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Basketball Diets for Teens

By Jeremi Davidson ; Updated July 18, 2017

Teen basketball players exert a great deal of energy during a game and, therefore, require a diet that will provide them with enough fuel to get through the game. By consuming foods with high energy values, you will perform at a higher level every time you take the court. Eat these foods consistently during the season, as they will help you maintain high levels of energy at all times.

Calories

Your body uses calories for energy, so you must get enough calories into your body daily. According to Lehigh University Athletics, the average basketball player will change movements 997 times per game, even though only a small percentage of the game will include high-intensity movements. As a result, most basketball players require between 20 and 23 calories per day per pound of body weight to meet the required energy levels.

Carbohydrates

Eat complex carbohydrates, which you will find consistently in foods such as pasta, rice and whole grains. The University of Maryland Medical Center reports that consuming carbohydrates will increase your body’s supply of glycogen, which is turned into energy. Make sure that 50 to 60 percent of your daily caloric intake comes from carbohydrates, as this will keep your glycogen levels high.

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Protein

Your body needs protein to help with the recovery process, as practices and games will wear down your body tissues. The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that most Americans already consume twice as much protein as they need, so most athletes will not have to change their diets. Foods like poultry, lean beef, eggs and cheese contain high levels of protein and provide many benefits without adding too much to your fat intake.

Healthy Fat

Once the body has burned off its carbohydrates, it will turn to your body fat for additional energy. Lehigh University Athletics reports that basketball players should consume about 0.45 grams of fat per day for every pound of body weight. Foods such as nuts and olive oil that contain healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats will supply your body with extra energy without introducing other health concerns.

Fluids

You must stay hydrated during a game, as dehydration leads to fatigue and injuries. The Atlantic Coast Conference suggests consuming sports drinks during a game, as they provide electrolytes and carbohydrates, which will aid energy levels. You should consume about 8 oz. of sports drink every 15 to 20 minutes, as this ensures that your fluid levels stay at a optimal level.

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