Eating the right foods on match day is just as important as having the perfect wrestling shoes and wrestling gear. In order to reach your highest level of performance, you need to watch what you eat both after weigh-ins and before matches.
What to Eat After Weigh-Ins
The best time to give your body the fuel it needs for a wrestling match is right after official weigh-ins, especially if you've been dieting in the days before the meet. Even if you haven't been dieting, it's still crucial to fuel your body properly before competing to ensure you have the energy you need to perform your best.
The foods listed below are high in simple and complex carbohydrates, protein and fat, which can help you maintain your energy levels on match day:
- Eggs and wheat toast
- Pasta with tomato sauce
- Oatmeal with fruit
- Salads (with fruits, pasta, vegetables and nuts)
- Sandwiches (turkey, chicken or peanut butter)
- Baked or grilled chicken breast with rice and vegetables
- Yogurt with fruit and granola
What to Eat Before and Between Matches
In addition to what you eat after weigh-ins, what you eat immediately before a wrestling match can also play a critical role in your performance. Try to eat something light at least 45 minutes before your match, keeping in mind that small snacks are better than large meals during a long meet. Be sure not to eat 30 minutes before a match, though. When you actually compete, you want your stomach to be close to empty.
Some of the best foods to eat before and between wrestling matches include:
- Fruits (bananas and oranges are great for a quick burst of energy)
- Energy bars (these are high in nutrients and calories but won't fill you up)
- Light sandwiches (peanut butter and jelly, turkey or chicken are good choices, but skip the condiments)
- Water (this helps you digest food more quickly and regulate your core body temperature)
Eating the right foods at the right time can help you stay healthy and improve your wrestling performance. On your next match day, be sure to review these food guidelines to ensure you're able to perform at your best.
Image Credit: Adidas Wrestling Athlete - Jake Varner - used with permission from Adidas Wrestling.