What Do Sumo Wrestlers Eat?

Sumo wrestlers are known for their enormous size with many weighing over 150kg (330 pounds). But how exactly do they get so big? In this article we are going explore sumo wrestlers’ diet and what they consume daily to not only put on so much mass but maintain it even when performing a rigorous training regime. Let’s get started!

What Do Sumo Wrestlers Eat?

Sumo wrestlers diet largely consists of Chankonabe which is a hot pot stew featuring chicken, fish turned into balls, beef, pork and a variety of vegetables including daikon and bok choy. Sumo wrestlers also eat large amounts of rice and drink lots of beer.

Due to their body types and large amount of fat many people mistakenly believe that sumo wrestlers spend all day eating ice cream, pizza, burgers and other junk food. Sumo wrestlers actually stick to a strict diet which is almost exclusively made up of Chankonabe (hot pot stew with meat, fish and vegetables) and rice!

Chankonabe does not have any specific recipe and every sumo wrestler has they own unique recipe they cook. The one thing that all Chankonabe recipes have in common is this hot pot stew is absolutely loaded with protein and also has lots of vegetables.

Here is a sample recipe of Chankonabe to give you an idea of what sumo wrestlers really eat:

Broth ingredients:

  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • ¼ cup sake
  • ⅓ cup mirin
  • 2 Tbsp ginger juice
  • 1 ½ tsp crushed garlic
  • ½ cup miso
  • Chicken meatballs ingredients:
  • ½ lb ground chicken
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp ginger juice
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 6 Tbsp panko
  • 3 Tbsp green onions/scallions

Stew ingredients:

  • Chicken meatballs
  • 1 ½ lb cod fillet
  • 8 shrimp
  • 6 oz sliced pork belly
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 14 oz medium tofu
  • ½ head napa cabbage
  • 2 negi
  • 6 green onions/scallions
  • 4-6 shiitake mushrooms
  • ¼ carrot

Sumo wrestlers eat two times a day, once at around 11am and then once in the evening at around 6pm. The first meal occurs after mandatory daily training. Both meals feature Chankonabe and sumo wrestlers are encouraged to eat as many bowls as possible.

After sumo wrestlers have finished their first meal they will then have a nap. Once they wake up they will complete chores and sometimes do a second training session. Then it is time for dinner at 6pm where they chow down on more Chankonabe!

Do Sumo Wrestlers Eat A Lot Of Rice?

Sumo wrestlers eat a huge amount of rice. A typical sumo wrestler will eat at least 5 bowls of rice per meal and consume a minimum of 10 bowls of rice per day and some have been known to eat 20 bowls of rice per day! 

Sumo wrestlers consume rice with every meal. Rice is a great way for sumo wrestlers to add extra calories to their meal, give them energy to fuel their tough training sessions and to enhance the taste of Chankonabe.

Sumo wrestlers love to carb load and their is no better meal choice then rice. Sumo wrestlers stick to white rice and consume at least 10 bowls per day, 5 bowls in the morning and 5 in the evening. Some Rikishi who have incredible appetites will eat 20 bowls per day.

Why Do Sumo Wrestlers Sleep After Eating?

Sumo wrestlers sleep after eating because the large amount of food they consume makes them tired and they are exhausted after training for hours. Sleeping directly after eating also helps sumo wrestlers increase and maintain their body weight.
Have you ever eaten a huge meal and instantly felt super sleepy? Well this is what sumo wrestlers experience everyday after consuming their giant first meal of the day at around 11am. After consuming an incredible amount of carbs and protein sumo wrestlers struggle to keep their eyes open and begin yawning.
Sumo wrestlers also sleep after eating because they wake up early (many rise at around 5am or 6am) and traing rigorously for hours. Once they finish training they immediately start eating and then take a long nap to recover from the brutal workout.
The final reason sumo wrestlers sleep after eating is because taking a nap directly after finishing a meal helps sumo wrestlers increase and maintain their body weight. Food is more likely to be stored by the body if a sumo wrestler doesn’t burn any calories and immediately goes to sleep.
Think about if you want to lose weight you need to exercise a lot to burn as many calories as possible. But if you want to increase your weight you want to burn as little calories as possible and the best way to achieve this is through sleeping!

Do Sumo Wrestlers Drink Beer?

Sumo wrestlers drink a lot of beer. Many sumo wrestlers drink beer with every meal and consume 5 to 8 pints every day. The excessive drinking of many sumo wrestlers has led to serious health problems including liver disease.

Sumo wrestlers have on unhealthy diet habit and that is excessive consumption of beer. In an effort to pack on the pounds many sumo wrestlers will consume pints of beer with their meal. It is not unheard for a sumo wrestler to drink 5 or 6 pints of beer with a single meal.

While drinking lots of beer is helpful in gaining weight as each pint contains 200 calories it does damage to the body. The excessive consumption of beer has played a major role in many sumo wrestlers dying at a young age.

Do Sumo Wrestlers Eat Junk Food?

Sumo wrestlers do not eat junk food. Sumo wrestlers stick to a regimented diet which features Chankonabe (hot pot stew with different meats, fish and vegetables), rice and beer. Occasionally sumo wrestlers will eat cheat meals but it is rare. 

Sumo wrestlers are actually very disciplined with their diet. You won’t pizza boxes and burger wrappers at a sumo wrestling house. Instead Rikishi religiously eat rice and Chankonabe and wash it down with some Japanese beer.

Do Sumo Wrestlers Drink Lard?

Sumo wrestlers do not drink lard. Instead sumo wrestlers consume large amounts of rice and hot pot stew known as Chankonabe. They also drink copious amounts of beer to pack in extra empty calories.

There are lots of different myths concerning sumo wrestlers’ diets and what they eat. Many just assume because sumo wrestlers are fat that they eat lots of junk food and live an unhealthy life.

This could not be further from the truth. Sumo wrestlers follow a very strict and regimented diet that apart from the beer is very healthy. It actually takes a lot of discipline for sumo wrestlers to build their size because they have to eat 10 bowls of Chankonabe with 10 bowls of rice every single day! Even if you love food this is not an easy task.

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