Wrestlers Cutting Weight
Some athletes do extra things to help them win, whether it be for a football player doing extra work outs, or taking steroids to a baseball player staying late from practice to work on his hit. In wrestling, some people do drastic things to help them be the best. “Kyle Talley of St. Mark’s, a state champion at 145 pounds last year, now wrestles at 152 pounds, about six pounds lighter than his natural weight” (Tresolini). Many wrestlers use unhealthy ways to cut weight; … “of 713 high school wrestlers studied in Wisconsin, almost half revealed weight cutting habits that included two or more forms of bulimic-type behavior such as food and water deprivation, laxatives or induced vomiting” (Tresolini). While cutting weight may help a wrestler achieve a short-term goal, some people wonder what the long-term effects will be on their health. “Experts say that when wrestlers cut weight then eat a lot, they may hurt their long- and short-term health” (Tresolini). Sports medicine experts who have studied the practice say the fat that is lost takes away from the padding and insulation that supports the skin muscles and vital organs which include the skin (Tresolini). According to Robert Oppliger, an exercise physiologist at the University of Iowa who co-authored the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) position, “There’s a lot of scientific data that shows if you are dehydrated and have fasted you are not going to perform well in competitions…the amount of time it takes to rehydrate is inadequate…it’s usually in excess of 24 hours.” (Tresolini) According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, a high school wrestler who is trying to lose weight should lose weight in the off season under supervision so he does not have inadequate energy intake or muscle mass loss. He should also have decided on a weight class to wrestle at before the season has started to allow time for him to make his weight before a hydration test so he does not have to...
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