Influence of dietary modification during weight loss on performance in the wrestler

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Hickner, Robert C.
Horswill, Craig A.
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Thesis (M.S.)
Department of Biology
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Twelve highly trained collegiate wrestlers were studied to determine if performance of a six-minute arm crank task can be maintained by feeding a hypocaloric, high percentage carbohydrate diet to athletes during a four day weight loss period. Subjects were placed on a hypocaloric, low percentage (41.9%) carbohydrate diet (LC) and a hypocaloric, high percentage (65.9%) carbohydrate diet (HC) during two separate weight loss periods. The reduction in work performed during six minutes of arm cranking from pre- to post-weight loss was 0.9% and 8.2% for HC and LC treatments, respectively. Post exercise lactate measures were significantly lower and pH values were significantly higher pre- and post-weight loss under the LC treatment as compared to the HC treatment. Pre-exercise glycerol values were significantly higher post weight loss as compared to pre weight loss under both diet treatments. Profile of Mood State (POMS) scores indicate a negative effect of weight loss on psychological well being of the subjects. This negative effect is exacerbated during weight loss under the LC as compared to HC treatment. These data indicate a significant reduction in performance following a four day weight loss of 6.1% under the LC treatment, while performance is maintained following the HC treatment.