When it comes to success on the mat, maintaining the right diet is just as important as getting the right wrestling shoes. Not only should you be consuming sufficient calories and fats for supporting your muscles throughout your training, but you also need to make sure that you are getting a diverse array of nutrients. For many wrestlers, the main challenge is creating a healthy and well-balanced menu that won't ruin their chances of weighing in. Here are a few simple strategies that will show you how.
Make Bananas Your Go-To Snack
Bananas are a veritable super food when it comes to boosting energy levels and filling the body with an array of essential nutrients. They are rich in potassium, low in sugar and dense with fiber. Bananas will stave off hunger, sugar cravings and give you a significant increase in pep. They are also great for preventing muscle cramps and can provide as much as four grams of protein to keep you full.
Learn the Difference between Healthy Fats and Bad Fats
All fat isn't bad. In fact, some fats are essential for good bone, brain and organ health. Rather than focusing on limiting all fats in your diet, make a concerted effort to reduce your intake of unhealthy and heavily refined fats instead. Avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, nuts, seeds and nut butters are all essential dietary additions when maintaining a rigorous training program. These will help to keep the joints lubricated and can increase flexibility. Ultimately, this means that you will have a lower likelihood of sustaining injuries.
Hydrate Yourself Naturally
If you are eating a healthy and balanced diet, you won't need to spend a lot of money on sports drinks that are designed to replace lost electrolytes. You can get these from the fresh and nutritious foods that you are eating. Opt for plenty of fresh, pure water instead. You can certainly supplement with sports drinks as needed, but water should remain your primary beverage. Remember, the first sign of moderate dehydration is thirst, so keep eating water-dense fruits and vegetables and sipping water throughout the day.
We know how important it is to maintain your weight during competition season. Just be sure you are doing it in a healthy way that your body can tolerate, and be mindful of it all year round to avoid severe dieting and putting your body from one extreme to another.