Some Nutrition Basics For Basketball Players

Chicken And Waffles at Warmdaddy's in Philadelphia. Wasn't too great.

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Many players have asked me about my eating habits. Or I get asked what a good diet is for players. Or what are some good foods to eat before / after workouts.

This post will answer these questions. DISCLAIMER: I am not a nutritionist; consult a doctor or physician before beginning any new diet program. You take this advice at your own risk. If you’re scared, leave this website. 

  • Before workouts, I eat fruit – apples, bananas – and drink a lot of water. I don’t eat any other solid foods before games. Bananas have a good amount of sugar and carbs (energy). They digest quickly too, which is important for an athlete on the go. There are some other benefits too, but remember I’m not a nutritionist.
  • I do not follow any specific diet. I’m vegetarian – actually pesctarian – and do not eat beef or pork. I do eat fish. I do not any other animal products, save for cheese. If you don’t know the difference between vegan and vegetarian, google it.
  • How An Athlete Should Eat: First decide what your goals are. Gaining or losing weight? Maintaining? Energy for the game or practice? Cleaning out your system? All of the above? Great, here’s what you do: Use your best judgement. Meaning, you know what is good to eat and what’s not in a general sense. Is fried chicken good for those abs you want to show? Are vegetables helpful for your energy and focus? Is water or soda a better choice to drink with your dinner? You know these answers – which means you have skills of discernment when it comes to food. Be smart.
  • The more goals you have for your body and performance, the most disciplined your eating needs to be. If you want to have a body like _______ (some really seemingly-fit person), then make all smart choices with what you eat. You don’t even need to hire a nutritionist.
  • Bad foods that are not good for your performance in 99% of circumstances (use sparingly – remember, judgement): Candy. Chips. Soda. Ice cream and cake. White breads. Anything processed i.e., it comes in an air-tight package and can last for weeks on your shelf (that’s 85% of many people’s kitchens). Alcohol. Fruit juices. Smoking of any kind (secondhand smoke included).
  • You can eat from the above group – I certainly do – just know you’re not helping yourself. I repeat, use your own best judgement.
  • Foods that are great for you, under any circumstance: Water. Leafy green vegetables.
  • [Yes, that’s the whole list according to me. If you have others, leave it in the comments and tell me why – I may add it.]
  • Why Dre Baldwin went vegetarian: Covered on YouTube is this video series. Short answer: Because I wanted to. There’s much more detail in the videos (note: I’ve changed on some things since 2013! Updated video may come sometime). I love it and feel great both physically and mentally. What would happen for you? Only one way to find out.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • But how can I get protein when I’m vegetarian? You have a lot to learn about protein if you’re asking this. Which is fine – Google’s your friend.
  • Isn’t being vegetarian expensive? Expensive is relative. And I once voiced this same opinion to a woman I was seeing. She looked at me and said, Dre, IT’s YOUR BODY!! I got the point, on top of me being a professional athlete. If you’re going to spend money on anything, wouldn’t your physical person be the best investment? I mean, nothing else you pay for matters if your body fails. Common sense thinking. I’m glad she said that to me.
  • How do you eat while traveling? On flights: Stay away from junk. Drink a lot of water. You will not be hungry if you stay hydrated.
  • How do you fight the cravings? Stay away from it long enough (replace it with something better) and you’ll lose your taste for it.
  • But I can’t help it! That’s unfortunate.


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