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Athlete Nutrition Helps to Fight Fatigue and Provide Essential Energy!

Proper athlete nutrition is required to play and train for sports at optimal effectiveness. When I first started researching nutrition for sports I was a little surprised at some findings. Once I put proper basketball nutrition into my training, though, I could really tell the difference.

Athlete nutrition is a little different than nutrition for less active individuals. Basketball players and other athletes require more calories and carbohydrates than "average" individuals. This is because more energy is burned and more cell recovery is needed for a more physically active individual.

I do provide a list of top foods for athletes , but I recommend reviewing this page and the calorie breakdown page first, they can help you take your performance to the next level. You can also check out the smoothie recipes page for some delicious recipes that are also nutritious (especially for athletes)!

I'll start with a few steps you can take to begin, a summary of the key components of proper basketball nutrition, and then go into more detail about each:

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Steps to Start Getting Better Nutrition for Sports

  • Get yourself a body composition scale
    A body composition scale can give you your calorie goal and help you to monitor how much body fat you are losing and muscle mass you are gaining (as opposed to just weight).

    In other words: It's going to help you determine the effectiveness of the athlete nutrition guidelines you've incorporated into your training.

  • Eat at least 6 meals a day
    Also make sure to eat shortly before a workout, and definitely after a workout or game. Smaller, more frequent meals help to provide consistent energy and metabolism throughout the day.
  • Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
    Your mom has been telling you all of your life to eat your fruits and vegetables, and as usual, she's right. Fruits and vegetables are full of anti-oxidents that help keep you healthy. The healthier your body is, the more efficient your body is. What this means is that your training will be more effective because you can gain more muscle, and your endurance will be better because you are healthier.
  • Limit or Cut Out Greasy, Sugary, and Other Unhealthy Foods
    These foods can really hinder your athletic performance. Sure, they may taste great, but they are poor athlete nutrition. Try to avoid foods such as:
    • Potato Chips
    • Doughnuts
    • Breakfast Cereals (more "kids" cereals with high sugar, like Trix, Lucky Charms, Golden Puffs, etc.)
    • French Fries and other deep-fat fried foods
  • Drink Plenty of Water and Keep Hyrdrated...

WATER/HYDRATION

athlete-nutrition-water

Everyone knows that water is the most important component of life. You can go much longer without food than you can go without water.

Athlete nutrition begins with consuming enough water before an event to begin it hydrated and remain hydrated throughout the event. It is required to absorb the nutrients provided by proper sports nutrition. Lack of water also leads to dehydration, which can lead to injuries and cause fatigue.

  • The consensus appears to be that at least 2 cups of water should be consumed with every meal. Even if you have a "liquid meal," make sure to drink water as well.
  • 4-8 Ounces of chilled water should be consumed every 10-15 minutes during physical activity.
    I've not come across exactly why, but chilled water is said to be absorbed better, not to mention it helps to cool you down.
  • Being hydrated before any activity is extremely important, but Re-hydrating is also extremely important. Drink a minimum of 2 cups of water/fluids within 2 hours (preferably sooner).

Keep a "Food Journal"

You won't know if you're using proper athlete nutrition if you aren't keeping track of it. You're going to want to know your total caloric intake and percentages of key nutrients

Your daily calories should equal anywhere from 23-25 calories for every pound (to maintain current body composition). Some sources say your caloric intake should be equal to your weight X 23: my body composition scale has the ratio coming out to about 25 calories for every pound.

You're also going to want to have meals/daily intake based on certain percentages of carbs, protein, and fat. As basketball is a "hybrid" of numerous short energy bursts that are high-intensity and maximum output, as well as an endurance activity, the common daily intake is 60% Carbs, 20% Protein, & 20% Fat.

Note that this is "on average", as everyone's body is different. A good rule of thumb, though, if you don't have access to a licensed nutritionist


The Finish Line
Top Foods
Nutrition Breakdown
Smoothie Recipes
High Protein Foods


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