All about nutrition for basketball athletes

This article will be useful primarily for basketball athletes. Here you will learn what the proper nutrition of basketball athletes should be in the process of preparing for competitions, what can and cannot be eaten by basketball athletes and much more:

Intensive physical exertion, high nervous-emotional stress of the struggle, focus on record-breaking results are inherent in modern sports. The process of preparing for competitions requires an enormous amount of time from an athlete and usually includes two or three daily exercises, leaving less and less opportunities for rest and full recovery of physical performance.

Basketball player

A powerful means of recovery is proper nutrition for basketball athletes. It is the power that is able to expand the boundaries of the athlete’s organism adaptation to extreme physical exertion. Modern sports training aimed at achieving high results requires an athlete of great stress physiological reserves and mental abilities, which often leads to an overstrain of physiological systems and reduce the functional state of the body as a whole. This is manifested, in particular, in significant changes in the resistance of the athlete’s body, which leads to a decrease in resistance to infections, the occurrence of allergic reactions and other diseases. In this regard, it is important to normalize the interaction of load and recovery of the body as factors that determine the adaptation processes. In these processes, great importance is attached to a balanced diet, which also takes into account the impact of adverse environmental factors and climatic and geographical conditions.Good nutrition means complete supply of the body with all vital nutrients, from vitamin A to zinc microelement. Good nutrition is a matter of good food choices and their compatibility. We do not consume isolated vitamin A, cholesterol, fat, and sodium, but food that contains these food items as its ingredients. No single food can provide all the necessary nutrients. However, there is also no food that would bring either only good or only harm. Therefore, the key to proper nutrition is always in the appropriate amount and combination of foods.

Despite the important role of pharmacological drugs and “artificial” methods of supporting the athlete’s body, they will never replace healthy food. Sports, of course, have a positive effect on health, but if there are regular workouts, then you need to be very careful about the diet. In the absence of an adjusted diet, an athlete has various deficient states that subsequently lead to a breakdown of the body systems. This may be accompanied by a decrease in performance, immunity, appetite, as well as lack of coordination and sleep, apathy (or irritability), osteoporosis (manifested as pain in the joints and bones), myalgia (muscle pain) and arthralgia. A full and balanced diet has always been, is and will be an important factor in ensuring good health, but the nutrition plans of most ordinary people barely allow them to cover the body’s expenses on the most essential and simple life processes, such as blood circulation, respiration, digestion, brain activity and maintaining body temperature .

Nutrition planning and responsible competitions. In order to plan food in preparation for important competitions, it is necessary to understand how the body stores and burns fuel – and fats, which are in the form of subcutaneous deposits and in the form of fatty acids in muscles, and carbohydrates stored as glycogen in muscles and liver.

When the body needs a certain amount of energy, it turns these fuel reserves into glucose and sends it to muscle cells. There, oxygen helps break down it, turning it into adenosintriphosphat (ATP). Within just a few seconds, ATP is mixed with water, then re-split, generating heat. Some of this heat helps in muscle contraction. The rest gives a feeling of warmth (this explains the fact that the trembling – involuntary muscle contractions – warms).

In order to turn fats into glucose for fuel, the body needs both carbohydrates and oxygen. Thus, the amount of carbohydrates (in the form of glycogen) that is stored in the liver and muscles, determines how long the body is able to continue to perform physical activity. When the glycogen stores in the liver run out, it will mean that the body has lost the main fuel necessary for the brain to work – weakness, chills, dizziness, loss of clarity of thought and can throw in cold sweat. You can get out of this state very quickly by eating foods rich in carbohydrates. If the stock of muscle glycogen is really exhausted, then in order to restore its reserves, it will take at least 10 hours.

According to one controversial theory, drinking a diluted solution of sugar during — but not before the race — can make up for the upcoming loss of muscle glycogen, but there is no reliable evidence. It is only known that this process can cause dehydration, which is a real threat in hot weather. Even during the most effective aerobic stage of work, the anaerobic process is still partially carried out, and a certain amount of lactic acid accumulates in the body. As the muscles continue to contract, they send lactic acid into the bloodstream, getting rid of it, because they carry the most significant physical exertion.

