nutrition ideas for wrestlers eating healthy every day

nutrition ideas for wrestlers eating healthy every day
NUTRITION IDEAS FOR WRESTLERS
EATING HEALTHY EVERY DAY
Due to concerns about weight control, some wrestlers choose to skip meals or excessively
restrict their daily food intake. Those practices can be detrimental to their health, as well
as academic and athletic performance. In order to maintain the high energy levels
needed for their intense workouts, wrestlers need to eat a healthy, balanced diet on
a daily basis. If wrestlers make food choices that are high in carbohydrate, low in fat, with
moderate amounts of protein, they will be able to eat a healthy, balanced diet without the
need to be overly concerned about weight.
Carbohydrates can be in the form of “complex” carbohydrates or “simple” carbohydrates.
Complex carbohydrates are found in breads, grains, and cereals. Simple
carbohydrates come from foods containing refined sugar such as pop and candy,
and from foods containing natural sugars such as fruit. Getting sugar from natural
sources, such as fruit, is preferable to candy and pop because it will satisfy one’s
sweet tooth while providing the body with nutrients and fluid at the same time.
Energy from carbohydrates is converted into glucose. Glucose provides immediate, shortterm energy. Unused glucose is converted into glycogen and stored in the muscles or liver,
or converted to fat and stored as fat tissue. A variety of high carbohydrate foods must be
eaten every day to ensure one is getting a variety nutrients necessary for peak
performance.
Wrestlers should understand it is impossible and undesirable to eliminate all fat from
one’s diet. While excessive fat is unneeded and contributes greatly to weight gain or the
difficulty in losing weight, fat is needed for many of the body’s processes which are
essential to athletes. Fat content in foods can occur because of naturally occurring fat
or fat that is added. By eliminating excess fat, but not eliminating all foods containing fat,
a wrestler can maintain or lose weight while still being healthy.
The following practical ideas for high carbohydrate, low-fat, moderate protein foods are
provided to assist wrestlers, their parents and coaches in choosing appropriate foods.
BREAKFAST IDEAS
Drink at least one 6-ounce glass of your favorite juice
Drink at least one 8-ounce glass of water
Bagel, English muffin, or whole-wheat toast spread with peanut butter and topped with a
sliced banana, or jam
Bowl of cold or hot cereal with low-fat milk, topped with fresh fruit
English muffin, or whole-wheat toast spread with jam
French toast, pancakes, or waffles topped with low-fat yogurt, applesauce, syrup, or jam
1
Fresh or canned fruit
Homemade milkshakes made with low-fat milk, low-fat yogurt, and fruit
Leftover vegetable pizza
Poached egg
Stir cold breakfast cereal into low-fat yogurt
LUNCH IDEAS
Drink at least one 8-ounce glass of water
Drink at least one 8-ounce glass of low-fat milk
Whole-wheat or pita bread with turkey, chicken, lean roast beef, or lean ham, and Swiss
cheese, and vegetables. (Tomatoes, green peppers, lettuce, cucumbers, onions,
and sprouts are all great!)
Tuna or chicken salad sandwich with low-fat mayonnaise.
Baked potato topped with low-fat sour cream, mozzarella cheese, salsa, or skim milk
Vegetable pizza
English muffin topped with pizza sauce and melted cheese
Chicken noodle soup
Fresh fruit
Graham crackers
Vanilla wafer
Pudding made with low-fat milk
Low-fat yogurt
Always include at least one serving of vegetables and fruit with lunch
DINNER IDEAS
Drink at least one, 8-ounce glass of water
Drink at least one, 8-ounce glass of low-fat milk
Baked potato with low-fat topping
Baked turkey, white meat without skin
Bread, muffins, or rolls
Broiled chicken, white meat without skin
Brown or white rice
Cooked vegetables
Fruit
Instant pudding made with low-fat milk
Lean beef or pork
Oriental stir fries with rice
Pasta with tomato sauce or low-fat meat sauce
Tortillas with low-fat refried beans and salsa
Tuna-noodle casserole made with water packed tuna
2
SNACK IDEAS
Drink at least 1 8-ounce glass of water with your snack.
