In order to recognize the nutrition and hydration requirements of a basketball player, and develop to plan to assist meet those needs, the framework of game day, practices, and also the off-season should be considered.


In stimulate to recognize the nutrition and hydration requirements of a basketball player, and develop to plan to aid meet those needs, the framework of game day, practices, and the off-season must be considered. The rule of the game, which allow for regular substitutions, time-outs, breaks between quarters (high school and professional) and a halftime break, lend themselves come incorporating great nutrition and also hydration habits. These habits should it is in developed and maintained in practices and training sessions transparent the year.

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An actual video game of basketball is of reasonably short duration, ranging from 32-48 min of full playing time depending upon the level. However, like any type of sport, players have responsibilities before and after a game, throughout which time nutrition and also hydration should additionally be a consideration. During the season, methods will differ in duration and also intensity, although many teams will practice, lift weights, prepare v film sessions, or compete six days every week. Basketball is a long season; for high school and college athletes it spans semesters and the holidays, i beg your pardon in many cases influences the nutrition and also training of the athletes. Tournaments and also playoffs carry out unique obstacles with multiple games in one day or gamings on continuous days. Lastly, return off-season expectation vary based on the level, many basketball players are engaged and hydration plans have to be occurred within the framework of the game and with consideration for training and also practices throughout the season and year-round.


Alan Stein


High college is a unique time duration in working with athletes since of the wide selection of age, maturity, and physical stature. Regardless of this differences, in general, plenty of high school basketball football player have bad nutritional habits, perform not get adequate sleep, and lack suitable recovery and training techniques. Addressing these worries is vital to keeping players healthy and maximizing your performance.

The vain Season

High school basketball games usually happen 2–3 times per week and are structured as four 8-min quarters through a 10-min halftime. Many high colleges will play 25–35 gamings per season, depending upon tournament play. The structure of game day varies widely among high schools. Part may have a walk-through or shoot-around appropriate after school on weekdays and also in the morning that a weekend game. Coaches may have actually a set meal coordinated with a walk-through; others leaving it approximately the separation, personal, instance athletes and also parents. During the warm-up, most coaches will certainly take the team into the locker room in ~ a set time, which can be provided as a plan fueling opportunity. Due to the fact that of the good variability in schedules and also strategies of different coaches, and also school rule on eating and drinking throughout the day, one individual approach needs to be used to for sure players are adequately fueled.

The frequency the practices throughout the season will vary depending on the video game schedule, but are commonly 4–5 times every week, approximately 2 hrs in duration, and consist that moderate come high-intensity drills concentrated on skill work, conditioning, and also offensive and defensive sets and schemes. The afternoon front to most games, teams usually gather because that 30–45 min to talk about the opponent’s scouting report, walk v plays, and get in added shooting practice of short to moderate intensity. In addition, part coaches host film sessions before practices 1–2 times every week, which require around 15–20 min of mental intensity. Many coaches will likewise maintain in-season stamin workouts about 1–2 times every week, 20–30 min in duration, with moderate intensity. The timing of practices and workouts different greatly, often because of gym ease of access and coaches’ schedules, due to the fact that most don’t coach basketball full time. The player’s having lunch schedule and also school policies are one more consideration. Therefore, high college players need help in identify not just the right foods items to eat, but likewise the appropriate time come eat in relation to their school day and practice/training/game schedules.

The Off-Season

The see of high school basketball in the United claims has adjusted vastly over the past 20 years. For both males and also females, the currently year-round mental and also physical requirements of the sport space at an all-time high, together is the compete to earn a university scholarship. The 2 biggest transforms include specializing in basketball in ~ an earlier age and participation on AAU travel groups in enhancement to their high institution team, thus making that a year-round sport. The framework of practices and training programs of high school basketball players need to be adjusted accordingly to accommodate for these two trends. Because that example, football player participating in the sport at this level of appointment could advantage from a year-round strength and also conditioning program concentrated on injury prevention, using sound recovery approaches (including enough sleep), and also developing good nutrition and hydration habits.


Jeffery Stein, DPT, ATC


Collegiate basketball athletes usually selection in period from around 18–22 years. If physically and physiologically they are a an ext uniform group than a high institution team, maturity levels vary greatly. The change during the student in the first year year can be daunting for some as they relocate away from home for the first time. Transition challenges include creating healthy eating and sleeping habits. Additionally during the student in the first year year, players room usually introduced to an ext intense collegiate strength and conditioning programs, and many players will certainly greatly adjust their body composition over your collegiate careers.

Lastly, the student-athletes have class, practice, and also eating schedules that vary each day and from semester come semester. Athletes must be able to juggle their academic schedules and also the requirements of your sport, as well as the social atmosphere of a university campus. The day-to-day variability in schedules way preparation is vital for ideal fueling throughout the day.

