Basketball Players: Build Muscle With Nutrition

February 5, 2013 | T. J. Allan

Must See Basketball Videos


Each year, basketball becomes more physical. Although height is still the predominant physical attribute of basketball players, today's game requires them also to be strong and muscular. And the best way to build muscle for basketball is to focus on daily protein intake.

Protein serves as the primary structure of muscle. To get bigger and stronger, you need an adequate supply of protein so your muscles can recover and regenerate. Without it, your muscles won't get bigger and may actually decrease in size, even if you work out regularly.

The recommended dietary allowance for males 14 to 18 years of age is 52 grams of protein per day. Remember, that's the minimum amount of protein required each day. Basketball players—especially if they are strength training—require more. Most strength coaches recommend 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight for athletes looking to gain muscle mass.

The best sources of protein are lean meats, fish, chicken breast, eggs, cheese and milk. Some athletes who have a hard time consuming large amounts of food rely on protein powder supplements to fulfill their daily requirement. The best protein powders for athletes are whey protein or a mix of whey and casein protein. These ensure that you get all of the amino acids your muscles need.

A word of caution: don't gain weight just to gain weight. In sports that require power and speed like basketball, being too heavy is as bad as being too skinny. As the needle on the scale moves up, basketball players must pay attention to their vertical jump. At a minimum, it should remain the same. Ideally, it should increase as your muscle mass increases.

Eating too many bad carbohydrates, such as sugar, candy bars, chips, pizza and nachos, may add weight, but it won't be 100% functional muscle mass. In fact, most of it will probably be fat, or what coaches call non-functional mass. It tends to slow players down, decrease their vertical jump and eventually cause chronic injuries.

Instead, focus on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. They supply adequate, long-term energy, and minimize potential fat gains.

Find more tips for basketball nutrition in these articles:

Photo: gegeblog.com

Topics: BASKETBALL
T. J. Allan
- Born and raised in Gillespie, Illinois, Allan received his Doctorate of Pharmacy from St. Louis College of Pharmacy in 2007. He is Functional Movement Screen-certified,...
T. J. Allan
- Born and raised in Gillespie, Illinois, Allan received his Doctorate of Pharmacy from St. Louis College of Pharmacy in 2007. He is Functional Movement Screen-certified,...
Must See
Jadeveon Clowney on Making Big Hits
Views: 4,984,239
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,561,460
Colin Kaepernick Explains His Ridiculous Socks
Views: 27,635,002

Featured Videos

A Day in the Life of NBA D-League Star Seth Curry Views: 68,738
Kevin Love's Cone Hop Basketball Shooting Drill Views: 8,003
Eastbay Path to the Pros Episode 2: Laying the Groundwork Views: 131,367
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Perfect Dwyane Wade's Signature Euro Step
Views: 1,308,758
What Ryan Hall Eats for Breakfast
Views: 795,255
STACK Fitness Weekly: How To Do a Muscle-Up
Views: 778,651
Greg Nixon's Hill Training Program
Views: 705,761
Roy Hibbert 540 lbs Deadlift
Views: 1,561,460

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

Veggies Fueling for athletics requires achieving adequate amounts of macronutrients- carbohydrates, protein and fat. However, in order to keep you...

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

How Marc Gasol Got Better by Overhauling His Diet

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

5 Non-Boring Ways To Eat Chicken

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

Why You Should Always Say No to Diet Foods

Spice Up Your Healthy Cooking With These Lively Combos

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

5 Simple Food Swaps That Make Eating Out Healthier

The Case for Red Meat

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

5 Nutritional Power Combos for Athletes

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

The 6 Worst Foods for Athletes

Why You Need Dietary Fiber

10 Athlete-Approved, High-Protein Healthy Cereals

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

Healthy Eating at Restaurants: Decoding a Diner Menu

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

The Boston Cannons'

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

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

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Living Near Fast Food Could Increase Your Odds of Obesity

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

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

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

How to Eat Organic Without Breaking the Bank

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

The Grain Guide: How and Why to Use 8 Healthy Whole Grains

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

6 Healthy Foods You're Overeating