Basketball is a taxing sport. Not only does it take a lot of energy to play, but the constant running and jumping wear down your body. Players need ways to refuel, and snacks are a great way to make that happen.
There are many tasty treats that help players get energy before, during, and after games. However, not all snacks are created equal. Some, while good, do not have the essential nutrients your body needs. Others, while seemingly good for you, aren’t as healthy as they first look.
The following foods are a quick, easy way to fuel your body for when you’re out of energy or when you need to get prepared for the big game.
Basketball players need a lot of healthy food options in order to charge or recharge throughout the day. Smoothies make that happen by providing you with the exact vitamins and minerals you need to do your best on the court.
The drinks kick off our list because of their inherent versatility. Many snacks give you exactly what you expect. Eat an apple, you get the nutrients in an apple. However, you can always change up a smoothie based on your personal preferences.
An orange-based drink will give you extra vitamin c, while a spinach-based smoothie will provide you with more calcium and vitamin-A. Additives like peanut butter go a long way too.
You also have the option to tweak a smoothie based on taste. While you don’t want to add in unhealthy foods like milk chocolate, you can experiment with different healthy foods until you reach one that is suitable for your palate.
2. Homemade Trail Mix
Homemade trail mix is another great way to stay energized before, during, and after games. Though some store brands make great snacks, a lot of them come with unhealthy options. Making your own limits such issues and keeps you in control of your diet.
As with smoothies, trail mix is incredibly versatile. There are many delicious foods you can throw into your bag before heading to the court. Nuts give you protein along with healthy fats, while dried fruit or pretzels give you a source of simple carbohydrates. Fresh granola gives you a boost as well.
However, you don’t have to stop there. There are many ways to boost your trail mix’s taste. Dark chocolate, peanut butter chips, healthy cereal, sunflower seeds, or even light popcorn all come together to create a sweet, salty snack to keep you moving.
Just be aware of how many tasty choices you’re adding to the mix. Overloading your granola with chocolate chips makes it unhealthy. However, a handful enhances the entire snack without compromising your workout.
3. Potassium-Rich Fruit
Every basketball player experiences cramps at one point or another. The seizes occur when you overuse a muscle to a point where it becomes strained or dehydrated. That then severely limits your mobility and prevents you from playing.
To fix that issue, there’s potassium.
Potassium is one of the most important nutrients for basketball players because it keeps your muscles working no matter how hard you play.
If you lose too much potassium while sweating, it can lead to large problems down the line. There’s nothing worse than getting into primetime and not being able to play because your muscles won’t work the way you want them too.
Potassium after or during play is a good way to replenish your body, but it is particularly effective about a half-hour before an extended play session.
Bananas are perhaps the most well-known potassium-rich food. However, there are many other options that help give your body the essential nutrient. That includes carrots, avocados, nuts, tomatoes, prunes, apricots, and raisins. A glass of orange juice or a baked potato work as well.
It does not matter which option you prefer. Simply go with the one that tastes best and is easy to consume.
4. Peanut Butter Sandwich
In line with the two above sections, peanut butter is a fat-rich snack that gives your body a lot of power. Though many people choose to add theirs to a smoothie or protein drink, a sandwich is an extremely effective snack for basketball players everywhere.
The food not only provides you with fat and protein, but whole-grain bread also give you fiber. That combination enables you to play longer and harder than you normally would. It also gives you extra calories, which is a nice bonus for long periods on the court.
The sandwich will stay fresh for most of the day, and you can also add to it if you want.
A bit of jelly isn’t going to hurt anyone, and neither will honey or bananas. Don’t be afraid to be creative if plain peanut butter isn’t for you. If you don’t like peanut butter, or if you want to experiment, you can use other nut butters like cashew and almond.
The last snack on our list is tuna. Fish, like chicken, is a lean protein that helps refuel the body in a natural and healthy way. Where red meat can weigh you down, tuna in water gives you an extra spring in your step.
The fish in water stands well on its own, with a bit of mayonnaise, or with grain crackers and fruit. While not as easy to transport as other options, tuna will give you much-needed energy before and after plating.
Tasty Ways to Energize
Snacks are extremely useful to athletes. Being able to refuel your body before and after a workout cuts down on injuries, helps you recover, and keeps you in tip-top shape.
While there are many snacks out there, the ones in this guide provide you with specific nutrients that will keep you going practice after practice and game after game.