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A Look at the Diets of the NBA’s Finest Players

To perform well, NBA basketballers not only put in hours of training, but also observe special diets. One basketball player noted for his thorough training regime and diet is the LA Lakers’ LeBron James, who many consider the greatest basketball player of all time. 

James’ influence normally ensures his team are among the front runners in the online betting, although this year is slightly different, the Lakers are seen as outsiders at 15/1, although many are expecting James’ influence to upset the bookies.

Below is a look at the diets that James and other NBA stars observe to help themselves give their best chance of success on the court.

LeBron James

Nutrition is a big part of James’s success, but he’s somewhat secretive about his diet. For weight loss, he’s known to have cut out carbs, sugar and dairy. At one point, he ate almost nothing but meat, vegetables and fruit for 67, according to Men’s Health online quoting James from a report in Sports Illustrated.

Before game time, he’ll maybe eat a chicken breast or a little pasta, the pasta offering plenty of fuel for the high-octane games out on the court. He’s also happy with salad and vegetables or with fruit and a protein shake.

Before the playoffs, he’ll ramp up the carbs for energy. Importantly, he’ll cut out sugars. Doing both help him recover from the post-season faster.

Stephen Curry

Stephen Curry, of the Golden State Warriors, observes a straightforward, highly balanced diet. He gets his energy in the mornings from smoothies, fresh fruit, cereals, milk, eggs and avocados; for lunch and general fitness eats fresh fruit, fibre, lean meat, seafood or chicken sandwiches for protein, and for carbs or fats eats sweet potatoes and flax seeds, and shrimp for multiple sources. When dinner time rolls around, he eats quinoa, flax seeds, chicken, sometimes pasta and salad for nutrition.

Generally, he’ll stay clear of complex carbs, junk foods and processed foods to stay fit and healthy. He’ll also use a variety of supplements, including whey protein to preserve muscle mass. His careful observation of his diet helps him to stay flexible, fit and healthy out on the court, and to move fast and shoot with precision.

Kevin Durant

Kevin Durant believes meals shouldn’t be missed because they provide us with the right amount of energy. He even fits in small meals — which consist of fresh fruit juice, smoothies, salads or fruit, which boost energy levels and keep lethargy at bay — between the larger ones.

Durant sticks to low-carb dinners, eating usually chicken or turkey. He fuels up at the start of his days with gluten-free oats, an omelette, spinach, tomato and feta cheese. At lunchtime, it’s all about fish and seafood, which could be salmon, sea bass, catfish or scallops, plus a salad and a smoothie. Durant’s chef encourages the basketballer to also consume plenty of omega-3s to assist muscle recovery and reduce inflammation.

Before games, he’ll avoid gluten because it’s hard to digest. As a healthy snack, Durant will guacamole with quinoa chips or carrot slices. He might even eat a “performance ball” of oats, peanut butter, dried berries and either flax or chia.

Giannis Antetokounmpo

Like Kevin Durant, the Milwaukee Bucks man Giannis Antekounmpo will eat several small meals a day. This is important not just for digestion, but also to help his body absorb the nutrients more easily and get the most out of his food. Antekounmpo avoids cutting carbs out completely, instead opting to limit his intake so he can still supply his body with the necessary energy. 

He likes to begin his day with an egg sandwich and some fruit, possibly some oatmeal and bacon. From there, it’s all about the high-protein meals, such as chicken and steak, although after game he also likes to eat pasta. He’ll consume protein shakes 45 to 60 minutes before his workout and, to stay hydrated throughout his workouts and throughout the day, drink water constantly.

Luka Dončić

There was some controversy when the Dallas Mavericks star was accused out on social media of being fat. Although his game isn’t based around as much around athleticism, and although he’s not looking to become as muscular as some of the other players, Dončić has looked to shape up more. 

As some in the basketball world have commented, some players simply aren’t “salad eaters” and believe that as long as they eat healthily and train hard, they’ll be able to perform. A big reduction in the amount of pasta he eats has been key and he observes a high-protein, low-carb diet. Depending on his training schedule, Dončić will eat four to six meals a day. Like other athletes, he also drinks plenty of water.

To be at the top of their game, NBA stars work hard in the gym and in practice halls, but also eat a healthy diet. Eating the wrong foods can damage their performance, making them slow and inflexible on the court, which no player playing in the most prestigious basketball association in the world wants.

Written by Mark Greene

Mark Greene is writer and life coach dedicated to helping men to perform at peak level. He shares dating advice, style tips and strategies for building wealth and success.