Basketball Food Journal – What is That?
A basketball food journal, also known as a food log or food diary, is a daily form that serious players in basketball training use to track your nutrition intake over a set period of time.
I believe that all basketball players should keep a daily food journal for at least 2 weeks out of every month, if not just making it an ongoing part of their basketball nutrition strategy.
Keeping a food journal is fairly simple, yet does require an increased commitment to logging everything that you eat and drink for a set period of time. You can choose to either create your own personal food journal, buy or find a pre-made one online or even use a phone app such as My Fitness Pal. Whichever way you decide to go with logging your daily nutritional intake, be sure that it makes the most sense for your lifestyle and personality so that you will stick with it in the long run. We also recommend periodically sharing your food journal in your discussions with your basketball trainer so they can help you pinpoint between your peaks and valleys in performance.
A basic food journal for basketball players should at the very least include: what you are eating (try to be as specific as possible), what time you ate each meal/snack, a way to track your water intake, how much time has passed between each meal/snack, how you felt before and after you ate. More detailed journals centered on meeting specific goals like increasing muscle mass or reducing body fat percentage should include things like total calories along with fat, protein and carbohydrate content of each meal.
The most convenient time to log your food and fluid intake will be different for everyone. Some players may find it easier to jot things down after each meal and snack as they go along in their days, while others may have more success doing it all at the very end of their day. The only potential problem to waiting until the end of the day is the chance that you might forget to include something.
Making the decision to commit to tracking your nutritional intake as a basketball player can have a very positive impact on your overall health which will translate into your performance on the court. How can you know whether or not you are consistently fueling your body with the right types and amounts of foods if you don’t take the time to review your days and weeks? The bottom line is that you can’t, while it is effective to always choose as healthy foods as possible, sometimes it’s easy to overlook the fine details of your diet that could be causing you to perform at less than your best.
I’d like to share with you my top 4 reasons why every basketball player should keep a food journal at least from time to time.
Recognize patterns in your daily eating habits and basketball performance
– unless it’s written down, often it’s easy to overlook small details in your eating habits. Keeping a food journal will help you distinguish between what you think you may or may not be doing on a regular basis in your diet in comparison to what you actually are. For example, having everything written out will help you to pinpoint patterns like what kinds of food you tend to eat at certain points in the day, times that you may be waiting too long to eat your next meal or snack and you might even be surprised at your actual water intake.
Achieve specific basketball nutritional goals
– it’s difficult to achieve any goal without being able to measure success. A daily basketball food journal is a strategic and wise way to set yourself up to create the daily nutrition to meet your goals. Whether you are wanting to increase your muscle mass or even reduce some unwanted body fat, it’s important to know what and how much you are eating each day. Specific goals require specific action and a food journal is the easiest, most effective way to face the reality of what you are or aren’t putting into your body to get you to where you want to be physically to support your basketball performance in the least amount of time.
Plan your pre- and –post basketball workout meals
– on the days that you are busy, it can be easy to overlook the importance in fueling your body properly before and after a basketball practice, workout or game. Keeping a daily food journal can be especially helpful with you being able to choose the best foods and supplements to fuel your body with. Logging what you are eating before you play will allow you to see which foods give you more energy and which foods seem to slow you down out on the court. Also, it’s a great way to hold yourself accountable for getting in the best post workout nutrition possible after exerting yourself physically for hours. These two meals are the most important meals that a basketball player will eat aside from breakfast, so it’s important to recognize what you are fueling your body with consistently.
Keep up with your daily supplementation
– aside from food, including regular nutritional supplementation in your basketball game plan like taking a daily multi-vitamin can be incredibly beneficial. With so many things to remember in regards to healthy eating, sometimes remembering to take your supplements can slide under the radar. Including these in your daily food journaling efforts can help you keep up with what and when you need to take your nutritional support products each day.
As you’ve now learned, sometimes getting a little more pro-active with your basketball nutrition goals by keeping a periodic food journal can really elevate you and give you a strategic advantage to success. It’s always easier to make changes when you know exactly what areas you need to work on, rather than feeling like you’re drowning in changes that need to be made without any real idea of where to start.