Basketball is a fast, high intensity power sport requiring agility, strength, skill and aerobic fitness.
Carbohydrate is your primary source of energy, and should remain high.
1. Allow you to maintain high-intensity activity for longer periods of time;
2. May reduce recovery time between high intensity bursts of activity;
3. Can positively influence your speed and power of play;
4. Allow you to train more intensely.
A low carbohydrate diet will result in fatigue and poor performance. Fatigue
is the greatest risk factor for injuries in basketball players. Skipping meals, and
timing meals poorly will result in poor performance.
Choosing low-fat, nutritious carbohydrate foods in the correct amounts
for your body and your sport, you will have the energy you need, and
keep your body weight where it should be. Carbohydrate choices
need to be balanced with low fat, high protein choices
High Carbohydrate Food Choices
Cereal, eggs, omelet, pancakes, waffles, toast, bagels, oatmeal, grits, orange juice, fruits.
Low fat Sandwiches with bread or rolls. Choose turkey, ham or roast beef.
Pasta with low fat toppings & sauce, salads. Fruits.
Lean Meats = (turkey, chicken, pork or fish), potatoes, pasta, rice.
Vegetables, salad, fruit. Low fat frozen yogurt.
Pretzels, Fruit, Yogurt, Energy bars, Cereal, Water, Gatorade
Pre-Practice Eating / Pre-Game Eating
The goals of the pregame meal are to: Top up your energy stores to ensure plenty
for competition. Leave you feeling neither too hungry nor too full. Ensure full hydration. Choose high
carbohydrate, low fat meals to ensure adequate digestion,
and sufficient energy.
Cereals with low-fat milk, fruit, toast and juice; pancakes, syrup and fruit; baked potatoes with low fat fillings; pasta with low fat sauces.
1. Have a normal sized meal 4 hours before the practice or game, a snack 1-2 hours before.
2. If you have an early morning game, have a high carbohydrate meal the night before, and a snack 1-2 hours before the game.
Sweat losses can be great during practice or a game. Failure to replace these losses, or to maintain hydration will affect performance, and may negatively impact a players health. Thirst is not a good
indicator of fluid needs, therefore
basketball players must drink on a regular schedule.
Drink at least minimum one water bottle, 20 fluid oz.
G2 During Game:
4-8 ounces every 15 minutes and every time you go to the bench. Alternate between Water and Gatorade.
Drink minimum 20 fluid ounces Gatorade or Water.
Drink at least 20 fluid ounces Gatorade or Water.
Plus drink some kind of recovery protein shake or drink.
Continue to drink water not soda until bed.
Recovery after practice or game:
• Recovery strategies are important to help repair your body after training / competition, and to ready
your body for the next
game or training session.
• The 20 minutes after completion of training / match is a critical period for recovery.
• Consume a high carbohydrate snack or drink and include small amounts of protein.
• Use recovery drinks or shakes, or energy bars, fruit, yogurt and peanut butter can be useful.
• Be sure to consume a high carbohydrate post-game meal with lean protein and limit fried foods.
• Continue to drink water and other fluids (not sodas) to replace that lost during your activity.
• Your urine should be colorless if you are properly hydrated.
Sample Player Nutrition Plan:
2-egg omelet with shredded cheese and spinach
1C quick-cook oats with 2 tbsp maple syrup
1 banana [can be cut into oatmeal]
8 oz skim milk
2 granola bars
1 piece of string cheese
½ C blueberries
20 oz water
2 slices whole-wheat bread
4 oz tuna mixed with 1 tbsp mayo
1 oz bag of pretzels
20 oz sports drink
1 container light yogurt
1 slice whole-wheat bread with 1 tbsp peanut butter
20 oz water
1 sweet potato with
2 tbsp brown sugar and
¼ tsp cinnamon
4 oz chicken breast
1C steamed broccoli
2C salad [spinach leaves, bell peppers, walnuts and Italian dressing]
20 oz water
½ C nonfat cottage cheese
½ C pineapple
1 oz whole-grain snack crackers
Nutrition Information courtesy of:
Alan Stein is the owner of Stronger Team and the head strength and conditioning coach for the nationally-renowned DeMatha Catholic High School boy’s basketball program. A performance consultant for Nike Basketball as well as the head conditioning coach for the annual All-American Athletes.