As Kenny Florian prepares for his upcoming lightweight title shot against BJ Penn, he’s paying close attention to an under utilized element of the MMA arsenal. In addition to rigorous strength and conditioning sessions and his versatile regimen of MMA techniques, Kenny is using the science of nutrition and biochemistry to optimize his training goals. Customized sports nutrition planning is becoming an increasingly important asset of professional MMA athletes, and Kenny is diligently making use of it.
The majority of popular weight loss and nutrition materials are either too broad to personally adapt or are meant for the general public and not athletes. After meeting with Kenny and discussing the details of his workouts, as well as his food preferences and general goals, I developed a meal plan for him that was specific to his body’s needs. I calculated his daily calorie requirements to provide enough energy to fuel his training, all the while allowing him to cut body fat and maintain lean muscle mass. Each day, he follows a schedule to time pre-and post-workout meals to promote ideal preparation and recovery. All meals and snacks are also customized to include his favorite foods that meet his nutrient needs.
This scientific approach to eating and supplementation allows an athlete to work longer and harder during grueling training sessions. Additionally, the personalization of an athlete’s diet offers some protection against respiratory infections, inflammation and joint injuries. Too much or too little of many nutrients and supplements can be detrimental, so consulting with a professional registered dietitian (RD) who is accredited with the American Dietetic Association is the ideal way to obtain the most accurate and safe nutrition advice. RDs hold advanced academic degrees and have undergone years of intense clinical training. It may sound trite, but breakfast is really the most important meal of the day, especially for an athlete. Eating within 30 minutes of waking up jump starts the metabolism and prepares the body for physical activity. Here are a few of Kenny’s favorite breakfasts that he’s generously allowed me to share with his fans .