We all know that if you’re going to be serious about the sport of wrestling, it isn’t just about having the right wrestling shoes, singlet, or wrestling headgear, and it isn’t even all about your technique on the mat. You’ll also have to take great care with your eating habits. Not only do you need to be sure to stay in your weight class, but you also need to be as healthy as possible in order to perform both physically and mentally in this demanding sport. Here are some of our diet tips to help you stay at your best during the season and throughout the year.
Quite possibly the most important thing to remember when dieting for wrestling (or for anything, really) is to stay hydrated. Drinking enough fluids has so many benefits it’s hard to list them all, but here are some of the most prominent and relevant for wrestlers:
- Drinking plenty of water will help you feel less hungry. Plan to drink at least a glass, if not two, before breakfast, between each meal, and before bed. Often when we think we’re hungry, we’re actually thirsty, so give this a try before eating. It’s likely to settle your stomach and allow you to avoid snacking.
- Your energy level increases when you’re adequately hydrated. Dehydration is a direct cause of fatigue, which gets you nowhere on the mat.
- Water is essential for strong muscles. It helps transport oxygen to your muscles so they are ready when it’s time to use them in practice or in a match.
These easy-to-follow tips regarding your food intake will go a long way to helping you stay at the right weight in the correct way:
- Eat 6 small meals a day rather than 3 large ones.
- Cut out as many processed foods from your meal plan as possible.
- Choose high-fiber foods in the morning to reduce your appetite throughout the day.
- Use a smaller plate to help you with portion control.
- Reduce your intake of red meats and replace with more fish and chicken.
- Chew your food thoroughly, eat slowly, and focus only on eating during meals rather than watching TV or doing other activities at the same time.
Follow this advice in addition to common sense, and you should soon see the results you want. Remember that losing weight slowly and steadily is more conducive to keeping it off and that fasting negatively affects your metabolism and will not keep you healthy, which is a top priority for wrestlers. Focus on the long term, not quick results, and you’ll find your performance better than ever.
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