eat before a basketball game

Do you eat before a basketball game? If the answer is no, then it’s time to start. Eating before a game can help with your energy levels and mental sharpness during your performance. In this blog post, we will give you some options on what to eat before playing basketball. We’ll also talk about why eating certain foods can be beneficial for athletic performance.

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Tips for Consuming Food Before a Basketball Game

Protein and Carbs

A great pregame meal is a combination of healthy carbohydrates and lean proteins. Healthy carbohydrates are found in foods such as rice, potatoes, beans, bread, and pasta. Lean protein comes from meats that have little to no fat content like chicken or turkey breast.

The combination of these foods is key for game time. Your body will be able to utilize both carbohydrates and protein for energy.

This extended boost in your athletic ability can help you score more points during a game! Another thing that eating healthy before a basketball game can do is give you sustained mental acuity throughout playtime.


Water is the most important thing to make sure you consume before a game. You should drink at least two cups of water up to an hour before your basketball activity begins. This will give your body time to process this liquid, and it is necessary for keeping yourself hydrated during playtime.

You’ll want more than just water too – drink some sports drinks with electrolytes which will give you extra fuel for playing basketball. This type of beverage will also help to replace the electrolytes you lose when playing basketball.

Electrolytes are also found in other drinks like fruit juice, so eating or drinking these before a game them is beneficial for your performance too.

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eat before a basketball game

Keep it Light

Don’t eat too much or eat heavy foods before a game because this could make your stomach feel uncomfortable while playing. Some examples of food to avoid are greasy, fried, and fatty meals including hamburgers, fries, steak, and anything made with bacon.

You should also steer clear from eating high-fiber items that can cause bloating like beans or broccoli which isn’t fun during the big game!

Limit the Sugar and Sodium

Don’t eat a lot of sugar either which can give you an energy crash. Sugar is found in a lot of pre-packaged foods and drinks so eat sparingly.

You might also want to watch how much salt you eat before playing basketball because too much can lead to high blood pressure which isn’t good for your cardiovascular system.

Some examples of food with higher sodium levels are chips, crackers, deli meats, cured meats like bacon or ham, and fast food. Also, foods that are high in sodium because this will cause you to retain water and gain weight!

Stick to Small Portions

It’s best to have smaller portions throughout your day instead of one large meal since it will be easier for your body to digest what you eat so there won’t be any problems while on the court. This also means that you eat more often.

Don’t eat too much food before a game because it will just sit in your stomach and cause discomfort during playtime. Eating smaller portions of what we mentioned above is better for keeping yourself healthy while playing basketball!

We recommend sticking with healthy snacks between games if necessary such as bananas, apples, oranges, and granola bars.

Pregame Meal

Make sure that your pregame meal is not too difficult on your stomach, especially when playing an intense sport like basketball.

If there isn’t time for a proper meal before the big game, then eat something light that will still give you energy such as dry toast with peanut butter or crackers with cheese – just make sure you eat about one hour before tip-off if possible!

This will give you time for your body to digest the food and it won’t be hard on your stomach when playing.

Sports Drinks

Drinking sports drinks with electrolytes is also beneficial because this gives extra fuel for playing basketball. Just make sure that they don’t contain sugar, salt, caffeine (if possible), additives like artificial colorings/flavorings, preservatives such as BHA & BHT, propylene glycol, MSG.

How Many Hours Should You Eat Before a Basketball Game?

You should eat these types of food about three hours before the game starts. Just eat a light snack if you’re eating closer to tip-off time (one hour before). It’s not ideal for your stomach to be empty because this could lead to cramping during the game so eat something small!

It’s not recommended to eat right before a basketball game since this can give you an upset stomach and it could cause problems during the big game. If there is absolutely no time for eating, try drinking some sports drinks with electrolytes so your body will have energy while playing.

eat before a basketball game

Go Easy on the Water

Don’t eat too much and drink plenty of water before a game! This will help you avoid feeling bloated or weighed down during playtime which can affect how you perform on the court.

Is it Good to Play Basketball on an Empty Stomach?

No, it’s not a good idea to play basketball on an empty stomach. The reason is that you could end up feeling lightheaded and weak during the game which won’t be good for your performance. This is why it’s recommended to eat about three hours before the game starts.

Should You Eat During Halftime?

Sports dieticians do not recommend eating during halftime unless you had previously eaten at least one hour before and are feeling low in energy. If this is the case, then try snacking on healthier options such as bananas or apples since they have plenty of natural sugars for quick bursts of energy! Also, make sure your drink some sports drinks with electrolytes so your body can keep up with what you need during playtime!

What Should You Eat After a Basketball Game?

After a basketball game, eat something that will replenish your body with the nutrients you lost while sweating to keep yourself energized for next time. Try eating a small snack within thirty minutes of finishing since this is when your muscles are most receptive to refueling.

Some examples include yogurt, sweet potato fries, whole grain pasta, or brown rice – just make sure it’s not too much food otherwise you’ll feel sluggish and tired!

If possible eat a full balanced meal about 60-90 minutes after playing basketball so all of the protein, carbs, fats can be digested at an appropriate pace.

How Many Calories Do You Need in a Day for Basketball?

You should eat about 2000 calories every day to maintain your weight. This number can vary depending on how much you weigh, what type of basketball you play (intense vs casual), and the level that you’re playing at.

For an intense workout such as playing basketball or other high-intensity sports, we recommend eating around 40% carbohydrates, 30% fat (healthy!), 20% protein after exercise to replenish glycogen stores (carbohydrates) and repair muscles (protein).

eat before a basketball game


As long as you eat the right things before a game, your body should feel comfortable playing basketball even for hours at a time. Remember these tips on what to eat before a basketball game so you’ll be ready when tip-off comes around.

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