Success as a basketball player does not only rely on training and skill. Nutrition and diet plays a major role on developing and improving the body’s physical condition. Eating proper food would ensure that the body is supplemented with the much needed energy needed while playing the sport.
It is important for athletes to be conscious with what they eat and drink. Their energy and stamina, as well as muscle development would depend on what kinds of food they consume.
Carbohydrates – Athletes, in this case, basketball players, need to consume carbohydrates since this is a source of their energy. It is also very important in brain function. Just like in any diet, this is essential but should not be overly consumed. Great sources of carbohydrates are wheat breads and pasta.
Protein – Another source of energy and aids the body’s building blocks for strength and muscle mass. Rich sources of protein are lean turkey, fish with least amount of fat, like Halibut, tuna and cod, eggs, meat, dairy products, some vegetables like peanuts, soya and asparagus.
Fat – It is still needed, but all you need to consume would be low-fat foods like fish and nuts.
The amount of carbohydrates and protein that nutritionists recommend may differ, but generally these two are what basketball players need more. Nutritionists recommend that a balanced diet should contain about 60-65% of carbohydrates, 15-20% of fat and 10-15% of protein. Make sure to eat vegetables, fruits and whole grain food. Aside from fat, also limit sugar and sodium in your food.
Players are often recommended to eat lots of carbohydrates, at least an hour before the game. This would keep energy stored in the body. Sometimes, players would eat a banana to replenish their energy in the middle of the game. After the game, the body needs to repair itself, eating protein is important at this stage.
It is important to hydrate the body, especially during trainings and practices. The best way to keep the body hydrated is to drink water. Athletes are recommended to drink more than a gallon a day, since they would be sweating out more than that. Water could also provide the needed energy and could refresh the body. Energy drinks are best avoided, since they can be laced with sugar and caffeine which may give the body a quick energy fix but not the necessary nutrients.
It is important for athletes and basketball players to have a meal plan. This would ensure that the athletes are eating properly and what they are consuming is what their body needs. Meal plans would not only include main meals but also snacks like cereal bars, fruits and yogurts.
Following the meal plan would be easy, especially if you would be eating at home. When eating out, you should consider the serving sizes to avoid eating too much. It is okay to eat about 5 to 7 meals throughout the day, but the portion would depend on what would be the goal. For example, there are some basketball players who would like add more bulk, while others would like to reduce weight.