Meals for Wrestling
During the wrestling season, wrestlers need a diet that aids in performance and recovery. In addition, wrestlers must watch their weight to ensure that they stay within the requirements for their weight division. At the same time, wrestlers need to take in an appropriate amount of nutrients to support health and enhance performance. Planning meals is a good way to ensure that you are prepared when you get hungry.
Pasta is a good choice for wrestlers because it contains carbohydrates that deliver glycogen to the body for energy. Wrestlers need 2.3 to 3.6 grams of carbohydrates per pound of body weight, according to the American Dietetic Association. During the wrestling season, increasing carbohydrate intake is important for fueling practice and tournaments. Whole grain pasta is higher in carbohydrates than traditional versions. Eat pasta with tomato sauce and chopped vegetables. Add whole-wheat bread on the side for additional carbohydrates.
Meat and Vegetables
The American Dietetic Association recommends that wrestlers get .55 to .8 grams of protein per pound of body weight. Lean meat is a good option. Choose chicken breast, fish, lean steak or pork chops. Serve with steamed or grilled vegetables for a healthy dose of carbohydrates. Low-fat dairy, nuts, beans and yogurt are additional side-dish options if you are having trouble meeting your daily goals. Try adding sliced almonds to green beans or topping a baked potato with plain yogurt. Wrap lean ground beef and black beans in a tortilla and top with low-fat cheese.
A sandwich is a filling meal and allows you to make it with your choice of ingredients. It is also a good option for bringing to a wrestling match because a sandwich is easy to eat between matches. Start with whole-wheat bread, add lean meats, low-fat cheese and sliced vegetables. Have a piece of fresh fruit and vegetable to round out the meal. This ensures that you get a good mix of carbohydrates, protein and healthy fats, which replenish your energy reserves and maximize your performance on the mat. Tuna and peanut butter and jelly are alternatives that provide similar benefits.
Pizza is easy to prepare, and leftovers work well for carrying to a match or eating on the way to one. Use caution when ordering pizza in restaurants as it doesn't often contain a good amount of nutrients. Start with a whole-wheat crust and top with tomato sauce and sliced vegetables. This is a good combination for carbohydrate intake, but won't make you too full to wrestle. If you prefer meat on your pizza, choose lean versions, such as turkey bacon or lean ham. Add low-fat cheese for protein.
Eliza Martinez has written for print and online publications. She covers a variety of topics, including parenting, nutrition, mental health, gardening, food and crafts. Martinez holds a master's degree in psychology.