Mar 14, 2017
Tip Off

College men’s basketball players lead very busy lives. Between classes, strength workouts, practices, games, and studying, there’s precious little time for them to devote serious attention to their nutritional needs. With concerns like these in mind, the University of North Carolina put together the following tip sheet to guide the players to make better choices in a dining hall, restaurant, or supermarket.


  • Quality proteins for muscle repair
    • Examples: Grilled chicken, turkey, pork loin, lean beef (sirloin, tenderloin flank steak, filet), fish, ham, beans, nuts, seeds, eggs
  • Vegetables and fruit for vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to reduce muscle soreness
    • Examples: Spinach, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, peppers, mushrooms, onions, beets, non-fried okra, carrots, green beans, collard greens, tomatoes, berries, apples, oranges, bananas, melons, cherries, pineapple, peaches, pears, avocados
  • “Smart” carbs for longer-lasting energy
    • Examples: Oats, brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, sweet potatoes, whole grain breads, pasta, cereals
  • Low-fat dairy or dairy alternatives for bone health
    • Examples: Milk, yogurt, cheese, almond milk, kefir
  • Healthy fats for transport of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) and to reduce inflammation
    • Examples: Salmon, tuna, olive and canola oils, oil-based dressings, seeds, nuts, nut butters, avocado, coconut oil


  • Sugars
    • Examples: Soda, candy, desserts, pastries, sweet tea, lemonade
  • Fried foods
    • Examples: Donuts, fried fish or chicken, French fries, mozzarella sticks, potato chips, hush puppies, onion rings, fried okra
  • Cream-based items
    • Examples: Ice cream, cream cheese, cream-based soups and dressings, Alfredo sauce, sour cream

The above content can be found in the T&C December 2013 article “Fueled for Takeoff,” which was written by Mary Ellen Bingham, MS, RD, CSSD, then the Head Sports Nutritionist at the University of North Carolina.

Photo by Anders Brownworth via Wikimedia Commons

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