College Wrestling Diet During Tournament & Offseason

You might ask yourself whether there is a difference between the College Wrestling Diet and the normal diet adult wrestlers take. Oh yes, there is a difference considering that young wrestlers are still growing.

College wrestlers will need a little more proteins in their diet than adult wrestlers for muscle development. So how does a college wrestler train to manage his body weight throughout the season to always settle into his target weight class?

This article is written sourcing information from

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), an organization which caters to the well-being of college athletes.

  • The diet guide for Maryland Public Secondary School Athletic Association (MPSSAA) wrestlers.

Lavion Mayes is one of the most dominant wrestlers in the NCAA. He was placed third in 2016 and all-American honors weighing 149 pounds. What do these wrestlers incorporate in their diets all season long for optimum performance?

Read on to build your knowledge and gain information on a college wrestling diet to manage weight during offseason, preseason training, in-season or the competitive phase.

College Diet for wrestlers During Tournament & Offseason-balanced diet with enough vegetables

College Wrestling Diet: Offseason

Many wrestlers do not know or care about proper nutrition. Some who cut down weight refuse to take the same nutrients their body needs for better performance.

Offseason is a time for wrestlers to focus on developing healthy habits of performance fueling. This is a time to focus on the fueling basics that will help you fuel throughout the preseason and the competitive phase. These basics include:

  • The aim of fueling in offseason. Your fueling should be focused on the training objectives like endurance, weight management, strength gain, improved focus and recovery from injury.
  • Quantity. Optimum training needs enough calories to support the energy expenses. Weight change should be temporal and moderate and outside the competitive phase.
  • Not only the quantity of food matters but quality too. Eat high-quality foods (nutrient-dense foods) that can give you sustained energy like fresh whole fruits, whole grains, and vegetables.
  • Timing During the day. Your daily fuel intake should be balanced, specifically targeting workout periods to support training and recovery.
  • Be consistent to support your metabolism. Intake should be balanced within the day and in between days.
  • Water is a better component of blood. Your blood carries essential nutrients to your muscles and organs while sending waste away. Hydration also has a big impact on making weight.

Scientifically, your body cannot function at its best when it lacks essential nutrients. I will recommend these best practices for upcoming wrestlers. The body needs vital nutrients to perform well, so:

  • To become a better wrestler Concentrate on your wrestling rather than losing weight
  • You need the same energy as a teenager to grow naturally and increase in strength.
  • Fasting will cause your muscles to lose proteins and limit muscle growth. Even facts are available
  • Eat proper diets to lose weight without sacrificing muscle tissues or without dehydration. Dehydration will cause you to lose strength and endurance.
  • Do not lose weight rapidly so as not to lose muscle tissue
  • Practice proper nutrition every day.
  • Peak physical performance will come only through practicing good nutrition and proper weight control methods.
  • Avoid unhealthy weight loss practices that can affect you psychologically because of worries.

preseason Wrestler Diet During Tournament & Offseason-incorporate at different levels all the classes of food

College Wrestling Diet: Preseason

The top nutritional priority at preseason is to train your body to progressively reach a target weight that full uses your training and allows making weight safely throughout the season. The question is: How much weight can a wrestler safely lose and still give excellent performance? Also check on Good Foods for Wrestlers to Eat During Tournaments & Offseason

How to Determine Your Wrestling Weight

Many factors are put into consideration when determining your wrestling weight. However, the most important is the amount of weight you can lose safely and still be performing well. Your weight class should not be too low that you have to sacrifice good nutrition in order to make weight. Concentrating on losing weight instead of wrestling can adversely affect you psychologically.

This is how you can determine your least or minimum safe weight for the competitive season.

  • Determine your percentage of body fat

Measure the thickness of certain skinfold on your body. Health care professionals can help you do the measurements. The results will give you a good estimate of what percentage of your body is made of fats. For instance, if the results show a body fat reading of 15%, that means 15% of your body mass is fat. This is just an estimate with an error margin of ±2%. The aim of safe weight loss is not to eliminate all the fats from the body. It is to eliminate excess fat from the body. Fats is a good store of energy and also insulates the body.

  • Determine your minimum body fat

7% body fat is considered as the lowest healthy level of body fat for college and high school teenage males. Many health care workers will help you determine how many fat you have to lose to drop to the 7% minimum. Dropping below this minimum, you will lose muscle tissues, strength and endurance.

Take note: 7% is not a magic number. If you are at 9% for instance, you must not reach the 7% minimum to perform well.

College Wrestling Diet: How to Select Your Target Weight

Weight loss of up to 5% which does not last up to a day, has been shown to have little or no effects on the metabolic rate, lean body tissue mass or strength. In normal training, if your body is fueled and hydrated, it will naturally shift up to 2 to 3% of your body mass in a single workout. Two consecutive workouts can help you lose up to 5% of mass, mostly fluids.

