A well-rounded diet is crucial for student-athletes, especially for collegiate grapplers.
The North Dakota State wrestlers have to take specific precautions to keep their weight where it needs to be. The life of a wrestler is one that includes grueling workouts and days of cutting weight before a duel or even trying to gain weight.
Before a match, a wrestler may need to cut upwards of 20 pounds in order to stay within their predetermined weight class. Dedication is needed.
Though the concept of cutting weight isn’t always thought of as healthy, the student-athletes and athletic trainers are aware of the healthiest options for each individual athlete at his specific weight class.
With weight classes ranging from 125 to 285 pounds, each individual athlete is able to consume different foods for them to be able to make their weight class.
Due to the different weight classes of each of the athletes, their diets vary greatly.
Nico Colunga,133-pound freshman, stays light by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as tuna sandwiches.
“I probably consume between 1,000 and 2,000 calories per day”, he explained. “It all depends on where my weight is at for that day.”
Some athletes have a little more leeway, including heavyweight junior Ben Tynan.
“I’m a fat kid; I don’t cut weight,” he said. “I walk around at 255 and my weight class goes up to 285, so I’m looking to put on weight.”
While most student-athletes are content eating in the NDSU Dining Centers, sophomore Clay Ream prefers cooking his own food.
“I feel like it keeps it fresher, I can eat more while feeling good about it,” he explained. “Ten ounces of microwaved food versus food that I cook, I feel like it makes a big difference.”
Although Tynan explained all of his favorite foods to enjoy throughout the season, others aren’t so lucky.
“I have about a week after the season where I go crazy,” Colunga said. “My favorite thing to eat is pepperoni pizza.”
Ream also explained that he is able to enjoy things in moderation.
“I love cookie dough, so before I go to sleep every night, I have a piece of cookie dough,” Ream said.
Tynan said he enjoyed plenty of carbs, meat and of course, the occasional vegetable in his everyday diet.
While some wrestlers said they consumed near 1,000 calories per day, Tynan, who also goes by “Vanilla Thunder,” claims that he can eat that in one sitting.
Tynan said when he goes to some fast-food restaurants he can consume just about 1,000 calories in a meal.
Though the student-athletes are all able to enjoy different foods throughout the season, they all agreed it was beneficial to avoid pop as well as greasy foods during the season when they are participating in difficult workouts.
With five regular season matches remaining, the student-athletes can look forward to some of their favorite foods — for Tynan, his trademark “Cabin Fever” meal from McDonald’s and for Ream, a large chocolate shake from Kroll’s Diner — in the near future.