What to Eat Before a Basketball Game?

It can be confusing for an athlete to decide what to eat before a basketball game. Fortunately, there are several healthy and nutritious options for you to get the much-needed energy for the game.

Here we will discuss some of these options and the right timing to consume them before a game.

Is It a Good Idea to Eat Before a Basketball Game?

Generally, eating before a basketball game is a good idea because it provides the energy required to play a fantastic game. However, the most important thing to consider is when and what you should eat.

This article will take you through a detailed analysis of the meals you should take before the game.

Types of Foods to Eat Before a Basketball Game

A healthy and well-balanced diet is crucial for outstanding performance during the game. An athlete should consume specific portions of each food group daily.

But when we talk about the meals right before the basketball game, here are a few types of foods that you should try to consume.

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Starches like sweet potatoes, quinoa, etc.
  • Proteins
  • Nuts
  • Avocados

How Many Hours Before the Game Should You Eat?

A meal needs a good time to digest properly. Suppose your match is in the evening at around 6 pm. So, keeping in view the game’s timing, you need to prepare and eat your full-fledged meal at least three to four hours before the match.

Having a heavy meal right before the game could decrease your energy level because your body will make all the effort to digest the food.

However, it is encouraged to eat a good diet before the match and give it enough time to digest properly. 

What to Eat 3 Hours Before a Basketball Game? 

Three hours before the game is the ideal time to have a proper meal. Your body will have enough time to digest the food, and you will feel light and energetic during the game.

So, let’s discuss what should be on your plate 3 hours before the match.

  • Protein: Any form of protein, i.e., chicken, beef, eggs, or fish, is an essential part of your pre-match meal. You should opt for freshly cooked, high-quality protein instead of packaged or processed protein. Overall, your meal should contain two portions of protein. 
  • Carbs: Carbohydrates are also vital for energy during the match. You can choose any type of carbs, including wheat, oats, pasta, and rice. Anything that you feel like eating, you can consume it in your pre-match meal. 
  • Vegetables and Fruits: You should consume one portion of each of these items. It can be a combination of any veggies and fruits you like, and the choice is up to you. However, fruits like strawberries, blueberries, and bananas are preferred.
  • Fats: The best source of fats that you can get is through nuts. So, you should eat a few mixed nuts.
  • Water: You must keep yourself hydrated because you will sweat a lot during the game. To avoid getting dehydrated, you must drink enough water before the game.

What to Eat 2 Hours Before a Basketball Game?

If you eat a full meal two hours before a basketball game, your body has significantly less time to process the food.

As it takes three to four hours on average for your body to digest a meal properly, you cannot consume large portions two hours before the match starts.

At this point, you should avoid fats as they take the most amount of time to digest. 

basketball food

So, here are a few options you can consume two hours before a basketball game to get the much-needed energy.

  • Proteins: Proteins are necessary for energy. However, now that you are left with only 2 hours of the game, you must consume a smaller portion of protein. For example, you can consume one portion of protein in any form, i.e., eggs, chicken, beef, mutton, fish, etc.  
  • Carbs: To cope with the nervousness of the game, you can opt for sweet potatoes or quinoa as they are easily digestible.
  • Vegetables and Fruits: Fresh fruits and veggies are great energy boosters. You can make salads or smoothies according to your preference and taste. 
  • Water: Hydration is crucial for any kind of sport. So, you must consume enough water to stay fresh and hydrated throughout the match.

What to Eat 1 Hour Before a Basketball Game?

Now that the game is just around the corner, you cannot afford to have a heavy meal since your body will invest energy in breaking down that food.

At this point, you can eat a small, quick snack, but you must stay away from solids. This is because solids require a lot of energy and time to digest, so you should avoid them if possible.

But then, what can you eat one hour before the match?

Protein Shakes!

Right before the game, these shakes can be the perfect energy boosters for you. Since there is no definite recipe or formula, you may add whichever fruits or vegetables you like.

Simply blend your favorite fruits or veggies with protein powder and water, and your protein shake is ready. It will kick-start your metabolism and provide you with much-needed energy.

Foods to Avoid Before a Basketball Game

Some of the foods that you should stay away from are:

  • Any kind of junk or processed food
  • Avoid oily foods
  • Strictly no alcohol on the game day

Final Takeaway

Eating the right food is a vital factor if you want to have enough energy to play the match to the best of your ability, considering a game can last quite a while

Especially on game day, you must pay extra attention to the food you are consuming, as it will directly affect the game. Therefore, this is the main factor that could make or break your game!

We've put up a list of some of the best energy-boosting options for you to check out if you have a game coming up. Good luck with the game!

You might also like: 12 Physical Benefits of Playing Basketball

Joshua Bast

My name is Joshua Bast and I have been playing basketball ever since I was 7 years old. I love the game play, I love the feeling whenever I score a basket, but what made me fell in love was the camaraderie with my team mates. This blog is dedicated to help any up-and-coming basketball players maximize their potential.

Joshua Bast