How To Make Bulletproof Wrestlers?

I coach a high school wrestling team and constantly preach the necessity and benefits of proper nutrition on performance (we commonly utilize the analogy of the type of fuel required to operate a Formula1 racing car). Usually, post weigh-ins, our kids have about 45-60 mins until they're required to compete. What Bulletproof foods do you recommend to best replenish their energy stores in order to perform at an optimal level on the mat, especially over the course of a multiple day tournament with multiple weigh-ins and up to 9-10 matches?


As we all know, high school student-athletes don't usually purchase or prepare their own meals, nor do most of them eat "real food", so they remain at the mercy of their parents. Knowing this, as coaches, we like to step in and provide light post weigh-in meals for the team in order to ensure they're eating properly for optimal performance. This allows us to eliminate the parents as enablers and monitor the type of energy our athletes consume prior to competition.  


Please advise with any suggestions.




  • Bulletproof ModeratorBulletproof Moderator Upgraded Mod Admin

    Kinetic Chess!  Love it!  Glad to have you on the forums--I am sure that Katolotus, Jason Miler, and some others can help you formulate a nice nutrition plan for your wrestlers.  Multi-day wrestling tournaments are brutal and you will see a huge advantage just by getting them to eat right.  Check out this thread in the mean time:



    Print out some nutrition charts for the parents and try and get them on board.  (Many moms are not too fond of caloric restriction, so this might be an easier sale than you think.)


    Good luck!

  • katolotuskatolotus ✭✭✭

    Wrestlings a tough one, especially with teenagers.


    Can you give more details on what they do pre-weigh-in. I'm sure I heard that the weight cutting is monitored more closely now after a few deaths, but as I'm in the UK we don't really have much wrestling.


    Sure Jason will have a bit to say on it. I have over 24hrs after weigh-in before fighting and then it's only one 15 minute fight.


    MMA Fighter


    SUCCESS: A lot of little things done well

  • This may be tough, since as you mentioned they aren't totally in control of what constitutes their meals, but get them to start cutting weight about 5 days prior to competition by reducing carbs in their diet (e.g 100g, 80g, 60g, 50g, 40g).  Make sure they keep their overall calories high enough from fat and protein (mainly fat).  About 24hrs prior to weigh-ins, get them to cut salt out too.


    They should be able to lose about 5-10lbs in 5 days.  Water loading is also a good help if the weight isn't coming off easily.  You can always resort to more traditional weight cutting methods (sauna, epsom baths, blankets...) if need be for the last few lbs, but given that they only have an hr to recover and may compete up to 10 times, i would strongly recommend against this, even if it means competing up a weight class.


    Post weigh-in i would recommend some coconut water, some dextrose, bcaa's, some salt, and a bit of fat.  I'll normally load up on yams or sweet potatoes but i typically have a few hrs to digest prior to competing, so i don't think this would be ideal for your student.

  • Do they need to cut weight or are you looking for performance enhancers (legal of course)? 

  • We're looking for legal performance enhancers, preferably in food form, but am not anti-supplementation with pills, etc. I know the entire day leading up to a late afternoon/early evening weigh-in determines most of what will fuel the athletes; however, I'd like to provide productive options for them for competition days.


    Weight cutting at the high school level has been curtailed drastically, but it still occurs, just not to the extremes we remember from back in the day.


    Kids now-a-days think Subway is a healthy meal, so, naturally, it's an uphill battle for us, but we do provide a "Wrestling with Nutrition" document, unfortunately, a lot of the parents and kids barely stick to any of the information with any consistency.


    I know 45-60 mins isn't enough time to replenish energy stores due to digestion and processing within the body, etc; however, 2-day tournaments prove completely different because the athletes energy levels vary so much throughout the day. For example, a finalist may only compete at 10am on Saturday morning, then not again until 3-4pm, while, some may wrestle at 10am, then again at 12pm, 2pm, 3pm, etc.  


    Obviously, I acknowledge it's a complex sport in terms of nutrition due to weight cutting and the intense nature of any combat sport.


    Thanks once again, as I sincerely appreciate any recommendations and advice.

  • HazakinsHazakins Graveyard shift putting me in the Grave!

    I wrestled at 275 so I never had to worry haha.


    Perhaps MCT oil for quick energy as it requires no digestion. Next I would be trying to get liquid and electrolytes (Salt/ potassium/ magnesium?) Perhaps Emergenc electro mix.

    Im not sure if getting glycogen to the muscles would be quick enough. I also don't know if the insulin spike of consuming something so close to a event would be detrimental to performance.

    I would recommend staying away from fruit as from what I understand the fructose would have to hit the liver first and may or may not be distributed to the muscles as glycogen.


    Perhaps some sort of Carb back load? White rice the night before to load the muscles with glycogen for the comp day?

    Trying to get a grasp on Ketosis? Watch this!

  • I was always the "dieting-guy" on the team and I think it's awesome that you are making the effort to educate and promote proper diet to your kids (and their parents) Kinetic Chess Champ!


    Thinking back, I would replace all that crap I had in my cooler with at least: Upgraded MCT Oil, Grass-Fed Beef, Pastured Chicken, Organic Sweet Potatoes & Grass-Fed Butter.    


    It's been a decade since I last wrestled but I'm still pretty active today.  I've found that these foods (as well as bulletproof coffee) are regulars in my schedule that make me feel good and perform well.  Also, the timing of foods is very important, especially on tournament days.  


    Oh, and don't forget sleep....plenty of glorious, quality sleep!

  • It's not easy.  You need something that can be eaten quickly and stored that provides energy. Back in the day we always had bananas and bagels after weigh ins at tournaments. Definitely coconut water after weigh in.  I'm fairly new to BP diet so I'm not as knowledgeable as most on this forum but I wrestled D1 in Ohio in the mid 90s.  I remember weight cutting.  If they could follow the BPD principles most of your wrestlers would likely lose the needed weight without going hungry. Just recently I lost 18 pounds just starting the BPD and I easily made weight for a BJJ tournament. :)


    If you can get them to eat high protein (eggs, tuna, beef, chicken, etc..), lower carb and mix some spinach, greens and veggies for lunch they'll be doing OK.  Convince them not to drink any of diet crap in schools.  It pisses me off when I go to schools and see nothing but aspartame loaded drinks for sale. 

  • i'd aim to have (liquid-based) shakes on-hand for refeeding between weigh-ins and a meet.  Tourneys are different and there's far too many variables for any hard/fast answers.   BUT, for regular meets, having liquid based stuff (carb/whey/sodium/potassium; honestly, just whey+gatorade would do the trick) and letting them go as-needed is my best advice, because the variance between the wrestlers at that point is HUGE (ie, how much did they suck as %bw, over how long and what did they lose[water, fat, glucose, etc], and how well can they handle 'spiking' refeeds?  I could go from 9%BF at almost 120 in my freshman year to 103 for weigh-ins, and be comfortable pounding the malto-syrup weightgain rtd's, whereas our 160 couldn't eat half of what i could during these times, despite having cut less total lbs than I.)


    The idea is to give them the options for the most effective refeed, and you're gonna wanna keep fibers/fats on the low end here; keep electrolytes high (especially if they're doing their last lbs from spit/sweat - the degrees gone for making weight vary tremendously depending on who's program it is), and let them have at it.  Whey+gatorade would suffice; fruit smoothies with whey would probably be better, not particularly because of any nutritional advantages it offers (it does, but pretty irrelevant here), but because of palatability - you want them to get as much fluid/electro's/glucose back in their system as possible w/o them being nauseous or dizzy.

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