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Bruno
12-11-2013, 11:28 PM
http://www.cbssports.com/nba/writer/ken-berger/24370416

This week, CBSSports.com's three-part series on nutrition in the NBA will explore players from Dwight Howard and Derrick Rose to Blake Griffin and Ray Allen who've adopted similar nutritional approaches to achieve a variety of goals.


Dr. Cate Shanahan was watching Dwight Howard play for the Lakers last season, and she was frightened by what she saw.

The Napa Valley doctor and nutritionist had no stake in whether Howard would re-sign with the Lakers; that was the least of her concerns. In conversations with the Lakers about spearheading a drastic change in their nutritional program for players, Shanahan believed she had the found the ultimate test subject in Howard.

"It looked like he was wearing oven mitts out there," Shanahan said. "It reminded me of patients who have pre-diabetes and neurological problems because of how sugar impacts the nervous system. That's where I became really concerned."

Shanahan's husband and co-author, Luke, had sent a copy of their book, "Deep Nutrition," to the Lakers' longtime athletic trainer, Gary Vitti. Having been around professional athletes for decades, Vitti had seen a lot of pitches. But Shanahan's book resonated, with its scientific and practical approach to a traditional diet of real food. In the year since, the approach to eating has become the standard in the Lakers' locker room, at team hotels and on charter flights -- setting the tone for what could be a seismic shift in how athletes use food to not only fuel, but also medicate their multimillion-dollar bodies.

"We're making the shift from basically worse than pet food to actual food," Cate Shanahan said.

When Shanahan was introduced to Howard last season, the All-Star center was having a miserable season with the Lakers and going down a terrible path with his diet. Shanahan couldn't have found a more high-profile test case for her beliefs. If food can improve or damage your genetic code, as her research had shown, then why couldn't it have the same impact on athletic performance?

"If you don't feel better in two weeks," Shanahan told Howard, "then I don't know what I'm talking about and I'll quit."

With Howard, the intervention began where it does with most athletes (and non-athletes, for that matter) who need to change their diets. It began with sugar. It turned out that Howard was consuming the equivalent of 24 Hershey bars a day in the form of candy and soda -- not to mention the additional sugar his body was making out of all the empty starches he was eating.

"We knew Dwight had a sugar-intake issue," said Luke Shanahan, whose Masters in Fine Arts from the world-renowned Iowa Writers Workshop has served him well in his role as the program's architect and co-pilot. "We just didn't know how bad it was."

In a league with cutting edge medical advancement, first class transit, state of the art approach to film studies, and statistical analytics- nutrition and diet seems to perhaps be flying under the radar as one of the most important elements of an advancing game and league.

Proper diet and nutrition serve as crucial elements to the success of NBA players and teams, yet it seems to take a back-set to all other elements of success (productive film study, off-season training, practice, medical). One could argue that the nutrition revolution is slowly taking place in the NBA, with the Denver Nuggets Brian Shaw going as far to ban pizza and nachos from the Nugget locker room.
http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1884044-brian-shaw-rids-denver-nuggets-locker-room-of-pizza-and-nachos-before-games?utm_source=twitter.com&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=programming-national


Shaw has searched for answers to their offensive woes in the first quarters of games. Last week, he walked through the locker room, saw players eating pizza and nachos and believed the poor diet to be the cause. So he picked up all the junk food and threw it in the trash.

The Nuggets had fresh salads with chicken breast and cold cut sandwiches before Monday's game. The sluggish result was the same.

Why has diet seemed to fly out the window as one of the most important elements of a players health and ability on the court? Why do so many players eat junk food when it doesn't properly prepare them for training or the season? What direction could this potential revolution go in the NBA?

Iron Heart
12-12-2013, 12:21 AM
Dang, I love pizza.

Bruno
12-12-2013, 04:05 PM
Dang, I love pizza.

Me too.

ManRam
12-12-2013, 04:18 PM
These guys probably see that they can eat whatever they want and still be in the top 0.0001% of athletes in the world, and just don't care to change it. Hell, if I could eat like **** like DH and the legendary sweat tooth LO, and still look like them I certainly would!

But yeah, you'd think that would be something these teams would be advising their players about. I'm sure diet can help with healing to an extent but I haven't looked at the literature, and I'm none of y'all have either ;)

I remember from my anatomy classes that, for example, supplementing more Calcium into your diet doesn't actually help bone recovery at all. Extra Calcium doesn't make you heal faster. But getting adequate amounts of vitamins and your essential amino acids certainly is necessary for recovery...and a diet that ****** might be devoid of that.

Bruno
12-12-2013, 04:25 PM
These guys probably see that they can eat whatever they want and still be in the top 0.0001% of athletes in the world, and just don't care to change it. Hell, if I could eat like **** like DH and the legendary sweat tooth LO, and still look like them I certainly would!
I think you're spot on. you generally do what you can get away with. when you're in your early or mid 20's i think you can generally get away with it, but it does eventually take its toll. I think odoms horrible nutritional habits play a part in his drop off from 2011. not everything obviously, but it plays a part in why he had such a drop off. it has to, sugar creates so much inflammation, it has to take a toll at some point. i'm pretty sure it was steve nash who cut sugar out of his diet completely to avoid inflammation? he was playing pretty brilliantly at 37 years old.


But yeah, you'd think that would be something these teams would be advising their players about. I'm sure diet can help with healing to an extent but I haven't looked at the literature, and I'm none of y'all have either ;)my uneducated guess would say that is plays a big part.


I remember from my anatomy classes that, for example, supplementing more Calcium into your diet doesn't actually help bone recovery at all. Extra Calcium doesn't make you heal faster. But getting adequate amounts of vitamins and your essential amino acids certainly is necessary for recovery...and a diet that ****** might be devoid of that.
I saw a behind the scenes look at an NBA nutritionist a while back (can't remember if it was backstage Lakers last season or something else), but these guys have meals and a regiment already provided from them. but ultimately the team can only go so far, the guys can eat whatever they want when they're alone or not at the training facility.

Cal827
12-12-2013, 04:29 PM
Me too.

Gotta love Pizza with the various toppings :D