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Nutritional Considerations for Wrestlers

Stanzione, Joseph R. MS, RD; Volpe, Stella Lucia PhD, RDN, ACSM-CEP, FACSM

doi: 10.1097/NT.0000000000000362
Sports Nutrition

Wrestling is a combat sport with weight-based categorizations. These athletes commonly attempt to reduce their body weight to qualify for lower-weight classes. Wrestlers often subject themselves to periods of low energy intake and high energy expenditure, exposing them to a prolonged energy deficit. Therefore, nutritional considerations for these athletes are complex. This review will enlighten sports professionals, and those working closely with wrestlers, about the nature of the sport. In addition, we offer some guidance for wrestlers to consider.

Joseph R. Stanzione MS, RD, is a PhD candidate, Department of Nutrition Sciences, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His research focuses on optimizing exercise metabolism through different dietary approaches, specific to sport type. He is a former division 1 wrestler for Cornell University and he is currently an assistant coach to wrestling at Drexel University.

Stella Lucia Volpe, PhD, RDN, ACSM-CEP, FACSM, is professor and chair of the Department of Nutrition Science at Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her degrees are in both nutrition and exercise physiology; she also is an American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM)certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist®, a registered dietitian nutritionist, and a fellow of the ACSM. Dr Volpe’s research focuses on obesity and diabetes prevention using traditional interventions and mineral supplementation and by altering the environment to result in greater physical activity and healthy eating. She also conducts research on athletes of all levels, from recreational to professional.

The authors have no conflicts of interest to disclose.

Correspondence: Stella Lucia Volpe, PhD, RDN, ACSM-CEP, FACSM, Department of Nutrition Sciences, Drexel University, Three Parkway Bldg, 1601 Cherry St, Mail Stop 30130, Philadelphia, PA 19102 (

There are no funding sources or financial relationships with commercial interests to declare.

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