FROM THE TRAINING ROOM …
Player nutrition has come a long way since the days of Jordan and Bird playing H-O-R-S-E for Big Macs. Players these days know that in order to get the most out of their bodies, they have to monitor what they put into them. In order to make that happen, they often seek help from experts. Here are some dietary and nutritional tips from three of the best in the biz.
HYDRATION, HYDRATION, HYDRATION
“Being properly hydrated is essential to optimal performance and recovery,” says LA Clippers team nutritionist Meg Mangano. “It helps everything in the body work better, and it is the most impactful yet least threatening goal to begin with. Individual needs vary, but the general recommendation is to consume 1/2-1 ounce per pound of body weight in fluids per day (200 pounds = 100-200 ounces per day).”
TAKE YOUR VITAMINS
“We can always pop a multivitamin, but getting our vitamins and minerals from our foods is preferred,” says Lindsay Langford, a sport dietitian at St. Vincent Sports Performance who consults for the Indiana Pacers. “Absorption rate is typically higher than a capsule format, so look to dress your plate in ‘color’ for a full array of vitamins and minerals that aid a full array of bodily functions and needs.”
“While carbohydrates have become stigmatized as evil these days, they are necessary for the athletes I train, both pre- and post-workout,” says “Hoops Whisperer” Idan Ravin, a training guru who’s worked with Steph and LeBron. Langford agrees: “Carbohydrates are still the bodies preferred and primary energy source. If you’re training, be sure to pack the ‘bookends’ of your workout with carbs.”