Dinner:Chicken breast, salad, other cooked vegetables, and rice. 
Rose NamajunasRose Namajunas doesn’t have any set meal plan. But, does like to eat foods that are whole, and doesn’t like eating foods with a lot of sugar.
She also likes to grow her own food, and make all her own food herself from scratch.

As you can see it very much differs based on the fighter but in general, they eat fast food and sugary foods. And most eat vegetables, fruits, meat, and nuts. Protein powder is also typical of many UFC fighters.

What Do MMA Fighters Eat for Breakfast

Breakfast is the first meal after your body has had over about 8 hours to process all the food you previously ate. At breakfast time your stomach is typically empty and absorbs far more of the nutrients you consume. So, what do MMA fighters eat for breakfast?

Generally, MMA fighters eat either a smoothie with protein powder, or they eat oatmeal with fruits and egg whites for breakfast. About half of the most successful MMA fighters have a smoothie for breakfast, whereas, the other half eat a whole meal of oats, as well as, egg whites.

Some MMA fighters also have a cup of coffee, a cup of juice, or some fruits with their breakfast. The general meal routine of MMA fighters is to wake up, eat breakfast, go work out, and then have a post-workout meal or shake.

How Many Meals Do MMA Fighters Eat

In generally accepted by nutritionists that you should consume at least 3 meals a day, and most people have breakfast, lunch, and dinner. As well as, a snack in between. MMA athletes need the maximum amount of energy, and macronutrients to perform at the highest levels, so here’s how many meals MMA fighters eat.

In general, MMA fighters eat 5 meals a day. Some MMA fighters also have a snack after dinner for a total of 6 meals a day. About half eat a whole meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with protein shakes in between. The other half have 5 whole meals throughout the day.

The smoothies that MMA fighters consume are typically made of the same foods that other MMA fighters will eat whole. Therefore, they receive about the same macronutrients. It appears as though it’s a matter of personal preference. 

It does however allow an MMA fighter to consume more protein. As they can add protein powder to their smoothie, which is very protein-dense.

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