Diet Suggestions for High School Wrestlers


The controversy over cutting weight is possibly the biggest issue facing wrestlers today.  Often times weight cutting is done using extreme and unhealthy methods which can involve long periods of not eating, the worst way to handle cutting and maintaining weight.  We found some really concise bits of information from author Jeff Herman on which lay a wonderful foundation for understanding a better way to go about staying healthy during wrestling season.

Complex Carbohydrates

A teen athlete’s diet plan should be composed of 60 to 70 percent carbohydrates. Complex carbohydrates are a wrestler’s friend. Unlike the simple carbs found in starchy and sugary foods like white bread and pastries, the complex carbs found in whole grains, beans and legumes are digested slowly, which means your body is fueled with energy for longer stretches of time. This can help a wrestler stave off fatigue, and cut down on the need to eat as much while trying to maintain minimum weight.

Low-Fat Foods

Wrestlers, like everyone else, need fat in order to fuel their bodies. But they shouldn’t exceed the FDA’s daily suggested intake of 60 to 65 grams, or no more than 25 to 35 percent of their daily calorie intake, while avoiding saturated fats. Such fats, which usually come in highly processed items like fast food and chocolate, stay in your body longer and contribute to a variety of illnesses. Egg whites and tuna are low-fat options that also have muscle-supporting qualities.


Wrestlers are highly prone to a variety of bacteria and skin infections because of the dank, sweaty mats with which they come into contact over and over again, as well as the skin-to-skin contact involved in the sport. In addition to proper hygienic habits, it’s advisable to eat foods high in antioxidants, which help the body fend off infection. Some examples of foods and spices high in antioxidants include berries, oranges, plums, nuts, seeds, ginger and oregano.

Calorie Requirements

All teen athletes need to incorporate a balanced eating plan in their daily routine. Keeping the body healthy by giving it the fuel it needs for the teen to participate in his chosen sport is essential. Most teens should take in between 2,000 and 3,000 calories per day, depending on their height, size, sex and activity level. Even when trying to lose weight, a teen should take in a minimum of 1,700 to 2,000 calories daily.

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