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Do NBA players have personal chefs? What's in an NBA player's diet?

NBA players require diets that help them perform at an elite level, and personal chefs can provide those. Which NBA players have their own chefs?

NBA players require diets that help them perform at an elite level, and personal chefs can provide those. Which NBA players have their own chefs?
David RichardUSA TODAY Sports

The research behind nutrition and high-performance athletes’ diets is, and continues to be, evolving rapidly over the years. In sports like the NBA, a player's performance is directly correlated with what he consumes. That’s why a lot, if not all, of the most successful and wealthiest athletes in the world hire personal chefs to make sure they’re fueled properly on a daily basis.

LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard, Enes Kanter and former basketball player Dwayne Wade are just some of the NBA players known to have personal chefs cooking up personalized meals for the superstars with elite performance.

Let’s take a look at a roadmap of NBA players’ diets that fuels them on the court, and a few of the chefs along with some of these athletes.

What is an NBA player's diet?

The necessity for adequate energy and recovery levels in a high intensity sport like the NBA demands both physical endurance and mental sharpness. Accordingly, the types of food players eat are deliberate as well as beneficial to their everyday goals and efforts.

As far as we know, a majority of a typical NBA player's diet consists of carbohydrates, a happy balance of proteins, and healthy fats. Somewhere between 2000 and 4500 calories a day, NBA players maintain a healthy weight, avoiding empty calories like fizzy drinks and junk food.

To get a bit deeper into these foods, let us further explain. Complex carbohydrates specifically help with energy levels for longer periods of time, as they are slower releasing in the body. The energy obtained from around 55% of rich carbs like pasta, rice, bread, and fruits are the muscles’ preferred source of energy, helping these athletes last a 48-minute game.

Proteins, like whey, eggs and meat, help the maintenance of muscle mass and muscle recovery, while fats help make up the rest of the NBA balanced diet. Not all fats are as beneficial as healthy fats however, which play a crucial role in the immune system, synthesis of hormones and cell membranes. These heart healthy fats include avocado, flaxseed, olive oil and salmon.

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Which NBA players have personal chefs?

For one of the top and highest-paid athletes in the world, LeBron James can afford to have a personal chef that helps him live up to his $850 million career

Dena Marino has been the four-time MVP’s chef for the last four years, often showing pride in what she does with King James and his tasty-looking meals. And looking at James, we know these meals are very rich in nutrients.

Traci Siegel is another notable chef in the NBA culinary world. Her name is well-known among big names like Kyrie Irving, Damian Lillard and Enes Kater. Siegel makes sure that her clients are not only satisfied with their meals’ tastiness, but she also ensures they are met with all the right nutrients for their health and fitness needs. Siegel also incorporates an unhealthy touch to some of her clients’ diets without jeopardizing their health, as she believes in a well-balanced diet in nutrition and taste.

Personal chefs for these stars require a great deal of adaptation and flexibility that allows them to make big sacrifices like moving with their clients for long periods of time, adapting to the players’ schedules and needs, and being loyal to their top-tier celebrity athletes.