Do not exceed the minimum safe body fat level of 5% for college wrestlers and 7% for high school wrestlers. if your body fat level is below these values, consult your sports dietitian to determine the proper weight class for you.

Good Foods for college Wrestlers to Eat During Tournaments & Offseason-fruits are a good source of vitamins

Food or fuel contribution To Weight Loss

  • Consume carbohydrates in moderation:
  • To support muscle maintenance, consume proteins in high amounts, about 1.5g -2g of lean proteins per kilogram of body weight. This should be even throughout the day.
  • Consume fats in meagre amounts. Limit it to 15% to 20% 0f the total calories. Limit animal fats and include plant and fish fats.
  • To get micronutrients for recovery and for fiber, include fruits and vegetables in every meal

College Wrestling Diet: In-Season/Competitive Phase

In the competitive season, your nutritional focus should be on maintaining your weight. This demands that you balance your calorie levels and shift fuel types to support your recovery from training and matches.

During the competitive phase,

  • Your carbohydrates consumption should be from moderate to high. 5 to 8 grams of carbs per kilogram of body weight. Caloric balance is very important to in-season performance.
  • Protein consumption should also be from moderate to high quantities.
  • Your fat consumption should be moderate. To reduce inflammation and enhance recovery, include animal and fish fats.

If you under-fuel your body’s energy and carbs needs, your training and recovery efforts will not be effective. Continuous Insufficient calories while training can affect muscular endurance, fatigue, cognition, physical energy, burnout and overstraining, academics, bone and join health, metabolic activities, injuries and illness and muscle repair.

College Wrestling Diet: In-Season Weight Making

Fueling your body’s energy needs continuously is the core to effectively make weight during the competitive season. Shifting of foods and fluids should only be temporal.

After refueling and post weigh-in, weigh the same during the competition as you do during training. For your body to continue working effectively, fuel it as you train all week leading up to the competition.

During in-season training or competitive phase, your energy balance (calories in versus calories out) should be neutral. This includes the 24 hours before weigh-ins.

When you maintain calorie neutrality, it supports your metabolic activities that repair muscles and improve body composition throughout the season. To do this, adjust your fuel or food types. Choose foods that are energy-dense in order to give your body the fuel you need while helping to flush food waste from your body.

College Wrestling Diet: How to Fuel For Pre-Weigh-Ins

This should be within 24hours to 48 hours.

  • Eat high proteins to promote muscle recovery.
  • Eat high fats and oils from fish and plants to fill the calorie needs and reduce inflammation
  • Take in low fibers from vegetables and fruits. They have weight but no energy.
  • Eat low carbohydrates to help shed the water bound in glycogen that gives the muscles weight. Lean tissue will be spared. Refuel after weigh-ins to replenish the depleted glycogen.
  • Hydrate the entire week but do not hydrate during the 24hours of pre-weigh-ins. Adjust your food composition to allow for mild dehydration during the 24 hours of pre-weigh-ins.
  • The low levels of sodium needed as an electrolyte are found in processed food and table salt. Sodium is vital in rehydrating the muscles to gain power and endurance.

Weight Making Using Natural Patterns of Training

Fluctuations in fluid levels (hydration), glycogen and byproducts of respiration remaining in the body in the week’s course’s training result in the shifts in weight. Because of these fluctuations, you can allow your body to be heavier than your normal weight class.

Make sure you are sufficiently hydrated and fueled. By doing this, you can ride the waves of normal week training without starving your muscles or being excessively dehydrated.

Because you identified and attained your target weight during preseason, your body will receive its energy and nutrient needs in-season for effective training and recovery.

College Wrestling Diet: Fueling For a Match or Tournament

Your performance is no doubly affected by your fueling for a match or tournament.

Pre-match fueling

  • Fluids and electrolytes lost during weight making should be replaced immediately after doing weigh-ins. Sodium is very vital for rehydration of the muscles for endurance and power. It is found in a variety of foods and beverages.
  • Eat 1.2g of sugar per kilogram of body weight. Moderate amounts of sugar in the muscles stimulate muscle glycogen re-synthesis. Too much sugar can lead to gastric distress and low energy late in the day.
  • Take high carbohydrates (starch) to gain more sustainable energy, which fuel your next match and replenish the depleted glycogen.
  • Consume a moderate amount of proteins (20g to 25g) for muscle repairs. It also aids in fluid absorption and tolerance in the stomach.

A wrestler healthy diet is a balanced diet

Tournament fueling

  • Carbs give enough physical energy.
  • Avoid excesses of fats, added fiber and sugar.
  • Replenish fluids and sodium consistently throughout each day
  • Using the scientific method, decimate the anxiety and the effort put in to make weight.
  • Be proactive and professional in the approach of managing your weight throughout the tournament.

