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Fuel to Fight On

Image of an apple There are many diets out there in the world that say they can do this or that. The diet industry is a multi billion dollar a year business. For fighters there is also a lot of disinformation in the ring around how, when, and what to eat for training and during a fight week. The nutrition plan that we use is not a diet. It’s a lifestyle. It is very close to the way early man ate.

This plan has an even amount of protein and carbohydrates with a low percentage of good fats. The ratio we like to use with, fighters, that use the burn with Kearns system, is the 40% percent protein, 40% carbohydrates, and 20 % fat. The carbohydrates are mostly in the form of low gylcemic index food that means they do not spike your insulin level. When you spike your insulin level that is the body’s response to too much sugar in the blood stream. This can lead to a “sugar crash”.

The protein we use is in the form of lean proteins, with egg being the gold standard especially the white, with fish and poultry next. As far as fats, polyunsaturated and monounsaturated that you will find in fish, veggies, nuts, and seeds are excellent sources.

The other missing factor that people overlook is h20. Water is extremely important for fighters before, during, and after training. It often goes over looked but it is an essential component of the plan. Unfortunately not all water is created equal and there are so many free radicals and pollutants today, so you need to be careful what you are drinking.

Fight athletes, like other athletes, requirements for nutrients are higher than those of the average joes. That needs to be taken into an account when they are in a fight camp and the week of a fight. Below is a sample program from a fighter’s plan.

Image of sample program from a fighter’s plan

  • Matt says:

    Mercury, your worried about mercury!? How about brain damage or walking with a limp! Two words, Wanderlei Silva what a mug.

  • Question says:

    I know tuna is great for those omega-3 fats but what about the mercury risk from all that tuna? Is it a legitimate concern or am I ok eating that can of tuna every night, coach?

  • Charlie says:

    The foods in the chart seem to be pretty basic, but would someone be able to substitute certain foods or shakes to something of their liking or availability. For example if someone doesn’t have a taste for tuna or can’t find endurox what could they use in place of it?

  • rabbit says:

    I got a question for ya

    Im not really a fighter due to religious reasons however im thinking about training for self-defense and to get fit…is they’re any way i can train but not fight?

  • Jeremy says:

    Am I too old at age 29 to start a career in MMA?

  • B-Rock says:

    you can easily make ur own high protein formula, i make a blend of skim milk powder and full cream powder(full cream has a higher percentage of protein) and just add ur own drinking chocolate or flavouring, and an egg or 2. i gained 10kg over 8 weeks and i have a very high metabolism.

  • wings says:

    How could a good plan like this work for a fighter with a budget. I would like to be able to afford the nice protein shakes and the sort, but cost kind of becomes a concern between working and bills and my nutrition sometimes has to take a back seat to the more pressing needs. Any suggestions on making a similar diet, just a little leaner on the wallet?

  • Just wondering says:

    I’m young an i want to start training in MMA. I’m not sure how to start though,i’ve been getting used to doing situps for about a week now-i started at 50 and i add 10 every day so say im at 70 ill do em in da morning nd another 70 at night and the next day same but with 80,im just worried about pushups,i cant do many but thats why i wanna start going to a MMA gym and training,does anyone have some tips for me….and by young i mean 13 yrs old

  • Coach Kearns says:

    Hi Mike,
    I agree 65 grams of protein a day is way to low. If you take a closer look at the graph you will notice the protein is 3 to 4 times that. Even on a 10 hour workout we are still taking in 240 grams per day. The calories need to be maintained at a certain level depending upon body weight and basal metabolic rate. Generally we recommend 1 gram to 1.5 grams of lean protein to lean body mass at least. if you have other questions please email direct at all the best . coach kearns

  • Mike Burns says:


    The protein and calorie totals are pretty low here. Is this the diet you would purely use prior to the weigh-in of a fight? I ask because you would burn more calories in any hour long MMA workout than you would be taking through out the whole day. On top of that, you’re looking at about 60-65 grams of Protein for the whole day which would be very low for athlete, even a 155-lb athlete like Kenny. Thanks.


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