Air popped popcorn
Low-fat yogurt
Animal crackers
Low-fat pudding cups
Bagels
Low-fat fruit bars
Baked snack crackers and cheese
Oatmeal cookies
Blueberry muffins
Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
Chicken or turkey sandwich with low-fat mayonnaise Pretzels
Fresh fruit
Pudding pops
Fruit Newtons
String cheese
Fruit bread
Vanilla wafers
Fruit bars
Vegetables and dip
Ice milk or frozen yogurt
HELPFUL FOOD & CALORIE SUGGESTIONS
Meats: The following meats are low in fat and have approximately 120-150 calories, per
3 ounce serving.
Fish
Lean roast beef
Lean ham
Lean ground beef - (Rinse ground beef to reduce the fat content)
Skinless, white chicken
Skinless, white turkey
Water-packed tuna
When cooking meat, it should be broiled, baked, or grilled to keep the fat content to a
minimum. Choosing leaner cuts of meat will help in keeping the fat content low.
Breads: The following breads have approximately 50-100 calories per serving.
1 biscuit
5 saltine cracker squares
1 slice bread
1-6" corn tortilla
½ English muffin
1-4" pancake
½ hamburger or hot dog bun
1-4" waffle
1 dinner roll
Adding butter, mayonnaise, or margarine greatly increases the calorie content.
Honey, jam, or low-fat peanut butter are a better choice.
Calorie content of various spreads:
Butter (hard) - 34 calories per teaspoon
Butter (whipped) - 27 calories per teaspoon
Catsup - 10 calories per teaspoon
Honey - 21 calories per teaspoon
Jelly/jam - 17 calories per teaspoon
Margarine - 34 calories per teaspoon
Mayonnaise - 33 calories per teaspoon
Mustard - 4 calories per teaspoon
Peanut butter - 31 calories per teaspoon
3
Fruits and vegetables vary greatly in calories, but they are all low in calories compared
to most other foods. They are also fat free, with the exception of avocados, unless they
are topped with margarine, butter, or high calorie dressings. They are very high in
nutrients.
HEALTHY CHOICES WHEN EATING OUT:
Baked potato with low-fat toppings
Bean or chicken burrito
Cheese or vegetable pizza
Chicken sandwich, with low-fat mayonnaise, barbecue sauce, or honey mustard
Chili
Roast beef sandwich
Side salad with low-fat dressing
Skim Milk
(Refer to the fast food handout for additional ideas.)
BEST FOOD CHOICES FROM CONVENIENCE STORES:
Animal crackers
Fruit
Fruit bars (ie. Fig bars)
Granola bar ( not chocolate covered)
Juice boxes
Low-fat yogurt
Low-fat chocolate milk
Low-fat bean burrito
Nutri Grain bars
Pretzels
String cheese
V-8 juice
Sources: Berning, Jackie & Coleman, Ellen, Professional Presentations, various dates;
Diet, Exercise, & Fitness, Coleman, Ellen, MA, MPH, RD, 1990; Food Power, National
Dairy Council, 1991; Health and Safety Considerations for Interscholastic Wrestling, Ohio
High School Athletic Association & Ohio Wrestling Coaches Association, 1994; Nutrition
Education Instructional Materials, Michigan Weight Monitoring Program, 1996; Nutrition
and Sport Success, United States Olympic Committee & Swanson Center for Nutrition,
Inc., 1990; Pinning Down Your Optimal Weight: A wrestler’s Guide to Good Nutrition, Ricci,
Marilyn, MS, RD, 1991; The Wrestler’s Diet: A Guide to Healthy Weight Control, Landry,
Roger, Oppliger, Robert, Shelter, Ann, & Landry, Greg, 1991.
Special thanks to Molly Pelzer, RD, LD from Dairy Council for providing ideas and
reviewing this material.
