Basketball is a sport that requires players to run and remain in constant motion for extended periods of time. Because of this, what players eat during the day before a game is very important. The way in which certain foods affect a player can have a positive or negative effect on how they play the game.
Eating Before a Game
If a player eats something with a lot of sugar, he may feel a quick energy boost in the short term, but he'll most likely have a crash in energy as the game progresses. It is best to eat a meal rich in complex carbohydrates an hour or two before the basketball game starts. This will give the player a consistent boost of energy throughout the entire game. Foods rich in complex carbohydrates include pasta, cereal, vegetables, peanut butter and bread. It is also important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of liquids throughout the day as well as during the game itself.
Eating After a Game
Some basketball players say that not eating before a game makes them feel faster and lighter on their feet. Having only breakfast the day of a game and then waiting until after the game is another option that some players use. Players can also choose not to eat anything before the start of a game, and then have a nutrition bar or something small at halftime to give them an energy boost for the second half while not making them feel weighted down by a meal. Also, from a weight-control standpoint, exercising before eating can boost metabolism which breaks down the food faster.