Basketball Nutrition

Basketball Nutrition

Basketball is an explosive sport with very specific energy needs. Basketball players have very specific demands on their body. While running for most of the game, starters need to preform many short, explosive movements, over the course of a game. The average basketball player runs between 3.5-5km per game, with many starters sometimes reaching in-excess of 10km per game. This is in addition to jumping, passing and shooting. Due to their constant movement as well as short explosive bursts, basketball can be considered both anaerobic and aerobic.


Understanding the difference between these energy systems and how to properly fuel your body can make the difference between being an average player and an all-state player.  Many NBA players credit their nutrition and healthy eating to be the difference that sets them apart from average players.


The average female basketball player who is a starter needs approximately 3,500 calories a day to maintain energy levels and muscle mass, the average male needs approximately 4,500 calories. The primary fuel for basketball is carbohydrates. In order to compete optimally a basketball player requires 55% to 65% of their daily caloric intake to come from carbohydrates, 15-25% from protein and 15%-20% from fat. In other words, your diet should be nearly 2/3 carbohydrates and 1/3 protein & fats, with an emphasis on healthy fats. Not all carbohydrates are equal though, a whole wheat bagel is a better option than a donut. Pasta and sweat potatoes should be chosen over fried foods like french fries or breaded fried chicken.


Lactic acid build up and cramping is also a big concern for many basketball players. With proper nutrition and supplementation, cramps and muscle fatigue due to lactic acid can be greatly reduced or eliminated all together. Keep in mind that supplementation should follow the WADA regulations.


Proper hydration is crucial for athletic performance. Dehydration can cause over-heating, reduced reaction time, cramps, muscle tears, decreased strength and endurance. Hydration isn’t just for practice and games, staying hydrated all day is very important.


What’s a basketball nutrition program like?

1. Sports Specific- the SD should take into consideration the energy and hydration demands of each basketball player including their position and whether or not they are a starter into account.

2. 100% customized.

3. Foods you like and eat.

4. Support and help all throughout the way


I personally provide all that not only for endurance athletes but also teams like basketball players. Reach out for queries or directly book a discovery call here