Sunday, 7 April 2013

FIGHTING FOOD: ROSI SEXTON

Rosi Sexton Diet Nutrition advice female fighter

A DAY IN THE LIFE OF ROSI SEXTON'S STOMACH



Rosie Sexton is busy! She is a professional mixed martial artist, a practicing osteopath, a writer, a mother, and she also runs Combat Sports Clinic; a website that draws together health and fitness professionals with an interest in combat sports and injuries. All this makes her agreeing to this interview even more appreciated! She has trained in Taekwon-do, Jiu Jitsu and Judo and had her first MMA fight in 2002. Her fight record stands at 13-2 and she is consistently ranked in the top 3 125lb fighters in the world; not too shabby! As if her business interests weren't enough to shirk the meathead fighter image, she also has a PhD in Theoretical Computer Science and a Masters from Cambridge, oh and she's a classically trained musician as well. I guess you could say she's pretty well prepared for any eventuality!

On top of what is already an impressive CV, she makes her UFC debut against canadian Alexis Davis at UFC 161 on June 15th, making Rosi the first UK female to make it into the UFC.

EFFECTIVE EATING: Can you give us a typical day in the life of your stomach, what do you eat and drink, when do you eat and what dietary principles do you follow?

ROSI SEXTON: A lot depends on what my training is like at the time and what I have coming up. Right now, I'm on a strength phase and I'm experimenting with putting a bit of weight on so that's been new for me. 


In general, I use supplements from my sponsor PhD nutrition around training times. I find it's a good way of getting the right nutrients into the body at the right time. I've been working with Mike Leng (http://www.unorthodox-nutrition.com), and he's changed up some of what I'd been doing previously. One of the big changes was using my recovery shakes (2:1 carb / protein blend) before the training sessions instead of afterwards. That covers a fairly high proportion of my carb intake for the day. 

Away from training times, I eat three main meals a day, mostly protein and vegetables, and a protein shake in the evening. The protein sources include a lot of whole eggs and chicken breast, with oily fish, steak or pork for variety. At the moment, I'm adding a little more in the way of carbohydrates, but we're not going crazy with it. I think it's just as important to eat clean when you're trying to put weight on - the difference between "doughnut weight" and "steak and chicken" weight is pretty obvious! 


Rosi Sexton


EE: What are the things that you always keep in your fridge?

RS: Eggs and chicken! Also peppers, green beans, spinach, broccoli and a big box of salad to dip into. In the store cupboard, there's always sweet potatoes, coconut oil, peanut and almond butter. 

EE: Does your diet change during a training camp?

RS: Yes: If I have a competition coming up, the focus will be on making weight, while still having enough fuel for training. It'll very much depend on how much weight I have to lose - there's also a difference between grappling competitions where the weigh in is on the day of the competition and MMA fights where it's the day before. 

EE: How much weight do you typically cut before a fight and what is your cutting process?

RS: I don't cut a huge amount of weight. I'll typically drop about 10-12 lbs in the week leading up to the weigh in, mostly by carbohydrate restriction, with a little water weight if I need to. I prefer to stay out of the sauna as much as possible. 

EE: Can you talk through the last 48hrs of food and drink before a fight?

RS: Prior to the weigh-in, I'll generally eat/drink very little for the last 24 hours. Then as soon as I've weighed in, I'll have a rehydration drink ready to go. I'll usually sip that for an hour or two before moving on to solid food. After that, it's a case of getting lots of carbohydrate (and a little protein) back in. I'll use a combination of drinks, small meals and snacks. Little and often. Fight day, I'll usually eat a largish carb heavy breakfast, and then a normal lunch and afternoon meal with plenty of fluids. 

EE: What is the most important bit of dietary advice you would give a novice fighter?

RS: Get good advice. Find someone who knows their stuff, and has actually done it themselves. 

EE: If you could only use one supplement from now on, what would it be?

RS: That's a tough one. There's a lot of the PhD range that I've come to rely on on a day to day basis. I think I'd probably have to go with their whey protein for versatility, but I'd miss the others for sure! 


Rosi Sexton in action


EE: What is your post fight reward meal?

RS: Ben n Jerry's ice cream, for preference. Usually I'm not that picky though - I'll go with whatever I can get my hands on! 

EE: What is your biggest dietary vice?

RS: Ben n Jerry's! 

EE: What is your signature dish?

RS: Not sure I have a signature dish, but I do a pretty good chilli. 

EE: If people want to find out more about you, where should they look? (Website, twitter, email etc)

RS: My personal blog is at http://rosisexton.wordpress.com. I also own Combat Sports Clinic (http://combatsportsclinic.com), which grew out of my professional work as an osteopath. I treat a lot of fighters and other combat sports athletes, and found there was a demand for specific information about training, nutrition, injury rehabilitation and prevention and health issues. 

I'm @rosisexton on twitter and on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/rosi.sexton. That's probably the easiest way for people to get hold of me! 

EE: Thanks again for this, these insights into how the pro's handle their nutrition is gold compared to all the mis-information on the net.

Watch Rosie in action:




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