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  Sports Nutrition
Question submitted on 02/21/06 by HoosierRD to Diane King:


I'm a wrestling coach tring to find out information about 
maximizing our student-athlets energy levels during 
competition.  I know differnet theories on the subject, 
from carbo loading to a well balanced diet. 

What nutritional recommendations do you have for athletes 
leading up to a match?  Do you recommend any books on the 
  Response provided on 02/22/06 by Diane King:

Hey There HoosierRD,
I can try to guess which state you're from by your email 
name, but can you confirm? Also, in your state, when are 
weigh ins performed?
Thanks and I'll get right back to you.
Diane King, MS, RD, ATC

  Member's Response (HoosierRD):

Yes, I'm from Indiana.  The weigh ins are performed about 1 
hour before the first match.  In dual meets we only wrestle 
one time, in tournamnets we wrestle up to five times during 
the day.  Thus needing more nurishment needs.

  Response provided on 02/22/06 by Diane King:

Thanks. It's a tough concept to work out with athletes who 
are weight driven, especially if they also compete in 
other sports. The best advice is to get them in the right 
mindset throughout the whole season. Small frequent meals/ 
snacks should be offered. Moderate but consistent fat 
intake helps them "feel" less bloated, but is sometimes 
unavoidable. Wreslters often withhold food and beverages 
while waiting to make their weigh ins, then they overdo it 
in an attempt to get a little quick energy right before 
their  match. 
I don't think the concept of carb loading will be 
effective for your athletes. This technique works better 
for events lasting more than 60 minutes (and more likek 90 
minutes). Even a tournament that lasts all day is still a 
repeated short bout. Carb laoding will hold added water in 
the muscles as a result of the glycogen supercompensation, 
so definitely not something a wrestler would enjoy
Protein tends to be the food of choice, but it is 
important to get the athletes to consume moderate amounts, 
perhaps in the form of a ready to drink - Endurox is one 
that comes to mind or the new sports beverage - chocolate 
milk. Sports bars can be used also. It may depend on how 
long they have between matches.  Small frequent snacks 
during the day spaced about every 2-3 hours help keep them 
from feeling too full and keeps their fuel levels more 
steady. This late in the season, food choices sometimes 
are a matter of personal preference as well as 
psychological. Don't try to introduce too many new things, 
that can upset a delicate balance.
The more your use your skinfold measurement information 
early in the season, the better your athletes can perform 
because it can help reduce the big swings in weight so 
often seen in this sport.
As for books and resources, have you looked at the 
National Wrestling Coaches Association website - and use the OPC program? Optimal 
Performance Calculators are available for associations 
using the weight certification programs. This is also 
where you can link to the NFHS position on weight 
management. Also there are a few good articles on the 
National High School Coaches Association website as well.
Main thin to work on your athletes about is that the 
nutrition part is not a quick fix right before a match. 
It's a mindset they have to maintain during the whole year.
Good luck if you still have some season left?
Diane King, MS, RD, ATC


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Diane King

Diane King, MS, RD, ATC, CSSD, is a Registered, Licensed Dietician, Certified Diabetes Educator, and NATA Certified Athletic Trainer working for the Gwinnett Health System. Diane's expertise in nutrition, health and wellness has provided her ...    More info...

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