Postseason will lead you to offseason, and the cycle continues.

Things to Do/Not to Do in Weight Management

Things to Do

  • Establish your weight management plan early.
  • Figure out your target weight
  • Watch your weight before and after training to develop your practice weight fluctuation.
  • Maintain a balanced eating pattern throughout the season, especially after a tournament or a match
  • Recovery fueling immediately after training should be your focus, especially in in-season
  • Establish a rehydration and fueling plan for after weigh-ins
  • Fill any nutritional gaps with multivitamin.

Things Not To Do

  • Stop eating meals and snacks because you want to lose calories
  • Begin your weight management plan when the season begins.
  • Preserve calories to later use in the day
  • Destroy your weight management plan with cheat days
  • Be in calorie deficit or carb-restricted state all season long
  • Disturb your training with weight cutting or dieting.
  • Dehydrate your body 24 hours before weigh-ins
  • Use diuretic drugs or water pills to help the body lose water weight.
  • Fasting

Summing up

Finding the proper food for your wrestler can be a daunting challenge. The key to success is to plan and prepare the healthy options for the day. Wrestlers that stay disciplined in following their healthy eating plan will probably find success.

To train properly is to include practicing proper nutrition every day. A wrestler’s diet should contain all the classes of food at different moderations depending on the time of the season.

Wrestlers are encouraged to focus on eating a healthy diet that helps achieve and maintain a healthy weight. Wrestlers should not focus on losing weight because of the psychological effect.

College Wrestling Diet During Tournament & Offseason- preparing a wrestler balanced diet

Frequently Asked Questions about Wrestling Diet

What is the diet of wrestler?

So what do wrestlers eat? Wrestlers’ diet should contain all the classes of foods at different level depending on the time of the season. Eat the following foods for fueling of your body at different moderations:

  • Excellent sources of carbohydrates are cakes, rice, wheat, bread, spaghetti
  • Proteins are found in meat, fish, and poultry
  • Fruits like pineapple, oranges, watermelon, provides vitamins
  • Fish and vegetable fats provide the healthy fats.
  • Cooking salt provides sodium
  • Water for hydration.

How do wrestlers cut weight so fast?

A large percentage of wrestlers with the following methods or techniques to lose weight:

  • Dehydration
  • Fasting
  • Calorie restriction
  • Over exercise

However, the best way to lose weight in a healthy manner is to follow the steps below:

  • Begin gently
  • Be hydrated
  • Reduce fat consumption
  • Eat frequently all day long
  • Eat balanced and healthy diet
  • Take in healthy snacks foods
  • Continue with gym training
  • Have a good sleep and rest.

What should I eat when cutting weight for wrestling?

Incorporate the following into all your diets when cutting down weight:

  • Skim milk, which has vitamin D, minerals like calcium but without calories.
  • Lean proteins from fish, chicken breast, eggs, flank steak or lean hamburger.
  • High-fiber foods like vegetables like peas and broccoli and fruits like raspberries.
  • Water: Continue to hydrate your body

What do wrestlers drink when cutting weight?

Drink enough water. It is unnecessary to cut down your weight when you are dehydrated. Drink water every 10-15 minutes when you are at the gym and 3-4 hours during the day.

What are the 5 foods that burn belly fat?

To burn down belly fat as a wrestler, incorporate the following foods into your diet:

  • Eating beans regularly will you lose weight.
  • Broccoli
  • Yogurt
  • Red bell peppers
  • diluted vinegars

How do wrestlers cut weight in 2 days?

  • Incorporate more proteins into your diet
  • Eat a lot of fiber
  • Drink enough water
  • Do not drink sugar drinks
  • Walk for about 15 minutes after each meal
  • Eat salads instead of carbs
  • Do regular workouts

It is good to lose weight gradually through a combination of training and dieting.

What foods to avoid while cutting weight?

These are 14 foods to avoid when trying to lose weight:

  • Potato chips. They are very high in calories.
  • Sugary drinks. Contains a lot of calories but is very unhealthy.
  • White bread. Has much added sugar.
  • Fruit juices. Most are loaded with processed sugar.
  • Candy Bars. Very unhealthy, with a lot of added sugar and oils.
  • Pastries, cookies, and cakes all contain added sugar and artificial trans fats, which are very unhealthy
  • White rice has little fiber, though very low in fat
  • Sweetened yogurt. Contains added sugar.
  • Ice cream. Is a high sugar and calorie dessert.
  • Processed meat high in salt but low in nutrients
  • Alcoholic drinks calorie dense and high in sugar
  • Candy dried fruits. Some contain added sugar.
  • Energy and granola bars they contain as much sugar as candy bars
  • Restaurant Hamburgers. Often very high in fats and calories.




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