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


In stimulate to recognize the nutrition and hydration demands of a basketball player, and develop plans to aid meet those needs, the structure of video game day, practices, and the off-season must be considered. The rules of the game, which permit for regular substitutions, time-outs, breaks between quarters (high school and also professional) and a halftime break, lend themselves to incorporating good nutrition and also hydration habits. These actions should be developed and maintained in practices and training sessions throughout the year.

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


Alan Stein


High institution is a distinct time period in working v athletes since of the wide range of age, maturity, and physical stature. Nevertheless of these differences, in general, numerous high school basketball players have poor nutritional habits, perform not get sufficient sleep, and lack appropriate recovery and training techniques. Addressing these problems is crucial to maintaining players healthy and also maximizing your performance.

The compete Season

High school basketball games usually take place 2–3 times per week and also are structured as four 8-min quarters with a 10-min halftime. Many high institutions will play 25–35 games per season, depending upon tournament play. The framework of video game day varies widely among high schools. Some may have actually a walk-through or shoot-around best after college on weekdays and in the morning that a weekend game. Coaches may have actually a collection meal coordinated v a walk-through; others leaving it as much as the separation, personal, instance athletes and also parents. Throughout the warm-up, many coaches will certainly take the team into the locker room at a collection time, which deserve to be supplied as a planned fueling opportunity. Because of the great variability in schedules and strategies of various coaches, as well as school rule on eating and drinking during the day, an individual strategy needs come be used to ensure players are adequately fueled.

The frequency that practices during the season will certainly vary relying on the video game schedule, however are typically 4–5 times every week, about 2 hours in duration, and also consist of moderate to high-intensity drills concentrated on skill work, conditioning, and offensive and also defensive sets and also schemes. The afternoon front to most games, groups usually gather because that 30–45 min to discuss the opponent’s scouting report, walk through plays, and get in extr shooting exercise of low to moderate intensity. In addition, part coaches hold film sessions prior to practices 1–2 times every week, i m sorry require about 15–20 min of psychological intensity. Most coaches will additionally maintain in-season stamin workouts about 1–2 times every week, 20–30 min in duration, with moderate intensity. The timing of practices and also workouts varies greatly, often as result of gym access and coaches’ schedules, since most don’t coach basketball full time. The player’s having lunch schedule and school policies are an additional consideration. Therefore, high institution players need help in determining not just the right foods items to eat, but also the right time come eat in relation to their college day and practice/training/game schedules.

The Off-Season

The landscape of high college basketball in the United claims has changed vastly over the past 20 years. Because that both males and females, the currently year-round mental and also physical demands of the sport space at one all-time high, as is the vain to knife a university scholarship. The 2 biggest alters include specializing in basketball in ~ an previously age and also participation top top AAU travel groups in addition to your high school team, thus making that a year-round sport. The structure of practices and training program of high school basketball players have to be adjusted as necessary to accommodate for these 2 trends. For example, players participating in the sports at this level of commitment could benefit from a year-round strength and also conditioning program concentrated on injury prevention, making use of sound recovery approaches (including adequate sleep), and developing great nutrition and also hydration habits.


Jeffery Stein, DPT, ATC


Collegiate basketball athletes usually variety in period from about 18–22 years. If physically and also physiologically they are a an ext uniform team than a high school team, maturity levels differ greatly. The transition during the student in the first year year can be difficult for some as they move away from house for the very first time. Transition challenges include developing healthy eating and also sleeping habits. Additionally during the student in the first year year, players space usually introduced to much more intense collegiate strength and also conditioning programs, and also many players will certainly greatly adjust their human body composition over their collegiate careers.

Lastly, the student-athletes have actually class, practice, and also eating schedule that vary each day and also from semester to semester. Athletes must be able to juggle their scholastic schedules and the demands of their sport, and the social environment of a university campus. The day-to-day variability in schedules way preparation is vital for ideal fueling transparent the day.

