Any athlete knows that nutrition matters just as much as training. An athlete can only push their body so far without the right fuel. In such a physically demanding sport like wrestling, this is never more true. A real wrestler knows that the start of a good season depends on proper training and conditioning. In order to train their best, they need a proper diet to keep the body going strong.
Many wrestlers are so heavily focused on making weight they will start to cut corners in their diet. While this might make them lose a few pounds and drop a weight class, their body becomes deprived of the nutrients it needs to function. A proper diet requires the balance of carbs, fats and proteins.
Good carbohydrates such as pasta, fruits and vegetables provide a healthy source of energy. Avoid simple carbohydrates found in processed sugars as these will only cause a crash after a short energy burst. Carbohydrates should comprise about 55-60% of a wrestler's diet.
Protein is extremely beneficial for wrestlers and should be about 15% of a wrestler's diet. Protein is used in the development and maintenance of muscle. Meat is an excellent source of protein, though beans and nuts provide an excellent plant food source as well.
Those trying to cut weight may be reluctant to include fats in their diet. However, fats are a vital component of a balanced diet and the body needs a minimum amount to function properly. Fats should be no more than 30% of a diet and are commonly found in dairy, meats, and a wide variety of dressings and sauces. Like protein, fats are commonly found in most foods.
A good diet and eating habits are more than just fats, carbs and proteins. Hydration and vitamins are important as well. Dehydration and vitamin deficiencies can stop a wrestler in his tracks and make all his training and dieting useless. Keep hydrated during workouts and take a vitamin supplement if necessary. Eating a healthy and balanced diet and keeping hydrated provides the solid foundation for a successful wrestling season.
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