You’ve practiced, lifted and watched all the film you possibly can. Now it’s game day. If you’re like many high schoolers, you probably wake up, grab a prepackaged breakfast “food” and zip out the door. Later you chow down on a state-approved lunch during a few moments between classes. By the time you get to the field, you’re probably asking yourself, “Why didn’t I grab an extra sandwich?”
Yeah, don’t do that.
Proper fuel will prime you for your best performance. To get you the right meal plan, STACK connected with registered dietitians who advise the pros in just about every single sport.
Here, we give you an assist with recommendations from the 17-time NBA champion Boston Celtics. Read on to find out how the Celts fuel up before tip-off.
Expert: Boston Celtics Nutritionist Joan Buchbinder
Tip-Off: 8 p.m.
Basketball Meal Plan
Note: Eat all meals until you’re comfortably full. Exact amounts vary from person to person.
Breakfast (upon waking)
“I would suggest [a meal of] good carbohydrates with protein,” Buchbinder says. “Maybe an omelet with some veggies, like peppers, mushrooms, onions, broccoli, spinach, asparagus—really, whatever [vegetables] they like. Add to that a bagel, English muffin, or whole grain toast, along with some fruit. If you want pancakes, waffles or French toast, as a good source of carbohydrates in the morning make sure you have some protein too like scrambled eggs, yogurt and/or milk”
Learn how to make Olympic marathoner Ryan Hall’s power-packed pancakes.
Lunch One (around noon)
“Lunch one could be some pasta with red sauce and some chicken or meat sauce for protein. Throw in some salad and whole grain rolls” Buchbinder says. “That 12:00 that lunch meal could theoretically still get into those muscles for an 8 pm game. Have a tall glass of juice on the side for those extra carbohydrates.”
Lunch Two (approximately 4 p.m.)
“Lunch Two could be a big turkey sandwich [with vegetables]. Chocolate milk with a nice turkey sandwich, and if potato or pasta salad is available, [opt for that].”
Pre-Game Snack (approximately an hour before tip-off)
“If it’s an hour before, theoretically one of the best choices for them would be a liquid meal,” Buchbinder says. “[Try a] protein shake and some fruit. They can probably tolerate that an hour before, but that’s not the time to start snacking on some blueberry muffins and Snickers bars.”
Post-Game Recovery Snack (immediately after the game)
“Chocolate milk has gotten its reputation as a good recovery drink from that carb-protein ratio,” Buchbinder says.
Post-Game Meal (approximately one hour after the game)
“Pizza is a great recovery meal for a student. Carbs from the crust and veggies, protein from the cheese! Opt for chicken over pepperoni. A turkey, roast beef, or grilled chicken sub or wrap is easy too! That would be way better than getting a plate of wings,” Buchbinder says.
Get more athlete meal plans.