Basketball players

Nutrition requirements:

Basketball requires intermittent high-intensity performance, endurance and speed for running and manoeuvring, strength for jumping and throwing, agility, precision and tactical thinking. It requires long-lasting energy, increased protein intake and proper hydration.

You need plenty of complex carbs for energy and to maintain concentration, a fair amount of protein to build and repair muscles and some healthy fats.

Key points:

1. Make sure you eat regularly throughout the day. Don’t skip meals. Each of your meals should contain good sources of complex carbohydrates for energy and protein for muscle maintenance.

2. A pre-game/training snack, about one hour before, is a must to give you extra energy. A smoothie is a good choice for both energy and hydration. Check out the Snacks section for more ideas.

3. Game/training snack and drink – if you’re playing/training for more than an hour, bring an energy bar or a banana to keep your energy levels up. You may also need an isotonic drink to replenish minerals lost through sweating.

4. Post-game you need some more carbs to replenish your muscle glycogen stores and protein for muscle recovery – ideally within 45 minutes of the game/training. A falafel wrap, beans on toast or protein shake with fruit are all good choices.

5. You burn a lot of energy so some healthy fats throughout the day will help you keep a healthy energy balance. It could be nuts and seeds, avocado, or cold-pressed oil drizzled over a salad or pasta. Just make sure you don’t eat anything fatty before you train.


Sample Meal Plans: Endurance Athlete if you’re an amateur, Strength Athlete if you’re a pro!

Inspiration: Kyrie Irving, Chris Paul, JaVale McGee, Wilson Chandler, Diana Taurasi, Cleanthony Early

Wilson Chandler, of the Brooklyn Nets, on his vegan diet change: “I sleep better, I wake up in a better mood, I recover faster, I’m not so inflamed, not so achy. I feel better overall, in everything that I do. I can take in more information easier. My mind is just open.”


You might also like...

Scroll up