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LOW-FAT MENU IDEAS FOR WRESTLERS (Serving sizes indicate one serving from that food group)
Milk
Meat
Choose 1
Choose 0-1
8 oz. low-fat milk
4 oz. peanut butter
1 slice Swiss/Amer. cheese Poached egg
8 oz. Low-fat choc. milk
Leftover cheese pizza
8 oz. low-fat milkshake
8 oz. low-fat yogurt
8 oz, blended milk/fruit beverage (equals 1 milk + 1 fruit)
1 oz. Swiss, cheddar, Monterey Jack, Colby cheese
Vegetable
Choose 0-1
6 oz. tomato juice
6 oz. V-8 juice
Lunch
Choose 1
8 oz. low-fat yogurt
8 oz. low-fat milk
1 slice Swiss/Amer. cheese
8 oz. low-fat choc. milk
½ cup ice milk
1 oz. Swiss, cheddar,
Monterey Jack, Colby
cheese
Choose 1-2
Choose 1
½ cup canned veg. 6 oz. fruit juice
1 cup raw veggies
1 piece fruit
1 med. baked potato 1 cup raw fruit
½ cup mashed potato½ cup canned fruit
6 baby carrots
Spaghetti sauce
Choose 2-4
1 slice bread
pita bread
½ hot dog or
hamburger bun
1 dinner roll
5 saltine crackers
1 - 6" flour tortilla
½ cup pasta
Snack
Choose 1
Choose 1
Yogurt
4 oz. peanut butter
8 oz. low-fat milk
3 oz. lean ham
1 slice Swiss/Amer. Cheese 3 oz. chicken or turkey
8 oz. low-fat choc. milk
(skinless)
½ cup ice milk
3 oz. water packed tuna
1 oz. Swiss, cheddar,
Monterey Jack, Colby cheese
Choose 1
6 oz. tomato juice
6 oz. V-8 juice
6 baby carrots
1 baked potato
Choose 2-4
½ English muffin
½ bagel
1 slice whole wheat toast
5 saltine crackers
1 - 6" tortilla
1 bowl cold cereal
Supper
Choose 1
8 oz. low-fat yogurt
8 oz. low-fat milk
1 slice Swiss/Amer. cheese
8 oz. low-fat choc. milk
½ cup ice milk
1 oz. Swiss, cheddar,
Monterey Jack, Colby
cheese
Breakfast
TOTAL SERVINGS
4
Choose 1
3 oz. water packed tuna
3 oz. roast pork
3 oz. Lean roast beef
3 oz. lean ham
3 oz. chicken or turkey
(skinless)
3 oz. broiled/baked fish
Fruit
Choose 1
6 oz. fruit juice
1 cup raw fruit
1 piece fruit
½ cup canned fruit
Choose 0-1
6 oz. fruit juice
1 piece fruit
1 cup raw fruit
½ cup canned fruit
Choose 1
Choose 1-2
Choose 0-1
3 oz. water packed
½ cup canned veg. 6 oz. fruit juice
tuna
1 cup raw veggies
1 piece fruit
3 oz. Lean roast beef 1 med. baked potato
1 cup raw fruit
3 oz. lean ham
½ cup mashed potato½ cup canned fruit
3 oz. chicken or turkey
6 baby carrots
(skinless)
Spaghetti sauce
3 oz. broiled/baked fish
3 oz. roast pork
3+
3-6
2-4
NOTE: To maintain hydration drink at least one, 8-ounce glass of water with each meal and snack.
Grain
Choose 2-4
1 bowl cold cereal
½ Bagel
½ English muffin
4" Pancake
4" Waffle
1 slice whole wheat toast
1 slice cheese pizza
½ cup hot cereal
Choose 2-4
1 slice bread/pita bread
1 - 6" flour tortilla
½ hot dog/hamburger bun
5 saltine crackers
1 dinner roll
3 slices veggie pizza
(equals 1 milk, 1 veggie,
3 grains)
½ cup pasta
8-16
NUTRITION IDEAS FOR WRESTLERS
PRE-COMPETITION MEALS
Wrestlers may not often think about pre-competition meals because of early morning
weigh-ins. After they have “made weight,” they often eat anything that is available and
worry about the consequences later! By following these guidelines and those in “EATING
HEALTHY EVERY DAY” wrestlers will find it easier to fuel their performance and control
their weight.
Here are some basic guidelines for eating before competition.
Avoid foods high in salt as they cause water to leave the muscles where it is needed it
to aid performance.
