The 2019 NBA Finals are in full swing with the Toronto Raptors playing the Golden State Warriors. In our last blog post, Train Like a Basketball Player, we took a look at some of the go-to workouts that NBA players like Giannis Antetokounmpo and Steph Curry do in the off season to stay in shape. In the second part of this blog series, we’re going to take a look at the diet habits of current and previous NBA legends.
What do professional basketball players look for to start their day out right? Breakfast is the most important meal of the day; it gives you the energy to power through the rest of the day. When players are training rigorously throughout the day, they eat a high carb meal, such as a whole wheat bagel, scrambled eggs, a banana, and a cup of fruit. It’s imperative for athletes to eat at least 20 grams of protein for breakfast in order to get their body away from the fasted state developed while sleeping. An example of a great breakfast would be an omelet with turkey, cheese, onions, and bell peppers, one cup of Greek yogurt with a fruit like blueberries, and two glasses of water to stay hydrated. LeBron James has been known to enjoy a breakfast of an omelet, bacon, and French toast.
Lunch is the halfway point in the day when protein and high carb foods are the most beneficial. For example, players may eat meals consisting of whole wheat pasta mixed with vegetables like broccoli, carrots, or cauliflower, with low fat Parmesan cheese and chicken or shrimp. A cup of orange juice is a common way for an athlete get their necessary sugar intake without it being heavy on the stomach. When experts say to eat protein-based meals, they mean foods like chicken, fish, beef, eggs, turkey, quinoa, or Greek yogurt. Kawhi Leonard (Toronto Raptors) interviewed on how he eats healthy while on the road and said he enjoys local businesses that provide fresh foods.
Not every meal needs to be a huge one. Snacking throughout the day is common among athletes, especially before or after hard workouts. Kawhi Leonard said he doesn’t want to play feeling like he has a full stomach, so the most he would eat would be a protein bar. LeBron James, on the other hand, swears by eating a peanut butter & jelly sandwich before a game to curb hunger and get protein from the peanut butter, which is known to reduce cramping.
Dinner is often the same as lunch: full of protein packed meats like chicken, fish, and beef. The goal is to recover from the rigorous training of that day. With the proper post game meal, players don’t need to rely on supplements to get the nutrients they need to recover. Lean meats, wild-caught fish, nuts and seeds, fruit, and a lot of vegetables can be found on the dinner plates of players such as Jeremy Lin, Derrick Rose, Blake Griffin, and even LeBron James.
Though we all might not be able to follow a strict diet plan like these phenomenal athletes; we can improve our current diet habits little by little. For personalized meal prepping and macro help, stop into Anytime Fitness Lake Geneva to meet with one of our Wellness Physicians that are certified in nutrition. Call today for more information (262) 248-2422. For more diet tips and exercise plans, follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Be sure to check back with our blog every month for more fitness and diet tips!