When it comes to making yourself stand out from the rest, many will tell you it is practice, practice, practice. One often major forgotten aspect of improving your game, is diet. Building muscle, while also staying lean and mean, is vital to give yourself an edge that most players around you haven’t thought of. Want to run faster? Jump higher? Then you need to feed your muscles correctly. Here are a few tips on how to maximize your potential by what you put on your plate.
Top NBA players are eating protein at every meal and you should do the same. It builds muscle whilst also speeding up metabolism allowing you to burn fat. Your plate should contain at least 20 grams of protein to get the maximum benefit. Get this from real protein sources like Chicken, Turkey, Quinoa, Beans and Nuts. After you have a workout make sure you give yourself a boost like a protein shake within 30 minutes, as this will help amino acids quickly reach your muscles.
Carbohydrates fuel your workouts and you must tailor them specifically for your individual workouts. Like a car, you need fuel for when you are driving, but when it is in the garage you don’t. If you are planning running or weight training in the gym you will need a lot of carbs to fuel that. Make sure that when you pick them you get the complex variety, not simple. Complex carbohydrates are things like sweet potato, oatmeal and vegetables. Avoid white breads, chocolate and sugary drinks. Eat the carbohydrates 90 minutes before a workout and if it is a particularly hard session, consume a 2:1 ratio of carbs to protein. (1:1 if it was just a light workout).
It may seem obvious, but making sure you eat a large breakfast is vital to being at the peak of your powers. Studies have proven that a breakfast containing high amounts of protein, will maintain a lower fat percentage. Eat at least 20 grams of protein and include a carbohydrate and fats aspect too. An example breakfast would be an bell pepper omelette, Greek yogurt with berries and a slice of bread with non-dairy butter. Make sure you hydrate well in the morning as you have been asleep and your body is in a dehydrated state.
If this all sounds daunting then there is one major point that can help you achieve a complex diet like this – planning. Preparation of your meals, and knowing where you will be, and how you will get your fill, is important to maintaining the strict routine. The reason why people turn to bad food (usually fast food) is because they don’t have time to prepare a high quality meal, so do it in advance or schedule a time when you can prepare meals for the future. If you can stick to a healthy diet, your body will thank you, and when you are on the court you will reap the benefits when your crossover does not need to be as tight to beat a man, or your leap gets you more rebounds. Thank me later.
*Views expressed in this article should be treated as being of merely informative nature. Hoopsters are requested to consult their coaches and qualified nutritionists before embarking on diet plan.