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FOOD IS LIFE | What do Sumo Wrestlers EAT?

How do sumo wrestlers get so big? And why do they have to be big anyways? Do they eat a lot of junk food? Find out all the answers in this video.

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT:

What would you eat if you had to consume 10000 calories a day like a sumo wrestler? Do share your food fantasies in the comments below.

For me, ahhhhh…. I would not let it go to waste. I’ll be enjoying as much of my favorite food as possible. For breakfast, I’d love me some bacon, oatmeal, bread, butter and sausages. For lunch, I’d have fried chicken, burgers and hot dogs, with a side of milkshake and a bucket of fries. For dinner, some nice medium steak, roasted lamb, pasta; with bread, mashed potatoes and buttered veggies on the side. And this epic meal day would be finished off with some ice cream, pies and creme brulee!

All this talk of eating this much food, and this many calories, had not always been the case for sumo wrestlers, or ‘rikishi’ as they are called in Japan. In the past, they were more wiry and muscular. Sumo wrestling, though, has no weight class. Since a sumo wrestler would lose the match once any part of their body, other than their feet, touches the ground, or is pushed out of the ring – it simply makes sense for them to become big, immovable objects.

So what does it take to become a big, rotund, immovable mountain of a man?

It’s mostly a combination of 3 things – training, routine and diet!

Every wrestler belongs to and lives in a sumo stable, and a typical day starts with intense training – as early as 5 AM for the lower ranked wrestlers, with the higher ranked ones starting a bit later. And breakfast is not the most important meal of the day to a sumo wrestler as they do not eat breakfast! I could definitely imagine why as it’s probably a bad idea to be pushed and tossed around with a belly full of food!

Sumo wrestlers enjoy only 2 meals a day! The main meal is lunch at around 11 AM and is prepared and served by junior wrestlers. The star of this meal is a thick stew called Chanko Nabe. It’s a one-pot dish that would often include chicken, pork, beef, tofu and all sorts of vegetables, like daikon, cabbage, mushrooms and carrots; flavored with fish stock, miso, soy sauce or other Japanese condiments.This protein-rich dish is the key to a sumo wrestler’s bulking up program!

Along with chanko nabe, a rikishi would also have several bowls of rice, maybe some pickles, dumplings and omelets. And another important part of this meal is beer. A few pints of this golden liquid would definitely help a rikishi meet his caloric goals! What you would not find in abundance, though, in a rikishi’s diet are processed food and sugars!

And to keep all of those calories and store them as fat, a rikishi would then nap for a few hours after a hearty lunch. They would then do their chores in the afternoon and have dinner at around 6 PM. Dinner is more freestyle, with some rikishi dining out and enjoying food that they like. Most often though, they still would not let this chance to bulk up go to waste!

What you may find quite surprising about sumo wrestlers though are that they are considered healthy! Because of the very intense training and work out that they go through, they store fat differently than the average human, hence, they have low triglycerides and cholesterol levels!

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