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What Can We Learn from the Nutrition Requirements of Basketball Players

Basketball Nutrition

Playing basketball is an effective way to burn calories, and consequently, burn fat. As explained before in ‘How Effective Is Basketball at Burning Fat?’, playing the sport is “one of the most vigorously active sports in which you can participate; therefore, it is “a super way to burn away unwanted pounds.” Playing basketball is physically draining and that is why players have to keep certain nutrition requirements so they can compete at a high level.

Basketball players nutritional requirements

In this regard, common knowledge suggests that basketball players must have large stores of carbohydrates from healthy food, like whole grains, fruit and vegetables. The paper ‘Carbohydrate Requirements of Elite Athletes’ underscores the importance of carbohydrate intake, stating that a “key factor in coping with the heavy demands of exercise faced by elite athletes seems to be carbohydrate intake.” In other words, carbohydrate intake affects performance. Players who have consumed enough carbohydrates will have enough energy to play at a high level, while players with insufficient carbohydrate intake will generally tire easily, as they will have very little energy once their carbohydrate stores are depleted.

Fat is needed too, but in much smaller amounts. It is utilised during the game’s less intense moments, when players stop play after a whistle or when they jog during the quiet moments of a game. What happens is that the fat is used in the production of aerobic energy, which is mostly to facilitate recovery. This process reduces fatigue, thereby allowing players to go full-tilt once more when the intensity picks up. 

Protein is another important nutrient that basketball players need. The Association of UK Dietitians explains that protein “is required for building and repairing muscles and plays an important role in how the body responds to exercise.” In other words, protein is a perquisite for both muscle building and recovery. As any basketball player knows, building muscle is key due to the physicality of the game. Recovery, on the other hand, helps players train and play frequently across a short space of time. 

Two famous examples

Given these nutritional requirements, it’s no surprise that elite basketball players take their nutrition — and by extension, their diet — seriously. Take, for instance, the Gasol Brothers, arguably Spain’s best and most popular exports to the National Basketball Association. Pau and Marc are very particular with what they eat, cognizant of the fact that they have specific nutritional needs. Marc is very hands-on with what he eats, especially with his history of being overweight. The younger Gasol tried various diets, and his decision paid off; he has slimmed down considerably, and is now widely regarded as one of the best big men in the league. 

Another player known for being notoriously particular when it comes to his diet is LeBron James, a nemesis of the Gasols in international competition. LeBron James earns £61.5 million (€7.17m) a year and the four-time MVP is the second biggest earning sports star in the world. His talent is obviously undeniable, but his devotion to fitness and nutrition certainly helps his cause. Curiously, James went with a drastic no-carb diet prior to the 2014–2015 season. That diet, admittedly, is contrary to the carbs-as-fuel point raised earlier, however, James, like the Gasols, is an elite-level athlete. That means his nutritional requirements are a bit different from the requirements of other basketball players. Not to mention, athletes like James and the Gasols know how to utilise and optimise their energy systems so that they are fuelled both aerobically and anaerobically. 

Conclusion

Needless to say, nutrition is key to great on-court performance. Conventional thinking, would suggest plenty of carbohydrates, a good deal of protein, and some fat. Then again, you should always assess your individual nutritional needs and find out what best works for you.

Article written by Vanya Banks for chape.fitness

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How effective is basketball at burning fat?

How effective is basketball at burning fat

Playing Hoops is a Super Way to Burn Fat, so Get Out on the Basketball Court

Burning calories is how you burn fat. The rate you burn these fat producing calories is directly proportional to how intense the activity is. You have to get your body furnace hot before you begin to burn calories, and therefore fat.

Walking and jogging are the simplest ways to burn fat. Vigorous exercise turns up the flame even more. The key is to increase your heart rate, which in turn burns calories in your body.

One enjoyable and effective way to burn fat is by playing various sports. Basketball is one of the most vigorously active sports you can participate, so it’s consequently a super way to burn away unwanted pounds.

