How to Be Less Fatigued in Basketball

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The dying seconds can be make or break moments in basketball. When the game is nearing the end, you need to have fuel in the tank if you want to win. Minimize your fatigue using proper nutrition, hydration, sleep habits and keeping your legs fresh. If you do, you'll find you have energy when you need it most.

Maintaining Carbohydrates

Your body needs energy to make it through a basketball game. Specifically, it needs glycogen -- an energy found in carbohydrates. If you use up your carbohydrate store, your muscles will begin to feel depleted. Eat a meal about three to four hours prior to your game that consists of two-thirds carbohydrates and one-third lean protein -- for example, a pasta with skinless chicken. Following the game, recoup your carbohydrate stores to prepare for your next game or practice. A 140-pound player should consume 70 grams of carbohydrates in the 30 minutes following a game.

Keep Hydrated

Fluid loss of as little as 1 to 2 percent can negatively impact your performance, leaving you fatigued. Players should consume 16 ounces of water or sports drink two hours prior to tip-off. Then, 30 minutes before the game, they should consume another 4 to 8 ounces of water or sports drink. Beverages consumed before the game should not be carbonated and should not contain caffeine or alcohol. Players should consume 4 to 8 ounces of liquid every 15 minutes during the game.


If you don't get enough sleep, you're likely to find yourself feeling tired during the game. Increasing your sleep, however, can keep you feeling fresh and improve your play. Researchers at Stanford University found that a basketball player's performance improved with increased sleep. They reduced their sprint times and increased their shooting accuracy when their average sleep time went from just under seven hours to eight and a half hours.

Refresh Your Legs

When your legs are tired, it makes it impossible to perform at your top speed. If you find your legs feel tired on a game day, use hot and cold water on them two hours prior to your game to get your blood flowing. Climb into a cold tub for 30 to 45 seconds. Then hop into the hot tub for a minute and a half. Repeat this process three times. As the blood flows to your legs, you'll find them feeling refreshed.