Good basketball players care so much about their diet. This is because what they eat is one of the factors that determine how successful they become as basketball players. Well, there are other factors like practice, workouts, will power, etc, but diet is at the center of it all.
A basketball player’s proper diet should be none the less a balanced meal. But even more important than that is that their diet should be able to supply them with a lot of energy, bone benefits, stronger muscle, ligament protection, endurance, and agility.
Here are some of the foods that make up a proper diet plan for professional basketball players.
If you are a basketball player, you just have to go banana over bananas because they are that good, for athletes especially. The three top reasons why bananas are so important to athletes is that they are very rich in potassium; a reliable source of instant energy, and a healthy sleeping pill alternative.
Basketballers sweat a lot when they perform, and they lose potassium in the process, which exposes them to the risk of weakness, fatigue, muscle cramps, heart palpitation, muscle stiffness, breathing difficulties, and whole other symptoms that no basketball player ever wants to experience. So, include bananas in your diet.
As a great source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids; salmon deserves to be on this list. They have quite an impressive list of nutrients aside from protein and omega-3. They include a wide range of vitamins which help in turning foods into energy, repairing and creating muscles, and reducing inflammation.
It also contains potassium which helps to control blood pressure and reduce the risk of stroke; selenium which is a trace nutrient that helps in the protection of bones; and a bunch of other good stuff.
3. Brown Rice
Rice is one of the most common sources of carbohydrate consumed as a primary food item in many parts of the world. This is because it is nutritious and a very reliable source of energy. It gives you the fuel you need for your physical activities as a basketball player.
You can eat brown rice hours before an intense practice or workout routine. This will help you to exercise harder and to stay filled for long.
We know that some basketball players who are vegetarians may not want to depend on animal protein. That makes sense. In that case, they can turn to beans as their source of protein. Beans are equally as “protein-good” as their aminal based counterparts. And there are varieties of beans, which means you don’t have to eat one type of food all the time.
Note that non-vegetarians should also take the advantage and eat beans to gain more protein, this time, plant-based.
Aside from being a good protein food, beans are also rich in fiber, vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron. Like every other proteinous food, they help with the formation of new cells and the maintenance as well.
5. Lean Beef
Here is another high-quality protein-rich food that has been helping athletes stay on top of their games for long. Lean beef consumption can facilitate the process of muscle development, and this can help you tremendously as a basketball player. You’re definitely going to be exposed to sports risks and injuries, but having good muscle mass can help reduce the impact of these risk exposures and help you heal faster in case of any injuries.
Lean beef has high-calorie content as well. This is a very good way to fill up your energy reserve to help you stay active in the court.
6. Low-Fat Yogurt
A very good example of low-fat yogurt is Greek yogurt. It’s usually recommended for basketball players and other athletes for good reason. Low-fat yogurt contains little fats but they have a good protein content, and that alone can give you an edge as a basketball player.
Research shows that many athletes experience increased lean mass muscle development when they consume low-fat dairy products like Greek yogurt. But not all dairy products are created equal. Greek yogurt comes with far more protein content than ordinary plain yogurt.
One of the foods you have to pay attention to if you want to gain some healthy muscles are eggs. It contains high-quality protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and choline. The protein content of eggs, which consist of amino acids, do not just help with muscle gain, but also helps with other muscle functions and protection. This is very important for basketball players seeing as they make use of their muscles a lot as they perform.
The choline content in eggs has other big benefits as well. It is good for brain function, physical and mental performance. Reports have it that choline can help to treat and avoid drug addiction as well.
8. Chicken Breast
Do you ever wonder why experts take their time to specify what part of a chicken should be included in your diet as an athlete? Obviously, chicken has different parts with different nutritional components, and chicken breast is better than the other parts of a chicken.
Chicken breast is very rich in protein minerals, vitamins, and it contains no carbohydrates at all. It is good for promoting muscle development and preventing sports injuries that may arise while, running, jumping, or dunking.
Basketball players run a lot, they jump a lot too, and they take little rests at intervals. This means they need good sources of sustainable energy like quinoa to help them keep up with their game. Quinoa is rich in carbohydrates more than any other nutrients. It can fill you up faster and keep you filled for longer while providing you with great health benefits as well.
A serving of quinoa contains fiber, magnesium, protein, and phosphorus; that is aside from carbohydrates.
Peanuts are made up of protein, carbohydrates, and unsaturated fats. They are also rich in amino acid “Leucine” and many other trace nutrients. This is a very good snack for basketball players or a good topping when combined with other foods.
More importantly, all these nutrients in peanuts combine to make it high in calories, which is exactly what you need to keep you going while playing basketball.
Again, if you want to run faster and jump higher, you need to feed your muscles right. You can go ahead and include a wider variety of food items aside from the ones already listed here, so long as they will help your cause. If you’re still confused about what you should eat as a basketball player, you can talk to a professional to help you come up with meal plans that are good for speed, agility, endurance, and strength.