Drink at least two, 8-ounce glasses of water with your meal.
Eat 3 - 4 hours before competing.
Eat familiar foods that will not cause indigestion.
Eat foods that are high in carbohydrate and low in fat and protein.
Keep the pre-competition meal small.
Food ideas for after weigh-in:
Drink at least one 8-ounce glass of water
Bagels, English muffins, or toast topped with peanut butter and jelly or fruit
Cold or hot cereal with low-fat milk
Fresh fruit
Fruit juice
Low-fat yogurt
Pancakes topped with fruit
Waffles topped with fruit & low-fat whipped topping
Ideas for pre-competition meals:
Drink at least one 8-ounce glass of water
Baked potato topped with salsa or other low-fat topping
Bread, muffins, rolls topped with honey, jam or other low-fat topping
Broiled fish
Cooked vegetables
Fresh or canned fruit
Fruit juice, unsweetened
Lettuce salad with low-fat dressing
Low-fat milk
Pasta without meat sauce
Rice, white or brown
Skinless, white chicken or turkey
Any breakfast ideas are also excellent choices for pre-game.
1
POST-COMPETITION MEALS
It normally takes your body 24 - 72 hours (1-3 days) to convert complex carbohydrates into
useable forms of energy. Eating a high carbohydrate meal 15-30 minutes after
exercise, and definitely within 1 hour after exercise, can reduce the amount of time
needed to convert carbohydrates into useable glycogen to as little as 12 hours (½
day).
Foods and drinks to consider as post-competition, or post-practice, snacks are:
Bananas
Fresh fruit
Fruit juices
Oranges
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
Sports drinks
Carnation Instant Breakfast
If an athlete chooses to drink only fluids immediately after exercise, a high carbohydrate
sports drink, may be the best choice. These drinks are not high protein “weight gainers,”
but high carbohydrate supplements. A high carbohydrate meal should be consumed
within two hours of competition.
Following competition, avoid foods high in fat and sodium as both will cause weight
gain over the next few days due to water retention.
Sources: Berning, Jackie & Coleman, Ellen, Professional Presentations, various dates;
The PreCompetition Meal, U.S. Olympic Committee Sports Medicine Division, 1993;
“Meals and the Timing of Competition,” Stamford, Bryant, The Physician and Sports
Medicine, date unknown; Nutrition Education Instructional Materials, Michigan Weight
Monitoring Program, 1996.
Special thanks to Molly Pelzer, RD, LD from Dairy Council for providing ideas and
reviewing this material.
11/97
2
NUTRITION IDEAS FOR WRESTLERS
THE “BEST” BEVERAGES
Every day our body loses about 10, 8-ounce cups of water through normal body
functions. These ten cups do not include what we lose through sweat during exercise! To
maintain optimal performance, it is essential to replace the water that is lost.
The advantages and disadvantages of replacing fluids by drinking various beverages are
listed below. The beverages are also ranked in order of preference, with water being the
beverage of choice. With the exception of water, beverages consumed should contain
nutrients (vitamins and minerals) the body needs for performance.
Beverages consumed within an hour prior to exercise, or during exercise, should not
contain more than a small amount of sugar and should always be caffeine-free.
WATER
The most essential nutrient for athletes.
Is necessary to release energy from other nutrients.
Should always be readily available.
Sugar and fat free.
SPORTS DRINKS - should contain no more than 70 calories per 8-ounce serving
Designed for events lasting more than one hour in duration.
Electrolytes from sports drinks may be needed during times of excessive fluid loss or
during two-a-day practices.
May cause more fluid to stay in the muscles during exercise.
Most contain the optimal amount of sugar for use during exercise, no dilution necessary.
Taste may cause people to drink more than they would with plain water.
UNSWEETENED FRUIT JUICE
Apple, orange, and cranberry juices are highest in sugar and should be avoided within one
hour of exercise.
Provides many nutrients.
Sugar content should be diluted if used within one hour prior to exercise, or during
exercise.
MILK
Good source of carbohydrates, calcium, and other nutrients.
Great beverage for pre-competition meal, 3 - 4 hours prior to competition.