As long as the body receives enough oxygen, the liver turns lactate into additional fuel. If exercise exceeds the capacity of the organism, the liver is unable to fully meet the needs of the organism; lactic acid accumulates in the muscles, causing pain, and the athlete is forced to stop moving because he is unable to continue the exercise.

Proper nutrition of basketball athletes before the competition. What is eaten 12 hours before a workout or competition determines the amount of glycogen deposited in the body for upcoming work. Food taken 4 hours before the start of classes can hardly affect the quality of work, because it does not have time to process the body and turn into the required amount of energy. Therefore, the upcoming participation in long-distance races, any other competitions requires very careful planning. Since many of them start early in the morning, dinner the day before is usually the last chance for the body to stock up on fuel.

Eat more potatoes, whole grain breads, sauces, rice, and other carbohydrates — until it gives you weight gain. Eat very little fat – they impede digestion. Avoid spices, as this may develop dyspepsia from foods that can cause swelling and the formation of gases, such as legumes, cabbage. This last meal should be low in fiber, since eating it within 24 hours before strenuous physical effort can cause an upset stomach. This means that it is necessary to abandon salads and fresh fruit. In case of an upset stomach, you should refuse whole grain bread, milk or coffee. It is also necessary to refuse salt, having excluded sausages and other salted products.

It is normal to salt food during cooking, and thus it will be enough in the body to protect itself from heat stroke, and do not consume it in too large quantities. Salt can cause in the cells of the body the need for additional fluid, which will slow down the movement, make them clumsy. You should not eat less than 2 hours before any physical activity. In preparation for very important competitions, the last meal (breakfast or lunch) should take place 4 hours before the start. If you begin to perform intense physical exertion before the food is completely digested, you may experience nausea, pain in the side caused by the accumulation of gases, and this may even cause you to go the distance. Many people are too nervous and do not eat anything at all 5 or 6 hours before the big competition.

When you eat before a competition, food should be light. Simple and refined carbohydrates, such as white flour products and fruit juices, are digested much faster and contain less fiber than complex carbohydrates, such as whole grain cereals. Avoid fats and proteins because they lengthen the process of gastric emptying. The purpose of feeding at this time is to get food from the stomach into the blood as soon as possible if you want to perform on an empty stomach. The food before the competition will not give extra energy to the sprinters because their competition will be over by the time the carbohydrates turn into fuel. When practicing endurance sports, on the contrary, it is possible to use a certain amount of glycogen newly formed by the body.

If there is a need to eat something before the competition, then you should abandon solid food, preferably liquid diets specifically designed for this purpose. They provide the necessary amount of nutrients for the muscles and are more rapidly excreted from the stomach than solid foods, so such liquid mixtures and products can be consumed just before the competition. A common misconception that, following a sports diet for a few weeks before important competitions, you can get a good shape is wrong. During the competitive period, it is generally very risky to change your diet, as such “experiments” cannot lead to anything good. An organism accustomed to one food will not be able to “get comfortable” quickly, which will undoubtedly affect the result.

General nutritional characteristics of basketball athletes. It is known that the body of an adult weighing about 70 kg contains about 40 kg of water, 15 kg of protein, 7 kg of fat, 3 kg of mineral salts and 0.7 kg of carbohydrates. It is also estimated that in 70 years of life, he drinks 50 tons of water, eats 2.5 tons of protein, 2.3 tons of fat, over 10 tons of carbohydrates and almost 300 kg of salt. But the organism is not a warehouse where everything pledged is stored in an inviolable form.

Healthy fruit

Here, metabolic processes are constantly taking place, some substances are burned, oxidized, excreted, and instead new ones are needed, and of a very different nature. For example, blood cells live from 60 to 140 days, and within a year the blood is completely renewed about four times. Muscle cells also change throughout life. The restructuring of the tissues is due to the fact that the athlete eats, and in the name of optimal growth of the body, sporting achievements and health promotion, it is necessary to be attentive to your diet all year round.

There are no clear and rigid rules regarding what an athlete should eat and drink.

