Sample Diet

Eating for Wrestling Performance

Wrestlers need to maintain high energy levels to fuel their intense workouts. They also need to be conscious about controlling their weight. In order to provide their body with fuel and nutrients and control their weight, wrestlers need to concentrate their nutritional efforts on eating foods that are high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat. Contrary to some opinions, wrestlers can eat a healthy, balanced diet and still control their weight. The key is choosing low-fat, high carbohydrate foods that contain important nutrients.

The following are examples of foods that have high energy content without unwanted extra calories.

Fruits: Fresh, frozen, canned or dried

Fruit Juices
Grapes - Apples - Kiwi - Applesauce Oranges - Apricots - Peaches - Bananas - Pears - Cantaloupe - Pineapple - Fruit Cocktail - Plums - Fruit Salad - Raisins - Fruit Roll-ups - Strawberries - Grapefruit

Vegetables: Fresh, frozen, or canned. Canned vegetables are higher in sodium which can cause additional fluid retention and added weight. Fresh or frozen vegetables are lower in sodium and high in nutrients.

Vegetable Juices - Green Beans - Asparagus - Peas - Baked Beans and Chili Beans - Potatoes (baked or boiled) - Broccoli - Spinach - Carrots
Sweet Potatoes - Cauliflower - Tomato Sauce - Corn - Tomatoes - Dried Beans and Peas - Zucchini

Breads: Thicker, heavier, whole-grain breads have more carbohydrates than thinner, lighter bread. This makes them slightly higher in calories, but those are nutritious calories that can be used for sustained energy as well as a source of vitamins and minerals. A good goal is to eat whole-grain products one-half of the time.

Bagels Muffins, (adding fruit such as blueberries adds carbohydrates)
Biscuits - Bran Muffins - Pancakes - Bread - Pita Bread - Corn Bread
Pizza (cheese or vegetarian with thick crust) - Dinner Rolls - Rice Cakes English Muffins - Sandwich Buns - Low-fat Crackers - Tortillas -Waffles

Cereals and Pasta: Adding whole milk to cereal, or fatty meat sauce to pasta greatly increases the amount of fat calories. Eating cold cereals that are fortified with vitamins and minerals are excellent sources of energy. Cereals high in sodium should be chosen less often than those low in sodium.

Cereals (hot or cold, except granola which is higher in fat content) - Macaroni - Noodles - Rice (white or brown) - Spaghetti - Stuffing (from mix)

Dairy Products: Choose low-fat whenever possible.

Cheese (low-fat) - Pudding (made with low-fat milk) - Cottage Cheese (low-fat) - String Cheese - Frozen Yogurt (low-fat) - Yogurt (low-fat with or without fruit) - Milk (skim, white or chocolate)

Desserts: Choose those low in fat or sugar whenever possible.

Angel Food Cake - Granola Bar (plain) - Animal Crackers
Low-fat Frozen Yogurt - Brownies (made without oil
Popcorn (air popped with no butter) - Popsicles - Cereal Party Mix
Pretzels (no butter) - Frozen Fruit Juice Bars
Pudding (made with low-fat milk) - Fruit Bars (ie, Fig Bars)
Sherbet - Gingersnaps - Toppings (honey, jam or syrup)
Graham Crackers - Vanilla Wafers

Wrestlers also need adequate amounts of protein to build, maintain and repair body cells (especially muscle tissue), help the body resist infection, and regulate body functions. Care should be taken to eat food containing protein that is also low in fat. The following foods are the best choices for weight conscious wrestlers wanting moderate protein, low-fat foods. These foods provide adequate amounts of protein for student athletes, without unwanted extra calories.

Meats: Care should be taken to choose meats that are low-fat (10% fat or less) and low-sodium. Some processed meats may be low-fat, but they are often extremely high in sodium. If using lean ground beef in casseroles, tacos, chili, etc., it can be rinsed with water after it is cooked. Rinsing significantly reduces the fat calories. Meats should be broiled, baked or grilled to keep the fat content to a minimum.
Beef (lean such as round, sirloin or tenderloin) - Chicken (skinless, white meat is lowest in fat) - Fish - Luncheon Meats (95% lean, but be careful of the sodium content) - Pork (lean such as Canadian Bacon or ham, but be careful of the sodium content) - Tuna (water packed) - Turkey (skinless, white meat is lowest in fat) - Venison

Wrestlers should also be sure to drink adequate amounts of low calorie beverages. By selecting drinks that are low in calories, a wrestler can drink as much as he desires without risk of added calories.

Beverages: Drinking enough fluids to remain hydrated is essential to health and performance. Water and beverages containing nutrients are the best choices.
Water (Minimum of 6-8, 8 ounce glasses per day) - Milk (Minimum of 3-4, 8 ounce glasses per day) - Juices, fruit (unsweetened) and vegetable - Sports Drinks - Diet Pop (decaffeinated) - Iced Tea (unsweetened & decaffeinated)

Fats and Oils: Select dressings and oils that are fat-free, or low-calorie. Substituting equal amounts of applesauce for cooking oil in recipes greatly reduces the calorie count.