The vain Season

College basketball gamings are structured through two 20–min halves through a 15–min halftime. Many colleges will play around 25–35 gamings per season, relying on the level (NCAA division I, II, III, NAIA, or NJCAA) and also tournament play. NCAA teams must follow the 20–hr rule, which states teams are allowed up come 20 hrs of team activities per week, not consisting of competition. Team-related activities can incorporate practice, film, and weight training. Most programs will exercise 4–6 days every week, depending on the game schedule, and also practices might be up to 3 h that high-intensity work. In addition to on-court time, athletes space expected to attend film sessions, stamin train, and resolve injuries in the cultivate room as soon as needed. Overall, the time commitment is better than together a high institution athlete. The travel requirement throughout the compete season is additionally greater and, depending on the level, much more time-intensive. When the top department I programs charter flights to return home the night ~ a game, smaller sized schools depend on bus trips and spend far-ranging time top top the road. The delivery of food and also nutrition services likewise varies based upon level. Most top-level schools have a sports dietitian on staff for consultation and education, yet even in ~ the division I level, the usage of a registered dietician different greatly between schools. In ~ the majority of the significant and mid-major universities, athletes are noted a “training table,” or a cafeteria with foods items selected particularly for the athletes. However, per NCAA rules, just one enjoy the meal at the cultivate table have the right to be detailed per job while the athletes are on campus. Snacks, such together fruits, nuts, and bagels, can also be listed along through occasional meals on one-of-a-kind occasions. At smaller schools, athletes count on their very own cafeteria plan, and the budget is often limited to provide meals and also snacks ~ above the road. Overall, the needs of the sport increase at the collegiate level compared to the HS and also AAU levels, together with the boosted demands inserted on the athlete to likewise handle your academic, family, and social lives. The increased demands merged with the boosted independence of the athlete do it difficult to ensure that they are as necessary fueling and also getting sufficient rest.

The Off-Season

The bulk of collegiate basketball players room one-sport athletes and dedicate the off-season to boosting their game, back multi-sport athletes are discovered at every level of competition. Most collegiate basketball players will be offered a brief time off after the competitive season, typically 2–4 weeks, to recharge and also catch up on family and also school matters as important before starting back with skill work and strength and also conditioning workouts.

Basketball commitments during the off-season will certainly vary depending upon the level and coaching demands. Spring semester workouts can selection from captain-led workouts and open gyms come coach-led individual ability workouts that vary from 1 to 5 athletes at a time. The non-competitive season is likewise prime time because that the strength and conditioning routine to ramp increase to job-related toward the specific goals collection for every athlete. Throughout the summer, athletes at smaller colleges room usually in ~ home and also often balance one off-season maintain program noted by your coach with a summer job. At bigger schools, the athletes space usually ~ above campus for summer school and also summer workouts. These workouts include strength and conditioning sessions 3–5 days every week and also on-court workouts with the coaches. Overall, throughout the off-season the NCAA enables up to 8 h the team-related activity per week, 2 h that which can be direct contact, through the basketball coaches on the court.

Back ~ above campus in the fall, again the commitment will vary depending on the level. Most teams will begin up with open gyms and strength and also conditioning workouts as quickly as the athletes arrive ago on campus. Soon after the start of the college year, individual workouts can take location with the coaching staffs. During the preseason, coaches deserve to work through players top top the court for up to 2 h every week, preparing for the vain season.


Jack Ransone, PhD, ATC


The finest of the best basketball players do it to the skilled level. For the an initial time, the athlete’s schedule is completely dedicated to the sport; however, there are also increased demands for the athlete’s time for charity work, endorsements, social obligations, etc.

The competitive Season

For masculine athletes in the unified States, the national Basketball combination (NBA) regular season operation October-April, v the playoffs extending into June. It is not unusual to pat 3 come 4 gamings per week v the opportunity of contending on back-to-back days. Each team theatre 8 preseason games and also 82 games in the regular season. Teams competing in the people Championship finals will play end 100 gamings in a season and also postseason. Ladies play in the Women’s nationwide Basketball combination (WNBA), whose constant season of 34 games runs June—September, with playoffs expanding into October. For both leagues, most team techniques are brief (less than 1 h) and also infrequent because of game and travel demands. Travel demands are extensive, including a minimum of 42 regular season gamings on the road for the NBA and also 17 because that the WNBA. Both the NBA and also WNBA have the high-end of travel by charter aircraft and remaining at the best 5-star hotels with excellent restaurants. Many teams also employ or consult v a sporting activities dietitian. However, nutrition is still a challenge, as most players look for meals top top their own at restaurants outside the regulate of the team. Additionally, throughout a game, hydration is always a challenge. Inadequate hydration during competition can be further jeopardized by the need for air travel immediately short article game (low humidity setting of the fuselage) for half of the regular season games. Provided the length of the regular season, frequency the games, and also travel demands, proper nutrition and hydration techniques are important and also should be planned into the schedule wherever possible.

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The Off-Season

Professional athletes space employed based upon their capacity to remain competitive. Therefore, the off-season is a period of time to recuperate from the lengthy season, rehab injuries, construct a base fitness level, and focus on ability development. Overall the schedule is an extremely individual. For example, younger NBA players can play in the summer league, while veterans might focus an ext on recovery and also some certain skill work. Every players will participate in training camp and preseason games, basically extending the compete season.