Eating habits directly affect athletic performance

During basketball season nutrition and performance are two key words that play a major role in players’ lives.

Athletes must also maintain good eating

habits in the off-season.

“I have been in the league for a while now and I know that putting forth nutritional efforts can increase your performance on the court throughout the season,” said Marc Jackson, a forward/center for the Minnesota Timberwolves.

“My diet consists of adequate amounts of both carbohydrates and protein. I

also consume at least five to six meals a day.”

Only the most rigorous training and nutritional program can prepare an athlete for a full-court basketball season. Eating the right foods is very important for basketball players.

“It is important athletes eat a certain amount of high quality carbohydrates to insure a sufficient amount of energy,” said Shankar Shetty, of the campus health center.

“I would also suggest avoiding fatty foods, increasing calorie intake and drinking fluids on a consistent daily basis.”

According to, the aim of a nutrition program is to make the body healthy enough to accomplish recovery and tissue repair speedily without adding body fat. Eating the wrong foods too often could sabotage fitness efforts.

“I have experienced that when I eat a healthy meal, I perform better on the court, but when I eat foods such as hamburgers and pizza I feel slow and immobile,” said Michael Joiner, small forward for Florida State University men’s basketball team.

Aside from eating healthy during basketball season, it’s also important to eat the right foods during the off-season. recommends athletes avoid processed foods, saturated fats and sugars. Instead a diet concentrated on fruits, vegetables and other high fiber foods will protect your immune system as well as increase your physical ability to perform well in sports. A healthy diet and plenty of water is the right way to keep the body in good shape.