Milk does not cause cotton mouth.
1
POP
Carbonation may cause stomach upset in some athletes.
Contains no nutrients.
Even diet, caffeine-free pop has many added substances that need to be digested which
may slow the rate of fluid absorption by the body.
May contain caffeine which increases urine loss & risk of dehydration.
Regular pop contains high amounts of sugar.
NOTE: An athlete should drink at least 10, eight ounce cups of these
beverages each day!
Sources: Berning, Jackie, Sports Nutritionist. Castle Rock, Colorado; Clark, Nancy, M.S.,
R.D. The Athlete's Kitchen, New York: Bantam Books, Inc., 1986; Coleman, Ellen, R.D.,
M.A., M.P.H. Program Director: Riverside Cardiac Fitness Center, Riverside, California;
Coleman, Ellen. "Sports Drink Update," Sports Science Exchange, Volume 1, Number 5,
1988; Food Power, National Dairy Council, Inc., 1991; Journal of The American Dietetic
Association, Volume 86, Number 8, August, 1986; Nutrition Education Instructional
Materials, Michigan Weight Monitoring Program, 1996; Shockey, Gayle, L., M.P.H., R.D.
"Hydration and Health: Meeting Athletes' Fluids Needs," Sportscare and Fitness,
July/August, 1988; "Sports Drinks: Adjusting for the Flavor Factor," The First Aider,
Summer, 1991; Tribble, Evelyn. "An Update on Sports Drinks," American Coach,
July/August, 1988.
Special thanks to Molly Pelzer, RD, LD from Dairy Council for providing ideas and
reviewing this material.
11/97
2
NUTRITION IDEAS FOR WRESTLERS
ALL-DAY TOURNAMENT NUTRITION
During all-day tournaments it is important to stay energized throughout the entire
day without feeling “weighted down.” That necessitates athletes “grazing”
throughout the day by eating, and drinking, small amounts frequently. It is extremely
important for athletes to drink an adequate amount of fluids during a tournament.
Energy and fluid needs can be met by drinking juices and sports drinks. Energy needs can
also be met by eating easily digested foods that are also high in complex carbohydrates.
Time period between events:
Best foods to eat:
1 hour, or less
Water or sports drinks containing
no more than 70 calories per 8
ounce serving.
1 - 2 hours
Water, sports drinks, unsweetened
fruit juices, vegetable juice, fruit such
as apples, oranges, watermelon, or
grapes.
2 - 3 hours
Water, sports drinks, unsweetened
fruit juices, vegetable juice, fruit such
as apples, oranges, watermelon, or
grapes, bagel, whole-wheat
bread with jam, muffin.
3 - 4 hours
Water, sports drinks, unsweetened
fruit juices, vegetable juice, fruit such
as apples, oranges, watermelon, or
grapes, bagel, whole-wheat
bread with jam, muffin, bread with
peanut butter or cheese, bowl of
cereal with skim milk, low fat yogurt.
4 hours, or more
Any of the above, or lean meat
sandwich, or pre-competition meal.
ALL-DAY TOURNAMENT FOODS SHOULD BE HIGH IN CARBOHYDRATES AND LOW
IN FAT AND PROTEIN.
1
Examples of foods to eat at a tournament include:
Animal crackers
Bagels with jam
Bagels
Breads
Fresh fruit
Fruit bread
Fruit bars (ie. Fig Newtons)
Graham crackers
Juices
Low-fat fruit bars
Low-fat yogurt.
Low-fat pudding cups
Muffins
Oatmeal cookies
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
Pretzels
Popcorn, air-popped
Sports drinks
String cheese
Turkey sandwiches with low-fat mayonnaise
Berning, Jackie & Coleman, Ellen, Professional Presentations, various dates; Nutrition
Education Instructional Materials, Michigan Weight Monitoring Program, 1996.
Special thanks to Molly Pelzer, RD, LD from Dairy Council for providing ideas and
reviewing this material.
11/97
2
NUTRITION IDEAS FOR WRESTLERS
FAST FOODS
Eating a healthy, balanced meal at a fast food restaurant can be a challenge for anyone.
