Nutritional Habits of Basketball Players

Learn how to adapt your nutritional habits to the dietary needs of basketball. Each sport has its unique characteristics and we shouldn't overlook them.
Nutritional Habits of Basketball Players

Last update: 15 November, 2019

All sports have a characteristic diet and basketball is no exception. Basketball players must mix strength with agility and jumping. In addition, a basketball player can run up to three miles per game.

The exercises that this type of athlete must face are aerobic and anaerobic. In short, it’s a sport of strength, race, speed, and great resistance. And, not to mention that there are so many enthusiasts.

For all of these reasons, the body of a basketball player must remain well nourished.

A diet full of carbohydrates

Unlike most other disciplines, basketball players are allowed to eat all types of carbohydrates. From the heaviest to the most digestible, they are all fundamental to energizing bodies of size and volume.

Nutrition habits: one plate of rice.

So, basketball players consume a lot of rice, pasta, potatoes, quinoa, bread and heavy fruits such as bananas. Ingestion is only reduced if there is a morning workout, although usually, a basketball player is allowed to invest time in their digestion.

The minimum carbohydrate intake should be 0.08 ounce/pound. However, these percentages will depend on the player’s own build. This will define especially his position within the field: forward, defensive player, etc.

Proteins for muscle recovery

The consumption of meats is also important for the recovery of fatigued muscles. Remember that the weight of the player favors physical activity. Here there are no limitations: meat, chicken, fish, etc. Eggs are also an important food, as with almost all sports.

Nutrition habits: girl eating salmon.

To obtain vitamins, minerals and amino acids, the design of a varied diet is essential. This type of athlete does not have to lock himself in a food group and can eat almost anything. As for harmful fats, they should be restricted to the maximum, replacing them with products such as olive oil.

From this perspective, it seems that the diet of the basketball player is heavy compared to that of other athletes. We must remember that we are talking about a sport with four periods of 10 minutes, breaks and continuous substitutions. The necessary skills seem to be the power, strength, and speed of the player at all times.

Depending on the player position

The basketball teams have different positions to exercise different functions, and each player occupies a certain position depending on their phenotype and game characteristics. Obviously, nutrition has a lot to do with the function in basketball.

For example, the base and the escort are the players that are at the forefront of the attack. Both are fast, powerful and skilled with the ball, so this diet will be a little less caloric. This type of player must be well hydrated to withstand the constant comings and goings.

The physical state of the center and the power forward are very different. Both are tall players, heavy and strong. They’re defensive positions, these types of players will be bulkier and will run less on the court. For this reason, they will require a more caloric diet.

Basketball: diet per game and season

Another aspect that influences dietary planning is a tournament. During the initial phases the teams tend to play once a week, but with the move to playoffs, things change.

Just one week can provide up to four matches, depending on the configuration of the championship. In these phases, the diet becomes stricter and the energetic waste is high.

Another key element, above all, at the level of hydration, is the existence of the half times. During these times, the players can take a breath and hydrate. Water and energy drinks for athletes are vital to avoid dehydration.

Nutrition habits: bottles of sports drinks.

In addition to this, the end of each match marks an important nutritional moment. In the first moments, players should consume drinks with a concentration of 6 percent carbohydrates. The objective: recover lost glycogen during physical activity. In this phase, the consumption of sodium-rich (salty) foods is also recommended.

In summary, the basketball player’s diet is intended for a strong, powerful and large person and will be very different from that of an athletic runner, or a swimmer. Recovery is essential, as well as maintaining weight and musculature.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.