The intensity of the competition will dictate how effective of a fat burner basketball is. Here’s how it works, plus some different levels of intensity that make basketball an increasingly effective way to burn fat.

Why Basketball Burns Fat

The physiological reasons behind why basketball is such an effective fat burning sport are directly related to exercise. Basketball is a game where you have to move around from one spot to another.

Sometimes these movements are at a slow to moderate pace, strategic types of moves to position yourself for a shot or to defend one. However, the largest percentage of the movements you’ll make playing basketball involve running, often at full speed.

Because basketball involves so much running and jumping, it requires exertion that raises your heart rate, even when played at a moderate pace. A full court competitive basketball game is one of the most effective fat burning sports you can play.

Practice

You can even burn calories shooting simple foul shots, even if you shoot alone. Practicing free throws with a partner does limit the fat burning effectiveness, but it’s still a moderate way to burn a little fat.

Shooting by yourself, however, means you have to chase down errant shots and that will help increase your intensity. Layups begin to add the element of running to your basketball workout.

The more intense your layup drills, the hotter you’ll make your internal fat burning machine. Full court layups raise this level even higher, making this practice drill extremely effective as a fat burner.

There are other drills designed to improve your skills as a basketball player, and they will raise your heart rate as well. However, the best way to burn fat while playing basketball is to play any of three different levels of game situations.

basketball for burning fat

Game Situations

There are three types of game situations in basketball that are extremely effective burning fat. All are competitive, but they don’t necessarily require a great deal of actual basketball skill to enjoy.

Of course, the better you play, the more enjoyment and the more productive a player you’ll be. However, to burn fat all you need to do is play the best you can. Here are the three levels of game play you can use to employ basketball as an effective fat burning workout.

· One-on-One

This is a way to get out on the basketball court, even if you only have another partner to play with you. One-on-one basketball is not only a great way to develop isolated offensive skills, but a super way to improve your man-on-man defense.

While you do not benefit from the exertion required to run full court, one-on-one is a game-like situation that requires a lot of physical effort. It is one type of basketball game that is an excellent way to burn fat.

· Half-Court Team Games

There are a lot of situations, especially for older basketball players, where the pounding of running full-court isn’t healthy. In these types of circumstances, you can enjoy the intensity of playing basketball, but only use half the court.

There are half-court leagues, plus this is one way to produce a game-like situation if all you have is a single basket. Driveway and playground courts are perfect intense half-court basketball games.

· Full Court Team

This is the way most basketball games are played. There are a number of sports experts who feel the athletes who play organized and professional basketball to be some of the most gifted and best trained athletes in the world.

Full court basketball is both challenging and physically exhausting. Watching a game on live or on television will make this point clear. There are coordinated substitutions throughout a game to help keep players fresh.

Of course, the level of intensity that you experience playing a full court game will be related to game strategy. Fast breaks in basketball require players to immediately sprint from one end of the court to the other.

Even a slower paced, more deliberate style of full court game, will have transitions after shots, and when the ball is stolen. Each time the ball changes hands in a full court game, all players must run to the other end.

Participating in recreational leagues or playing competitive basketball are both tremendous ways to burn calories. Even shooting baskets for fun is a low-impact type of activity that will burn fat.

When you take part in basketball games, you increase your heart rate and gain aerobic benefits for your fitness pursuits. The bottom line is, basketball is one of the most effective sports to help you burn away fat.

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How can Sports Therapy help you with your fitness goals?

Today I´m delighted to introduce you Anna Pluck, Sports Therapist and owner of Relax Therapies who is going to explain us how sports therapy can help you with your fitness goals.

Are you training regularly with a Personal Trainer?  Or are you just starting an exercise plan?  No matter what your level of fitness an injury could stop you exercising and be very painful.  It could even force you to take time off work! 