The vain Season

College basketball games are structured v two 20–min halves with a 15–min halftime. Countless colleges will certainly play about 25–35 gamings per season, relying on the level (NCAA department I, II, III, NAIA, or NJCAA) and tournament play. NCAA teams need to follow the 20–hr rule, which says teams are allowed up come 20 hrs that team tasks per week, not consisting of competition. Team-related tasks can encompass practice, film, and weight training. Most programs will exercise 4–6 days per week, relying on the video game schedule, and practices might be as much as 3 h of high-intensity work. In enhancement to on-court time, athletes space expected to attend film sessions, toughness train, and attend to injuries in the training room as soon as needed. Overall, the moment commitment is higher than together a high school athlete. The take trip requirement during the competitive season is additionally greater and, depending on the level, an ext time-intensive. When the top division I program charter flights come return house the night after a game, smaller schools count on bus trips and also spend far-ranging time on the road. The provision of food and also nutrition services likewise varies based on level. Most top-level schools have actually a sports dietitian on staff for consultation and also education, yet even at the division I level, the usage of a registered dietician different greatly in between schools. At the majority of the major and mid-major universities, athletes are noted a “training table,” or a cafeteria with foods selected especially for the athletes. However, every NCAA rules, just one enjoy the meal at the training table deserve to be listed per work while the athletes room on campus. Snacks, such as fruits, nuts, and bagels, can likewise be detailed along v occasional meals on special occasions. At smaller sized schools, athletes rely on their own cafeteria plan, and the budget is often minimal to administer meals and also snacks ~ above the road. Overall, the demands of the sport increase at the collegiate level contrasted to the HS and AAU levels, in addition to the enhanced demands put on the athlete to also handle their academic, family, and social lives. The enhanced demands merged with the enhanced independence that the athlete do it difficult to ensure the they are appropriately fueling and also getting enough 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 found at every level that competition. Many collegiate basketball players will certainly be offered a short time off after the vain season, generally 2–4 weeks, to recharge and catch up on family and also school matters as crucial before beginning back with skill work and also strength and also conditioning workouts.

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

Back ~ above campus in the fall, again the commitment will vary depending upon the level. Many teams will begin up with open up gyms and strength and also conditioning workouts as quickly as the athletes arrive back on campus. Shortly after the begin of the college year, separation, personal, instance workouts can take location with the coaching staffs. Throughout the preseason, coaches can work through players top top the court for approximately 2 h per week, preparing because that the competitive season.


Jack Ransone, PhD, ATC


The ideal of the best basketball players make it to the expert level. Because that the first time, the athlete’s schedule is completely specialized to the sport; however, there are likewise increased demands for the athlete’s time because that charity work, endorsements, social obligations, etc.

The compete Season

For male athletes in the joined States, the national Basketball combination (NBA) continuous season operation October-April, with the playoffs prolonging into June. It is not unexplained to pat 3 come 4 gamings per week through the opportunity of completing on back-to-back days. Every team theatre 8 preseason games and also 82 gamings in the continual season. Teams contending in the people Championship finals will certainly play end 100 games in a season and also postseason. Women play in the Women’s national Basketball combination (WNBA), whose continual season the 34 gamings runs June—September, through playoffs prolonging into October. Because that both leagues, most team techniques are brief (less than 1 h) and infrequent as result of game and travel demands. Travel demands are extensive, including a minimum that 42 continual season games on the roadway for the NBA and 17 for the WNBA. Both the NBA and WNBA have actually the deluxe of travel by charter airplane and staying at the finest 5-star hotels with fantastic restaurants. Countless teams likewise employ or consult v a sporting activities dietitian. However, nutrition is quiet a challenge, as most players seek meals ~ above their very own at restaurants outside the regulate of the team. Additionally, during a game, hydration is constantly a challenge. Inadequate hydration throughout competition can be further endangered by the need for air travel immediately article game (low humidity environment of the fuselage) for half of the continuous season games. Given the size of the regular season, frequency the games, and travel demands, proper nutrition and hydration methods are important and also should be planned right into the schedule where possible.

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The Off-Season

Professional athletes are employed based on their capacity to continue to be competitive. Therefore, the off-season is a period of time to recoup from the long season, rehab injuries, develop a basic fitness level, and also focus on skill development. Overall the schedule is really individual. Because that example, younger NBA players could play in the summer league, while veterans might focus more on recovery and some particular skill work. Every players will take part in training camp and preseason games, essentially extending the compete season.