Fat-free or low-fat gravies - Fat-free or low-fat mayonnaise
Fat-free or low-fat salad dressings - Substitutes such as Molly McButter or Butter Buds





2 medium (6") pancakes
¼ cup low-calorie syrup
1, 8 oz. cup skim milk
1, 4 oz. glass orange juice
1 orange
Beverage (water, at least 1 glass)

3 slices (3 oz.) turkey, 2 slices bread, low-fat
cheese, lettuce & tomato
1 medium lettuce salad with 2 Tbsp. low-fat dressing
Beverage (water, at least 1 glass)
2 vanilla wafers

1, 3 oz. broiled chicken breast, no skin 1 cup broccoli
½ cup mashed potatoes, with skim milk
1 dinner roll
2 cups skim milk
½ cup applesauce


1 bowl (cup) cold cereal
1 banana
1 cup skim milk
1, 4 oz. glass grapefruit juice

½ bagel, with jam
Beverage (water, at least 1 glass)

3 oz. water-packed tuna, 2 slices bread,
2 tsp. low-fat mayonnaise made with lean ground beef
1 small bowl chicken noodle soup
1 cup skim milk
Carrot sticks
1 apple

2 cups spaghetti noodles, ½ cup tomato sauce
1 med. lettuce salad, 2 Tbsp. low-fat dressing
1 cup skim milk
2 bread sticks
1 cup grapes


2 slices toast, with jam
1 grapefruit
1 cup skim milk

1 banana
Beverage (water, at least 1 glass)

Pasta salad with 1 cup cooked pasta,
1 ½ cups raw vegetables, 2 oz. lean ham,
1/8 cup low-fat Italian dressing 1 cup skim milk
½ cup applesauce

2 bean burritos with 2 small flour tortillas
¼ cup fat-free refried beans, 2 Tbsp. grated cheese
tomato, lettuce & 2 Tbsp. salsa
½ cup rice
1 cup skim milk
½ cup canned peaches


1 cup cooked oatmeal with ¼ cup raisins
1 cup skim milk
1 orange

4 graham cracker squares
Beverage (water, at least 1 glass)

Stir-fried vegetables with 1 cup broccoli
½ cup carrots, 1 tbsp. soy sauce
1 cup rice
1 cup skim milk
1 cup strawberries
1 small dinner roll

3 oz. lean steak
1 large baked potato with low-fat cottage cheese
1 medium vegetable salad such as spinach or lettuce mixed with other vegetables (carrots, celery, radishes, etc.), 2 tbsp. low-fat dressing
1 cup skim milk
1 slice angel food cake

2 slices of toast with jam
½ cup grape juice
1 cup skim milk

1 small bran muffin
Beverage (water, at least 1 glass)

1 sandwich bun, 3 slices (3 oz.) lean ham
1 slice low-fat cheese
10 (1 oz.) pretzels
½ cup applesauce
Celery sticks
1 cup skim milk

Tuna-noodle casserole (1 cup noodles, 3 oz. water packed tuna)
½ cup cooked peas
1 small dinner roll
1 medium lettuce salad, 2 tbsp. low-fat dressing
1 cup skim milk
1 frozen fruit juice bar

1 blender drink, includes 1 banana
1 cup skim milk, 1 tbsp. peanut butter
1 slice toast with jam

1 banana
Beverage (water, at least 1 glass)

1 small lean hamburger with bun
10 pretzels
1 cup skim milk
2 fig bars
½ cup pears

3 oz. lean pork roast
½ cup cooked rice
1 cup cooked broccoli
1 bread slice with margarine
1 cup skim milk

1 cup cold cereal, skim milk
1 banana
½ cup fruit juice

1 fruit
Beverage (water, at least 1 glass)

3 slices (3 oz.) lean chicken, 2 bread slices,
lettuce, tomato, 1 tbsp. low-fat mayonnaise
1 fruit
1 cup skim milk
1 small low-fat pudding
1 cup skim milk

3 oz. roast turkey
1 large baked potato, 1 pat margarine
1 cup cooked vegetables
1 bread slice or roll
1 cup skim milk
Food/Calorie Comparisons

Meats: The following foods have approximately 120-150 calories per 3 oz. serving:
Skinless, white chicken
Lean ham
Water-packed tuna
Lean roast beef
Skinless white turkey
Lean ground beef

When cooking meat, it should be broiled, baked or grilled to keep the fat content to a minimum. Choosing leaner cuts of meat also helps in keeping fat content low.

Breads: The following foods have approximately 50-100 calories per serving.

1 biscuit 1 bread slice > ½ English muffin
½ hamburger or hot dog, bun
1 dinner roll 5 saltine cracker squares
1-6" corn tortilla 1-4" pancake
1-4" waffle

Adding butter, mayonnaise or margarine greatly increases the calorie content.

Fruits and vegetables vary greatly in calories, but are all low in calories compared to most other foods. They are also complete carbohydrates with the exception of avocados, unless they are topped with margarine, butter or high calorie dressings. They are great sources of energy.

Healthful ideas for eating out:

Cheese or vegetable pizza
Side salad, low-cal dressing
Bean or chicken burrito

Roast beef sandwich
Chicken sandwich, low-cal mayonnaise
barbecue sauce or honey mustard
Baked potato
Skim milk

Best food choices from convenience stores:

> Low-fat yogurt Fruit
Fruit bar cookies (fig bars) - Nutri Grain bars
Granola bar (non-chocolate) - Pretzels
String cheese - Juice box
Low-fat chocolate milk - V-8 juice
Animal crackers

Thanks to Mustang Wrestling 2004-2005 Manhattan Beach, CA. 90266 for allowing us to us this information on our website

Manhattan Beach, CA. 90266

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