Sports Therapy might be just what you need to stay injury free or to rehabilitate an existing injury.

What is Sports Therapy?

Sports therapy takes a holistic approach to treat and prevent musculoskeletal injuries.  It differs from Sports massage because although Sports Therapists use Sports Massage as a technique Sports Therapists are more qualified and trained in treatment of injuries and use other treatments in addition to massage.

In a consultation the Sports therapist will gather lots of information to find out what’s going on in your body.  They might:

  • ask you about your pain
  • look at your posture and gait
  • ask what your current exercise regime is and what your goals are
  • feel for areas of tightness or tension in your muscles
  • measure your joint’s range of movement (ROM) using a special piece of equipment called a goniometer

Using this information they can work out which muscles are damaged or imbalanced and use a range of techniques to help you get better.

One of the main techniques is Sports Massage.  Sports massage uses specialised targeted massage strokes which:

  • Stretch tight muscles and connective tissue
  • Break down scar tissue
  • Increase blood supply to the tissues
  • Promote relaxation
  • Improve Range of movement
  • Help speed up healing

Sports therapists can also advise on home treatment for your injury such as using heat or ice packs and some stretching or strengthening exercises to do.  They might also suggest you work with a good personal trainer to ensure you are doing the right workout to reach your goals.

When should you see a sports therapist?

Although most people think of going for treatment only when they are in pain there are many ways sports therapy and massage can benefit you even if you don’t have pain or injuries.  For example:

  • You could go for a tune up before training for an event or increasing your mileage or intensity. This might pick up an issue, for example, tight hamstrings.  If you address this you might be able to prevent a serious injury further down the line. 
  • Regular sessions while training. There are no set rules for this but if you are exercising very hard for a period of time, e.g. training for a marathon you might find it helpful to have frequent sports massages to keep supple
  • After a major event or race. We all know the aching and soreness and day or two after a really heavy gym session or an event.  This is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness  (DOMS).  A sports massage can help speed up healing and reduce the pain.
  • You have a job or hobby that stresses your body. Many people are at risk of Repetitive Strain injury (RSI) or other injuries from their work.  Having a sports massage can relieve pain and help improve posture to reduce the risk of injury. 
  • Some people choose to have a sports massage every month as it helps them feel good and recover faster
Anna Pluck

Anna Pluck

Anna is a Sports Therapist, Massage Therapist and founder of Relax Therapies in Wirral, England. She provides Sports Therapy and massage from her clinic in Birkenhead. She works with a wide range of people from marathon runners to desk workers with back or neck pain.

You can find out more on her website www.relaxtherapieswirral.com

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Jordan Breakfast Club

I have an exclusive workout for you! As you know,  I´m a proud member of the Jordan Breakfast Club.

I had an interview with the Jordan´s Marketing Director to give them feedback about the workout program. During the interview, I asked permission to share the workouts and she kindly accepted. I am very happy to be able to share these workouts with you! The official workouts are delivered via Facebook Messenger and limited to 300 players per year. I have used Facebook for training before, but I like Evernote better. I copied every message and workout as a note, adding my own little “extras” so, you´ll get the official workouts via Evernote. With Evernote, you can easily record your times, reps, etc. Then you can access this info anytime you need it. The daily training program includes video content that shows users how to complete each routine.

Jordan Club Notebook

Do you want to improve your stamina, quickness, and strength? This is your chance. Do you desire an exclusive world-class workout? THIS IS IT! 

30-Day Challenge to take your game to the next level.

If you Love basketball and want to train like a Pro, what are you waiting for? JOIN THE JORDAN BREAKFAST CLUB!!

After subscribing to the program, you will have the opportunity to begin training immediately: I will send you the link to the notebook with the workouts. Get ready to sweat and give your best for the next 4 weeks. If you have not been able to enter the official program, do not miss this opportunity to become a better basketball player.

 

This challenge is currently closed. We´ll be back soon, stay tuned!