Your Guide to Sports Nutrition for Wrestling

Wrestling is an intense, bodily demanding sport, and considered one of few with weight classifications. That’s why correct nutrition is particularly necessary for wrestlers.

When weight is related to competing, athletes typically take drastic steps— corresponding to chopping weight — to meet what they really feel is their excellent weight. This apply can put added strain on an athlete that may be prevented. “The best plan is to have a target weight going into the season and develop an effective fueling and hydration strategy to make weight,” says Jeff Lucchino, MS, RDN, a sports activities dietitian at UPMC Sports Medicine. He shared some do’s and don’ts for making weight and staying healthy.

Identify a Target Weight Class

The wrestler and coach — together with a father or mother or guardian — ought to determine the suitable weight for competitors.

After deciding on a weight class, the wrestler and coach ought to develop an applicable nutrition and hydration routine.

What Is Cutting Weight?

Cutting weight is the shifting of weight for a brief time period with the aim of creating weight. If a wrestler is on the backside vary of their present weight class, dropping weight to be on the greater finish of one other class might improve their power to weight ratio.

“Weight cutting is not essential,” says Jeff. “Fueling a wrestler’s body enough to fluctuate throughout the season is the ideal way to change weight.”

Acceptable Ranges of Weight Loss or Gain

Depending upon the wrestler’s age, expertise, and maturity, goal weight for the season ought to be inside the following vary for their weight class:

  • College wrestling: Less than 5% of their focused weight class
  • High faculty wrestling: Less than three% of their focused weight class
  • Youth wrestling: Zero-2% of their focused weight class

This permits for a traditional fluctuation in weight throughout every week of training.

Health Risks of Improper Weight Cutting

There typically are health dangers related to slicing weight improperly, together with:


The the most typical health danger when slicing weight improperly, dehydration is outlined as an irregular depletion of physique fluids. A higher than 2 % discount of fluids places an athlete within the dehydrated class.

Dehydration can add excessive stress to the physique. If dehydration is extreme sufficient, it may well trigger a speedy depletion of potassium which might end in coronary heart health points.

Higher danger of damage

Rapid weight slicing depletes the physique of energy/power, nutritional vitamins, minerals, and water that are important to for muscle mass to carry out at a excessive degree. Cognitive perform additionally may be affected by speedy weight chopping.

Future health dangers from weight chopping

Improper weight chopping can injury the physique’s pure metabolic price which may have a destructive influence on an athlete sooner or later. Also, improper techniques can lead to physique picture and dietary points later in life.

How to Properly Make Weight

The fundamentals of creating weight correctly contain these 4 steps:

  1. Managing Water Weight

1 gallon of water = eight.35 kilos

2 gallons of water =16.7 kilos

One of the simplest methods to make weight safely is to begin with water weight. If a wrestler is consuming two gallons of water per day, chopping again to one gallon a day will ultimately end in eight kilos or extra of water loss. That means an athletic can hydrated whereas dropping just a bit additional water by way of sweat. When you narrow water too early, dehydration can happen days earlier than a wrestler’s match and it will negatively have an effect on efficiency.

  1. Using the Proper Techniques

Making weight requires a dedication from the athlete to do it safely. Instead of skipping a meal, it’s safer to slot in an additional 20- to 30-minute training session.

  1. Hydrating Your Athletic Performance

  2. When the physique is sufficiently hydrated, it expels water all through the day and contributes to weight loss. When you shut off or scale back water consumption, the physique not expels as a lot water, making it more durable to lose water weight.

In order to make weight scale back food mass which is the how a lot water and weight a food can deliver within the physique. Foods which have a excessive quantity of water and fiber (i.e. broccoli, apples) will convey extra water into the physique and make it troublesome to drop weight shortly. Instead, concentrate on consuming power dense meals resembling peanut butter that don’t carry a big food mass.

Post Weigh-in Fuel

A wrestler who has made competitors weight can concentrate on fueling the physique with  fluids, carbohydrates, and power dense meals between weigh-in and competitors.

Pre-Match Fueling Options

When competing, it’s necessary for wrestlers to gasoline their efficiency with hydration and healthy food choices. Recommended fueling choices for wrestlers embrace:

30 minutes to 1 hour earlier than the match:

  • Protein bars
  • Fresh fruit (bananas, strawberries, pineapple)
  • Applesauce pouches
  • Fruit snacks
  • Sports drinks
  • Fruit cups

90 minutes to 2 hours or extra earlier than the match:

– Peanut butter and jelly sandwich

– Oatmeal

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