A Look Into A Sumo Wrestler's Diet

When we watch a sumo wrestler, we often have thoughts in our minds: How do they learn to be so strong? And how do they manage to eat so much food?

Photo: The New York Public Library/Unsplash

In truth, both questions are linked. The diet of a sumo wrestler is extremely interesting. When you see what they are piling into their mouths, and the quantities in which they do so, though, their diet makes more sense. Some of us assume sumo wrestlers just eat whatever they fancy, but that is not the case at all. Like any other athlete, sumo wrestlers have very specific dietary requirements.

Indeed, one famous sumo wrestler from Mongolia, Byambajav Ulambayar, eats as much as 4,000 calories in a day. That is around double what the average male adult would be eating. Given the competes for all-year-round, though, he never gets a break from his intense diet.

Photo: Van Thanh/Unsplash

The most popular foods eaten by Byambajav Ulambayar

The sumo wrestling expert eats around 4,000 calories. Some sumo wrestlers, though, can be eating as much as 4,000 to 8,000 calories in a single day. Extreme sumo wrestlers can break the five-figure mark, though this is extremely rare.

Despite the huge food intake, though, most sumo wrestlers drink staggering amounts of water and green tea. This is vital because the loss of weight through sweat alone can make up as much as 10-15lbs in a single day.

In terms of eating, rice and noodles are a big part of the diet. Rice is a good choice for a sumo wrestler because it is weighty, easy to eat, and affordable for sumo wrestlers of all ages and class lifestyles. Rice for a sumo wrestler comes in the form of many bowls per day.

The same goes for their use of noodles. Udon noodles are a particular staple for experts like Ulambayar. They make up a large portion of their dinner, alongside seafood and salad. These flavorless noodles are easily consumed and combined with other foods. Soup, too, is a common choice for sumo wrestlers.

Just as important as what they eat, though, is their sleeping habits. Sleeping right after a big meal is a common choice for many sumo wrestlers. So, while you might think that sumo wrestlers just live on takeout food and garbage, most have a very strict, refined diet that allows for the caloric intake they need without damage being done to their health.