We recently spent some time with first-round NBA Draft pick Brandon Knight at adidas' NBA Rookie Orientation (check out our event coverage at STACK TV). Knight has always been considered a special athlete with a great head on his shoulders. But you may not know how his pre-activity fueling and hydration plan helped push him to the next level. Below, he breaks down three aspects of pre-game nutrition that keep his game constantly improving.
Eating Throughout the Day
"Definitely start off with breakfast. That's the most important meal," says the Detroit Pistons sixth man. The 20-year-old says eating breakfast first thing in the morning gets his metabolism going. He then eats at regular intervals, consuming four to six meals throughout the day—something that nutritionists encourage all athletes to do. Knight warns that athletes who don't fuel properly risk lacking sufficient energy to perform.
Healthy Pre-Game Meal
Knight often enjoys a pasta dish before competing (plenty of healthy carbs), but he doesn't eat the same thing before every game. "A lot of guys eat certain things before a game," he says, "but I'll eat anything as long as I feel good." He's not saying he eats whatever he feels like; he keeps it healthy but switches it up. Take a look at STACK's Pre-Game Meal Guide for specific ideas on how to fuel up for wins.
Knight says, "You can't perform to the best of your ability if you're not hydrated." He's a strong advocate for consuming enough fluids to stay hydrated, allowing athletes to perform at the top of their game. Nutritionists agree with his contention that without sufficient hydration, you will not be able to produce the force and energy necessary for peak athletic performance. (Learn how to stay hydrated.)
No doubt Knight has a bright future in the NBA. The Pistons showed their faith by selecting him in the top 10 of the 2011 Draft. In the five games he's played so far, the commanding point guard has averaged 11.2 points, including a breakout night against the Cleveland Cavaliers, in which he shot 10 for 13 (3 for 5 from beyond the arc), for an early career high of 23 points. Considering his knowledge of the game and the importance he places on eating right and staying hydrated, we wouldn't be surprised if Knight cracks the starting lineup sooner rather than later.
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