What is the Role of Nutrition in Wrestling?

If you’re wrestling you must make sure that you are getting the proper nutrition. Proper nutrition is essential for any training program, not to mention as an overall health maintenance strategy. That means that you shouldn’t put all of your focus on weight but, instead, on performance and health. It’s important that you maintain an energy balance both during the competitive season and during off-season periods. So regardless of whether you’re on the mat full-time or enjoying some down-time with relaxing Las Vegas casino online gaming sessions, you need to balance proteins, carbs and liquids in a way that will replenish our energy stores and fuel your muscles.

Nutrition and Wrestling

It’s important to make sure that wrestlers eat enough protein to build and repair lean muscle tissue. Wrestling involves the need for power and muscular strength so a daily protein intake should involves 0.5 – 0.8 grams per pound of body weight.  Combine that with energy (carbohydrates) and a moderate amount of fat and your body will use protein more effectively to grow and repair muscles.

The dietary fat promotes the absorption of vitamins and the production of hormones.  It also insulates and protects organs. Fat, with most consisting of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats for their health benefits, can be as much as 30% of your total daily caloretic intake.


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If you allow yourself to become dehydrated you may find that your core body temperature increases and your endurance and muscle strength decrease. Other unpleasant effects of not getting enough – and the right kinds – of fluids include slowed metabolism, altered central nervous system function and increased glycogen.

Dehydration is directly attributed to a decline in performance. If you are experiencing as little as 2% dehydration your aerobic power can be but by up to 48% and your strength-training workout can be shortened by as much as 21%. If your dehydration increases you will become weaker, more tired and less able to stay alert.
You shouldn’t be focused on losing weight during practice because  the weight that you’re losing during one workout session is almost certainly water weight and by losing that hydration, you’re doing yourself more harm than good.

Don’t expect to be able to rehydrate quickly. The body takes between 24 to 48 hours to recover fluid balances. Replenishing energy stores could take as long as 72 hours. So if you’re looking to lose weight, concentrate on a comprehensive weight loss program that reduces fats and sugars.


If you want to lose weight fast you may be tempted to try a low-calorie weight loss plan. However, if you’re working out, you will likely experienced a decline in endocrine and immune system function, a lowered basal metabolic rate and a a diminished response to exercise.

Crash dieting leads to loss of fluid, fat and muscle which sacrifices aerobic strength and power. So if you want to maximize your nutritional program to get the most out of your performance on the mat, forget the low calorie diets and focus on making healthy food choices.

Nutritional Program for Wrestlers

Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are metabolized along with vitamins, minerals and liquids to produce the energy that is needed to perform at maximum capacity. A proper diet balances these three food types.

· Carbohydrates — carbohydrates affect muscle building and fat burning power to boost energy levels. At the same time, they spare proteins from being used as energy so that the proteins can function properly.
· Proteins — proteins construct and repair muscle tissue following exercise. They also help you feel full and produce heat.
· Fats — the right kinds of fats – monounsaturated and polyunsaturated – help mood, overall health and weight management.

Since each of these nutrients plays a role in providing adequate fuel for wrestlers, balance is the key to proper nutrition. Wrestlers should aim to consume 30-35% of their calories from protein. Trainers  generally suggest that wrestlers eat a small pre-exercise meal and a small post-exercise meal, each of which containing some protein. Eating more protein than suggested will not only do you no good but can be detrimental as excess proteins can be stored as fat.

40% to 45% of calories should come from carbohydrates for wrestlers. If you try to keep up your training program with a low carb diet you will find that your muscles aren’t functioning as well as they could due to the fact that without enough carbohydrates, the body breaks down muscle for energy.

Fats should encompass 20% to 30% of calories. This may seem high but the right kinds of fats can help the body burn of stored fat. Fats are also an important element in helping to maintain a healthy immune system.

How to Eat

It’s best to eat foods that are as close to their natural state as possible which helps the body absorb the nutrients more effectively.

Wrestlers should try to eat small meals throughout the day.

The best types of proteins include eggs, chicken, fish and lean red meats. Whey and soy protein supplements are also a healthy way of boosting your protein intake without consuming too many calories though whey proteins are more effective in stimulating muscle gains.

Carbohydrates should be consumed, as much as possible, through vegetables and fruits as well as via whole grain breads and pastas. Make sure that you’re eating approximately 40% of your calories in carbs to maximize performance and alter body composition to the desired result.

Fats are best consumed as vegetable fats rather than animal fats. Oils such as corn, walnut and safflower oils are the best kind of oils for frying, cooking and baking. Snacks can include quality fats like nuts and seeds and avocados.

Wrestlers often do well with a good supply of Omega-3 fats from fish – the fish is also a good source of protein.

Stay away from refined sugars and flours and processed foods.

Success at wrestling goes well beyond the training on the mat. You also need to make nutritional changes to enable you to keep your body working efficiently and effectively.


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