Wrestlers may think it is impossible for them to eat fast food without gaining weight. In
reality, there are choices at fast food restaurants that can fit into a wrestler’s diet
plan. While fast food should not be the mainstay of anyone’s diet, by following the ideas
given below it is possible for wrestlers to occasionally eat fast food.
Here are a few ideas to help ensure a lower fat content in fast foods.
Avoid mayonnaise and special sauces on sandwiches.
Avoid fried items such as fish, chicken, chicken nuggets, French toast sticks, and french
fries.
Choose Swiss cheese as it is lower in fat than American.
Don’t add gravies to foods.
Don’t order foods with extra cheese or bacon added.
Drink low-fat milk.
If you have no choice but to order fried foods, remove the skin as it contains large amounts
of fat.
Order salads with low-fat dressing.
Some food preparation methods can also help keep the calorie content from getting too
high. Low fat cooking methods include steaming, roasting, poaching, broiling, baking, and
cooked in its own juice.
The following is a comparison of high fat and low fat meal choices.
BREAKFAST
Low fat choices
High fat choices
Bagels
English muffin with jam or honey
Hot or cold cereal
Muffins
Orange juice
Pancakes with syrup, but little butter
Low-fat milk
Toast with jam
Bacon
Hash rounds
Sausage & egg sandwiches
1
LUNCH & DINNER
Low fat choices
High fat choices
Baked entrees
Broiled meat
Low-fat bean burrito
Chef or side salads with low fat dressing
Grilled lean hamburgers w/o special sauce
Grilled chicken w/o mayonnaise
Lean meat sandwiches
Low-fat milk
Low-fat yogurt cones
Pizza with thin or hand tossed crust
(Avoid pepperoni, sausage, extra cheese)
Any deluxe sandwiches
Chicken nuggets
Crispy shell Mexican dishes
French fries
Fried chicken
Hot dogs with cheese/chili
Nachos Supreme
Sandwiches with cheese
Whole milk
In summary, while everyone should be careful when eating at fast food restaurants to avoid
foods high in fat content, wrestlers must be very careful. There are healthy choices to be
made at fast food restaurants and being prepared ahead of time will help in making good
choices.
Sources: Eating on the Run, 2nd edition, Tribolo, E., 1992; Eating on the Road, U.S.
Olympic Committee Sports Medicine Division and the International Center for Sports
Medicine, 1993; Fast Foods, U.S. Olympic Committee Sports Medicine Division and the
International Center for Sports Medicine, 1993; Nutrition Education Instructional Materials,
Michigan Weight Monitoring Program, 1996; “Wise Food Choices for Athletes on the
Road,” Gatorade Sports Science Exchange #1, Berning, Jackie, 1988.
Special thanks to Molly Pelzer, RD, LD from Dairy Council for providing ideas and
reviewing this material.
11/97
2
NUTRITION IDEAS FOR WRESTLERS
A LITTLE SODIUM GOES A LONG WAY!
Sodium is a mineral essential for good health and athletic performance. For
optimum muscle functioning during exercise, one’s body must have the proper
balance of sodium and water. However, too much sodium can lead to fluid
retention because extra sodium requires additional water for dilution. Fluid
retention results in weight gain and impaired athletic performance.
Excessive amounts of sodium in the body can be caused by consuming too much
sodium in one’s diet or through fluid loss, especially by sweating. If this lost fluid is
not replaced, it increases the sodium concentration in one’s body. This triggers the
thirst response which is why one usually drinks more water during exercise. If the
body is deprived of water it becomes dehydrated. In a dehydrated state the
muscles cannot contract properly and are fatigued more easily.
According to the National Research Council, 1100 to 3300 milligrams of sodium per
day is adequate. Most Americans consume 2-6 times that amount! Sodium is most
commonly found in table salt. A teaspoon of salt contains approximately 2300
milligrams of sodium.
Follow these hints to reduce sodium in your diet:
1. Avoid the salt shaker! Salty food is an acquired taste. After 2-3 months without
the salt shaker, it won’t be missed.
2. Eat foods whose label’s state “unsalted,” “no salt added,” “without added
salt,” or “low sodium” often. Be careful of foods stating they have “reduced
sodium” because they may have started with extremely high amounts of sodium.
