The Easy Basketball Diet | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

The Easy Basketball Diet

December 8, 2012 | Kyle Newell

Must See Basketball Videos

By now athletes understand the importance of good nutrition. However, the challenge I faced was to create a diet for high school athletes that was functional, easy to follow and effective in almost any situation.

You don't need to be told how hectic the life of a student-athlete can be. Between school and classes followed by practice or a game, and with homework later, there's no time or energy to prepare six gourmet meals per day. On the go constantly, you're lucky to have three traditional meals. (For more help, see Bridging the Nutrition Gap for the Student-Athlete.)

Sound like you? If your main dietary concern is performance and getting enough quality calories, then I have an answer for you. Stop using lack of time as an excuse to not eat healthy. The following plan can't be any easier to implement. If you say you can't do it, you must really not want it bad enough. The diet works every single time one of my athletes follows through on it. Feel free to make any required modifications based on your workouts and individual needs.

The Easy Basketball Diet

Breakfast

It's a losing battle to expect student-athletes to have the time or desire to eat five cage-free whole eggs and a cup of oatmeal every morning. They crave something tastier, faster and easier to eat. So I would assign pancakes or a bagel (preferably gluten-free) with grass-fed butter and a protein shake mixed with chocolate milk.

Lunch

Skip the greasy cafeteria food like stale boxed pizza and oily French fries. Taking a page out of Tim Ferriss's book, at the beginning of the week, my athletes cook up grass-fed ground beef to mix with batches of macaroni & cheese. From there, it's easy to portion it out into containers for lunches during the rest of the week.

Snacks

Another mandatory for my athletes is to pack two to four peanut butter & jelly sandwiches to snack on throughout the day. If you're allergic to nuts, try a nut-free substitute like SunButter or pack grass-fed butter and banana sandwiches. These are extremely easy to make, store, won't spoil and taste good while providing the extra calories you're after.

Another daily snack: cold filtered whey protein powder (in shaker bottles) and a jar of raw peanut butter. Between or during classes and before practice or games, I instruct the athletes to mix up their protein with two to three tablespoons of peanut butter.

Dinner

This is even easier. For dinner, simply eat whatever your family is making or having. If you have to fend for yourself, cook up something healthy or have more beef/mac & cheese combo. If you're still hungry before bed, have a large glass of grass-fed whole milk and a few more tablespoons of nut butter or nut butter substitute.

Author's Note: Although I wrote this article specifically with basketball athletes in mind, the concepts are applicable to any athlete's needs. This diet is not appropriate for athletes with high body fat levels, but it could be tweaked to implement another strategy of simplicity, although we wouldn't want as many calories in that case.

Photo: topnews.in

More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

The summer is approaching which bring to mind certain events. People will go to the beach, enjoying a day by the pool, and most importantly people will...

The Cheat Meal Day: Why It's Not So Smart

The 4 Phases of Football Off-Season Training

STUDY: Eat More Fruits and Veggies, Live (Almost) Forever

Football Training: Power Curls

Get in Football Shape With a Weight Vest

Spice Up Your Healthy Cooking With These Lively Combos

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

Adrian Peterson's 2,000-Yard Workout

DeMarcus Ware

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

5 Ways to Fuel Your Early Morning Workout

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

Quickly Build Muscle for Football

5 Nutritional Power Combos for Athletes

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

Summer Football Speed Training Plan

The Case for Red Meat

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

5 Non-Boring Ways To Eat Chicken

4-Week Lineman Training Program

3 Training Hacks for Better Football Combine Results

Football Summer Training Guide 2013

10 Easy Ways to Eat Real Food

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

10 Athlete-Approved, High-Protein Healthy Cereals

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

The Clay Matthews Workout

Build Explosiveness for Football With Resistance Bands

The 5 Strangest Ways Football Players Train

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

2 Killer Workouts for Running Backs

Living Near Fast Food Could Increase Your Odds of Obesity

3 Exercise Swaps Every Football Player Should Make

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

Why NFL Players Use MMA Training (And You Should, Too)

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

Off-Season Football Training for Strength and Power

Functional Movement Training for Football

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

Why You Need Dietary Fiber

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

Essentials of Spring Football Training

The 6 Worst Foods for Athletes

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

The Boston Cannons'

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

12-Week Off-Season Lineman Workout Program

How to Eat Organic Without Breaking the Bank

2014 Summer Training Guide: Football

5 Training Secrets From an NFL Combine Coach

Elite Lineman Training Guide: Bodyweight Exercises

Tips for Healthy Weight Gain

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

5 'Healthy' Side Dishes That Are Worse Than French Fries

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

8-Week Off-Season Football Conditioning Program

Patrick Peterson's Yoga Workout

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Does It Really Matter?

A Guide to Off-Season Football Training

4 Football Conditioning Drills That Work

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

Purdue Football Conditioning Program

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

3 Nutrition Mistakes Endurance Athletes Make and How to Fix Them

How to Deal With Your Sugar Cravings

Small Change, Big Difference: 5 Foods You Should Buy Organic

Diet Changes: 5 Tips to Help You Stick to Your Plan