In the competitive world of the NBA, players are constantly striving to improve their performance and overall well-being through lifestyle changes. A common adjustment that helps them make major progress? Reorganize their diet.
For Los Angeles Lakers rookie sensation Jalen Hood-Schifino, he took this crucial step long before he was drafted into the league.
Like many aspiring NBA players, Hood-Schifino has long dreamed of appearing on the court in the world’s most prestigious basketball league. His relentless quest for excellence led him to make dietary choices aimed at optimizing his physical and mental prowess.
In fact, Hood-Schifino made the decision to switch to a plant-based diet when he was just 16 years old. This dietary change involved a significant reduction in his consumption of animal products.
“Yeah, it’s avant-garde. I will still make salmon and fish here and there. But, for the most part, I try to stay pretty strict with it,” Hood-Schifino said recently. Athleticism.
Importance of diet in sports performance
What sets Hood-Schifino apart is the timing of its food processing. Many seasoned NBA stars make significant changes to their diet during the offseason, hoping to return to the court in better physical condition.
Hood-Schifino’s remarkable dedication to her diet dates back to her high school years, particularly her sophomore year. He took it to the next level while in college, solidifying his commitment to his diet.
As she reflects on the benefits of her food choices, Hood-Schifino notices a remarkable improvement in her energy levels and recovery.
“Yeah, that was the reason I wanted to do it. I wanted to try it and see what it felt like,” Hood-Schifino says. “Then, after just a few weeks, I started to see a big difference in how I recover (and) my energy on the court. So I would definitely say it feels really good.
The athlete’s commitment to a plant-based diet caught the attention of Lakers scouts and executives, ultimately influencing their draft decision. The Lakers organization found Hood-Schifino’s maturity, preparation, discipline and diet to be compelling traits that aligned with their values. These factors, in addition to his impressive collegiate performances at Indiana University, where he was named Big Ten Rookie of the Year, solidified his position as the No. 1 overall draft pick.
Lakers vice president of basketball operations and general manager Rob Pelinka praised Hood-Schifino’s professionalism and dedication, citing his advanced approach to diet and training as key indicators of his potential success . “He definitely has Lakers DNA,” Pelinka said in a statement.
Hood-Schifino’s plant-based diet sets him apart from his peers in the 2023 draft class, raising the possibility that the Lakers may consider prioritizing similar dietary choices in future player acquisitions. they continue to provide positive results.
Vegan athletes in the NBA
Hood-Schifino joins a number of NBA athletes who follow a vegan or plant-based diet, including Chris Paul, Cade Cunningham, DeAndre Jordan, JaVale McGee and Kyrie Irving.
Paul credits his vegan diet for giving him the energy he needs on and off the field. He initially planned to temporarily switch to a plant-based diet, but the 38-year-old veteran basketball player decided to stick with it after experiencing a host of benefits.
“When I started eating plants, it was for performance purposes, but once I saw how my body changed and how I felt, it was for life,” Paul said in an interview with GQ.
And while most players are motivated to change their diet to improve their athletic performance, DeAndre Jordan did it to save the planet. In an episode of a vegan cooking show Cooking cleanhe explained that he went vegan “cold turkey” and it’s been great ever since.
“Once you become well-educated about what you’re putting into your body and where the protein actually comes from, (going vegan) was an easy decision for me,” Jordan said on the show.
“And also, environmentally, being able to take care of the planet – not only for ourselves but also for our children and their children and so on. – I just wanted to be able to have some impact on us by improving our environment.
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Nicole Axworthy is editor-in-chief of VegNews and author of the cookbook DIY Vegan.