Steph Curry’s Slump? Get that Man an Avocado
By Sara Butler
The NBA Finals haven’t been the most exciting we’ve ever seen. Good defense (or maybe sloppy offense), shooting slumps, suspensions, stars generally not playing like stars -- the Golden State Warriors and the Cleveland Cavaliers are each giving it all they’ve got, but it has been anything but easy at the end of a brutal 82-game schedule and four rounds of playoffs, a tug-of-war we get to watch unfold before our very eyes. No matter the outcome, you have to admire the stamina and the determination of these two teams as they fight -- or occasionally flail away -- for their place in history. LeBron James is trying to cement his position as one of the NBA’s greats by bringing a title to Cleveland, and Stephen Curry is trying to cement the Warriors’ place as the greatest single-season team of all-time.
How do athletes like this reach this level and get there?
Chiropractic care and professional basketball go hand in hand (or hand to spine), but what else do athletes do off the court to stay at the top of their game? Believe it or not, greatness on and off the basketball court has a lot to do with what comes out of your kitchen. And that’s a lesson everyone can benefit from.
Feeling the Burn
Basketball involves a lot of jumping and running and that burns calories, even more if you play defense with a conscience. I’ve seen estimates that put the calorie burn of some players in one regulation game at 3,000! Think about this -- do you think LeBron would be able to guard Draymond Green as well as he did in Game 3 if he didn’t eat properly? No way! He’d be pooped after the first 15 minutes. The point is that athletes have to eat in order to perform.
At 6 feet 8, can you imagine how many calories LeBron needs to keep going? No doubt his calorie needs are different than the average person, but even non-NBA greats need to know how proper nutrition can be a game-changer.
Perfect Nutrition Can Lead to Perfect Performance
So what do these NBA greats (and normal Joes) need to fuel their bodies? A balance of carbohydrates, healthy fats and protein is the winning formula. When you use your muscles during a game of b-ball, you need carbohydrates to not only help to regulate your blood sugar levels, but also regulate the glycogen levels in your muscles. Glycogen is what your muscles need in order to prevent fatigue -- carbs are the gas in your muscles’ tank. You don’t play 48 minutes per night in the NBA while running on empty; heck, you don’t play four minutes -- not if you expect to have a job the following season.
As far as fat is concerned, you may be under the assumption that restricting fat is the healthy thing to do. That is completely false! Your body needs healthy fats in order to have essential fatty acids as an energy source. This is especially true if your chosen activity lasts longer than an hour -- what’s the average length of an NBA basketball game again? Without healthy fats you just won’t have the endurance to keep up. Apart from his 38-point performance in Game 4, Steph Curry is averaging only 18.3 points in the finals -- someone get that man an avocado!
Of course, protein is another important source of energy. The resistance training these athletes go through requires them to eat massive amounts of high-quality protein every day. Klay Thompson’s not just living on 3-point shots, you know.
Don’t Forget About After the Game
After a devastating loss, it can be difficult to keep your mind on your nutritional requirements. I seriously doubt any of the Golden State Warriors were concerned with eating after their 30-point loss in Game 3, although who could fault them for seeking out some comfort food? Eating after exercise is incredibly important to your overall health and performance.
After a long and grueling game -- for you, maybe it’s work -- you’ve used up your body’s stores of energy and fluids, and you need to restore balance to your body. So what does LeBron James or Kyrie Irving eat after busting off 41 points apiece in Game 5? I can’t say for sure, but the team trainer should suggest salty foods such as cheese and pretzels as well as a small meal with all the essentials within 30 minutes of the final buzzer. And I’m sure he has a stash of bananas somewhere!
No matter who wins the NBA Championship this year, you can bet your sweet bippy both teams have worked hard both on and off the court. You may not be an elite athlete or a part of NBA royalty, but the lesson of good nutrition for athletes is something everyone can benefit from. Fuel your body right and you’ll score the best performance from your body that you can!
Now, knock down a jumper and make a splash with good nutrition.
Image Credit: Google Labeled for Reuse