Nevertheless, there are general recommendations: do not abuse fatty, fried, smoked and spicy foods, as well as factory-made sugar and salt. Salt is an indispensable nutrient (especially potassium), but the problem of its consumption, like, in general, the whole “science” of sports nutrition is a double-edged sword. Excess salt can disrupt the body’s water balance and adversely affect your reaction. Diversify your diet with a wide range of healthy foods – you will be more likely to provide adequate “nutrition” of the body with essential nutrients. Two more very important points in the nutrition of basketball athletes: the habit of eating on the go and overeating. Getting rid of these habits will certainly help to become more healthy and increase the productivity of classes!

I would also like to note that it is desirable for an athlete to forget about three meals a day, since it is far more useful to distribute food between 5-7 meals a day, than to lean on edible, sitting at the table three times a day. The essence of the matter is very simple: in addition In addition to the main nutrients (macroelements), which are sources of energy, food contains substances that do not provide energy, but are absolutely necessary in minimum quantities to sustain life. These include vitamins and minerals. These substances are irreplaceable, since they are almost not synthesized by cells of our body. It is known that with increased physical exertion, the need for vitamins and minerals increases. It follows that it is necessary to look for additional sources of obtaining these substances.

Most basketball athletes have hypovitaminosis of various essential vitamins, which leads to impaired performance and the entire training process as a whole. In most cases, even a diet properly chosen by a sports doctor cannot fill the body’s need for vitamins and trace elements, therefore it is advisable to look for additional sources of these substances. A big role here is played by multivitamin complexes.

Assigning vitamins is a strictly individual procedure.

Instead of using all the vitamins and minerals at once, it may be worth doing the two or three that a particular organism needs most. Consultation with a doctor is the most necessary thing to do. For a person who leads an active lifestyle, it generally should be included in the rule.

Nutrition for female basketball athletes. The diet should include vegetable fats, vitamins A, E, D, at least 1500 mg of calcium, 20 mg of iron, 2-3 mg of copper and 4-6 mg of manganese per day. The elimination of iron and vitamin deficiencies, especially during the menstrual cycle, is promoted by the use of diets enriched with meat products, vegetables, greens, and fruits.

It is necessary to eat meat dishes with side dishes of vegetables, as the ascorbic acid contained in the latter has a positive effect on the absorption of iron. As a source of calcium, dairy products are most useful. If necessary, a decrease in body weight, activity level and metabolic features of the athlete’s body can use only a certain amount of calories derived from food. If too much is eaten at one time, then the excess calories will be able to find a refuge for themselves, deposited as “dead fat” under your skin. Such valuable carbohydrates, proteins and other macro-and micronutrients uselessly go to body fat.

Nutrition young basketball athletes: It is especially important to pay attention to the rational nutrition of young basketball athletes. First of all, this responsibility lies with the coaches. Given the fact that the young body is constantly evolving, it is advisable that the number of calories consumed with food exceed energy costs by 15%.

An important role in the nutrition of children and adolescents involved in sports is assigned to proteins, which are necessary for the normal growth and development of speed and power qualities. In the diet of young basketball athletes, the proportion of animal proteins (meat, fish, poultry, cottage cheese, cheese, eggs, milk) should be at least 60 percent. The remaining 40 percent should fall on vegetable proteins. Also, the need for vitamins and minerals, especially in potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, gland in young basketball athletes is significantly higher than that of their peers who are not involved in sports. It should be noted that despite this, the consumption of 300–400 g of vegetables per day and 500 g of fruits and berries in most cases allows eliminating the deficiency of vitamins and minerals.

The principles of the diet of basketball athletes:

– the flow of energy substances from food must correspond to the energy consumption during physical exertion;

– when choosing products, one should take into account the content of sports activities (active training, period of preparation for competitions, competitions, recovery period);

– food should be balanced, taking into account the peculiarities of this sport and the intensity of the loads. Between the amount of essential nutrients, vitamins and trace elements must be balanced;

– it is necessary to take into account the individual characteristics of the athlete: his gender, age, physiological, metabolic characteristics, the state of the gastrointestinal tract and other organs, the presence of diseases, tastes and eating habits.