Forgoing Feasts

Wrestlers follow disciplined diets for successful seasons

Meghan Townsend, Staff Writer

Lemon pie, soda, and garbage plates. For students Peyton Meink, Guillermo Espinoza, and Tony Rinn, these beloved treats are to be savored in the summer and left behind once fall begins. They have something more important to get ready for: wrestling season.

At the beginning of each wrestling season, which started on Nov. 12, each wrestler does a hydration test, weighing themselves fully hydrated to measure their body fat percentage, which then allows the wrestlers to see what weight classes they have to choose from.
When choosing a weight class, wrestlers are encouraged to choose what would be healthiest for them and are only allowed to go to 7% body fat.

Though the focus of dieting during wrestling season is to lose weight, it’s also to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Most of the wrestlers continue to eat three meals a day during wrestling season,  focusing on eating complex carbohydrates and natural sugars that will break down naturally throughout the day.

“We basically need to cut out all the things that don’t digest quickly, like salt, sugar, and milk,” Meink said.

That being said, sometimes these health conscious wrestlers need something else to eat to help them through the day.

“If I ever do need more food I’ll eat it. Being healthy is more important,” Espinoza said.

It’s typical for wrestlers not to have eaten much before weigh-ins, so a common snack that these athletes have is a bagel with honey. This light snack has a good balance of carbohydrates and natural sugars to get wrestlers’ energy up before they compete an hour later.

“I’ll always drink as much water as I can, because water is more important than food,” Rinn said.

By maintaining a healthy, balanced diet, wrestlers don’t need to track their calories. Instead, they focus on eating well- rounded meals and tracking their weight after practices to see if they’re on track to make their weight class at the next meet.

“Working out, and eating right, eating all your food groups, that’s the most important thing,” Coach Scott Loveless said.

Though some wrestlers’ diets may seem difficult to maintain from a distance, the amount of thought that goes into them makes them realistic. No wrestler tries to become a weight class that will be unhealthy for them, instead figuring out what is best for them based on their body mass index at the beginning of the season.