Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Health and Nutritional Sciences

First Advisor

Marni Shoemaker


BACKGROUND: College athletes, especially in weight class sports, often experience energy deficits. Weight class sports such as wrestling are at greatest risk for deficiencies, and little is known about the relationships between body composition, nutrient intake, and performance in these athletes.
OBJECTIVES: The purposes of this study were to quantify macronutrient and micronutrient intake of pre-season male collegiate wrestlers and compare to recommendations, and examine relationships among nutritional intakes, body composition, and performance measurements of strength, anaerobic, and aerobic capacity.
METHODS: Male Division I wrestlers (n=11, mean ± SD age: 21.3±1.7 years, wrestling experience: 14.9±2.5 years) were recruited during preseason. Nutrient intake was collected from a 3-day food diary. A 7-site skinfold assessment determined fat-free mass (FFM) to estimate total energy expenditure. Isokinetic and isometric strength was evaluated by a Biodex dynamometer. Aerobic and anaerobic capacity were tested on a stationary cycle ergometer. RESULTS: Eight of eleven wrestlers were energy deficient based on estimated needs. Mean intake for 4 micronutrients fell below the RDA. Significant correlations were found between energy and macronutrient intake, and strength and anaerobic performance variables (r=0.603 – 0.902, p=0.0001 – 0.05). However, after accounting for FFM, these relationships were no longer significant.
CONCLUSIONS: Nutrient intake in tandem with body composition effect performance for weight class athletes. Maintaining high FFM, especially during the competition season, may be advantageous for wrestling performance. Nutrient intake and body composition should be monitored so coaches and health professionals can create individualized recommendations to help athletes optimize performance.


South Dakota State University



Rights Statement

In Copyright