3. Eat pickles, ketchup, mustard, and special sauces sparingly as they often
contain high amounts of sodium.
4. Eat processed foods like ham, bacon, and sausage sparingly.
5. Eat sparingly of foods listing salt or sodium as one of the first items on the
label.
1
Here is a list of the sodium content in ten common foods:
Food
Dill pickle, whole
Tomato juice, 6 ounces
Low fat cottage cheese, ½ cup
Italian dressing, 2 Tbsp.
Corn Flakes, 1 cup
Potato chips, 1 ounce
Instant pudding, ½ cup
W hite bread, 1 slice
Skim milk, 8 ounces
Cocktail peanuts, 1 ounce
Milligrams of sodium
928 mg
658 mg
459 mg
300 mg
281 mg
216 mg
161 mg
129 mg
126 mg
118 mg
Sources:
Boise
State
University
W ellness
Web
Site,
<www.boisestate.edu/wellness/bsu_wellness_info/sodium.htm>; Johns Hopkins
University Nutrition W eb Site, <www.med.jhu.edu/nutrition/sodium.htm>
11/99
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NUTRITION IDEAS FOR WRESTLERS
ENERGY FOR IMPROVED WRESTLING PERFORMANCE
There is nothing a wrestler can eat between the time of weigh-in and his first match
to compensate for a poor diet and drastic weight loss during the days before a
match. The handout titled, “Nutrition Ideas for Wrestlers: Eating Healthy Every Day,”
contains ideas about what wrestlers should be eating on a daily basis to keep their energy
levels high. The key to having adequate energy to wrestle effectively is to eat a
healthy, balanced diet every day.
Between the time of weigh-in and competition it is extremely important for wrestlers to drink
water, a sports drink, fruit juice, or vegetable juice. Recent research has shown drinking
fluids as little as 30-60 minutes before exercise will improve performance.
Here are some ideas of what wrestlers could eat and drink between the time of
weigh-in and competition. Those wrestlers who will wrestle within 60 minutes after
weighing in should limit their intake to fluids, probably sports drinks and water.
apple
apple juice
banana
grapes
orange
orange juice
peaches
pears
sports drink
vegetable juice
water
yogurt, sweetened
It is also important for wrestlers to eat high carbohydrate foods which will quickly replace
the energy used during practice or competition. Within 15 - 30 minutes after practice, or
a match, wrestlers need to eat to replenish their fuel supply.
Examples of foods to eat immediately after exercise are:
angel food cake
bagels
bananas
carrots
Cheerios*, with low-fat milk
corn bread or muffins
Corn Flakes*, with low-fat milk
graham crackers
Grape Nut Flakes*, with low-fat milk
grapes
low-fat, fruit yogurt
pretzels, especially low sodium
raisins
rice cakes
Rice Krispies*, with low-fat milk
Shredded Wheat*, with low-fat milk
sports drinks, especially high carbohydrate
(These may cause stomach upset if one
is not used to drinking them.)
watermelon
wheat cracker
white rice
1
orange juice
pineapple or pineapple juice
potatoes; baked, instant, or mashed
white or wheat bread with honey
* = brand name product
By eating these same foods between matches during a tournament, wrestlers can keep
their energy levels high throughout the day.
Especially after practice or competition, avoid foods high in fat and salt. Both of
these will cause weight gain over the next few days due to water retention.
It is also very important for wrestlers to drink plenty of water during and after workouts, and
during tournaments. Lack of water reduces physical and mental performance much
more quickly than lack of food. Drinking during the day at school, before workouts,
during and after workouts, and during tournaments will help prevent wrestlers from
becoming dehydrated.
Sources: “Taking It To the Mat: The Wrestler’s Guide to Optimal Performance,” The Center
for Nutrition in Sport and Human Performance, University of Massachusetts, 1999; Training
and Conditioning,“ A New Facet in Performance Nutrition,” Morgan, Tracy, CSCS;
Gatorade Sports Science Exchange, “Glycemic Index and Exercise Metabolism,” Volume
10, 1997.
11/99
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