Eat Right: How A Proper Basketball Diet Elevates Your Basketball Game
Did you know that diet can have a massive impact on sports performance?
The right amount of calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients is crucial to perform your best on the basketball court.
In addition, inadequate amounts of any of these categories can interfere with your ability to think or move quickly, costing your team precious points.
There is a special diet known as the basketball diet that is perfect for basketball players looking to boost their performance. It involves aspects of common nutritional knowledge, as well as more specific knowledge of the vegetarian, and paleolithic diets.
Find out how you can incorporate a healthy basketball diet into your lifestyle.
What is a Basketball Diet?
Basketball players have particular needs based on the movements necessary in the game, such as frequent running, jumping, and passing.
As a fast-paced sport, the diet should contain macros that support the high energy requirements. Therefore, a basketball diet is one that is higher in carbohydrates and lower in unhealthy fats.
The majority of calories should come from whole grains, beans, fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and milk products.
These foods will contain most of the nutrients that your body will need to perform. It is important to balance these with your specific needs as well.
This diet is customizable, and it should be a conscious part of your day. Balance your calorie and carb consumption with daily activities.
If it is a game day, consume extra carbs to keep up with increased energy needs, and the converse should be true on rest days.
The diet also should limit processed foods and sugar, and favor whole foods in their favor.
Lastly, any sports diet should contain plenty of water and protein, without over-consuming either.
Research the ideal amount of protein, water, and calories for your age, gender, and activity level, and begin planning weekly meals to suit your plans.
How Important is a Player’s Diet?
The importance of a basketball players diet cannot be overstated. Inadequate amounts of any sort can drastically impair your ability to perform.
Healthy carbs provide energy, and without these, burn-out the likely consequence. Protein is necessary to build and repair muscles, making it also vital.
Lastly, vegetables and fruits will provide the bulk of nutrients to fuel your cells and assure all chemical reactions within them continue as planned.
Meal Plan Options
There are many options to choose from in planning weekly and daily meals around the basketball diet.
Here are some ideas for different options for each meal.
Breakfast should include a balanced mix of protein, carbs, and fat to fuel the start of your day.
Start with a healthy, whole-grain-based carb such as a multigrain bagel, or a slice of whole wheat bread.
Then, add in some scrambled eggs for protein and energy-inducing b-vitamins. Top it off with some fruit, such as a banana or strawberries and low-fat yogurt.
It is important not to skip breakfast as an athlete, and it has been shown that people tend to overeat if they skip breakfast.
As well, stay hydrated during this meal, and start each day with at least eight ounces of water before anything else.
This habit wakes up your body and digestive system and prepares it for the healthy, clean food you are about to enjoy.
Come lunchtime, the basketball diet would again include a high-carb meal, but with the addition of plenty of vegetables.
Try whole-wheat pasta mixed with steamed broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, and kale. Or, indulge in filling salad with quinoa, grilled chicken, nuts, and tons of greens.
This meal should also include more water and fruit. Avoid drinking your calories throughout the day and opt for tea instead of soda, sweetened-coffee beverages, and energy drinks.
In addition, incorporate a healthy fat to help you feel full such as lean meat, nuts, or avocado.
If you are hungry between meals, reach for some fruit, dried or fresh, and additional carbs like almond-butter toast to power you through the rest of your day.
Dinner is the meal that should prioritize protein because your muscles are repairing themselves throughout the night.
To support this, consume lean meat with starchy vegetables, and a small salad. Lean meat usually is considered fish, seafood, chicken, and turkey.
If you feel the urge to eat dessert, don’t fret. Try oven-baked apples with cinnamon and coconut oil topped with low-fat yogurt to satisfy any sweet cravings.
Pre and Post Workout
Pre and post workout snacks can be game-changing, pun-intended. Both of these should include plenty of water, as any level of dehydration can result in severe consequences.
Pre-workout snacks could include whole-grain crackers with hummus, or granola, yogurt, and fruit. Regardless, carbs and protein should be the goal.
After a workout, protein and carbs are again needed, but favor protein-packed snacks slightly more.
Try out tuna with crackers, or a clean protein shake made with low-fat milk or unsweetened almond milk.
As well, consider picking strength exercises that are targeted at helping you succeed in basketball.
Additional Nutrition Supplements
The addition of nutritional supplements is generally not a bad idea, and most diets should include fish oil and other vitamins to perform the best.
As well, particular supplements may particularly benefit basketball players, especially at those for athletes.
Speak with a sports dietitian or doctor adding some supplements to your basketball diet, as well as eating clean, real food.
Elevate Your Game
The importance of elevating your performance in basketball should be the underlying goal in most of the lifestyle choices you make.
From diet to workouts, stay current on what will most benefit your ability to play and win.
In addition to diet and exercise, always make sure your basketball equipment is the best, as it can be hard safely to play otherwise.
Check out our post on the top ten health benefits of playing basketball to learn more about living your healthiest life possible through basketball.