What NBA players typically eat on game days
On the latest episode of "Strictly Hoops," C.J. Miles describes what he ate throughout a typical game day when he was in the NBA. Listen to the full episode on the "Raptors Over Everything" podcast feed.
AMIT MANN: On a game day, what time do you arrive, and when does your game preparation start?
CJ MILES: For me, I was an early guy. I hated-- I shouldn't say hate, but I didn't like shooting with multiple guys on the floor. I like to get there and get the whole court to myself, at least our side. So I would get there for home games, like, 4:00 or 4:30 or so, try to get on the court before 5:00, before 5:30, because that's when time starts starting, the whole-- everybody's preparation starts.
And I didn't like shooting too close to the game time meeting, either, so I didn't-- because I wanted to be ready and ready to go, warmed up, stretched out, get my lift, pre-game lift and all that, had my snack. I used to eat fruit and a protein shake right before. And I would like to be dressed in my sweatsuit, everything except my shoes. And I would just take some time to mentally get right, have a book or whatever it is, whatever music I'm listening to at the time. And I would go through my routine like that before.
AMIT MANN: Gotcha. What meals are you having on game day? You mentioned the fruit after you have your workout and you're doing your chill time before, or focus time, which, again, is another thing we got to talk about. But your breakfast-- are there things you're prioritizing to ensure you're eating?
CJ MILES: Yeah, breakfast is the same. My breakfast was the same. It was oatmeal some form of omelet or eggs, eggs and whatever with avocado, fruit, and then a piece of toast with jelly on it, the same.
AMIT MANN: Cherry jelly, strawberry?
CJ MILES: Strawberry.
AMIT MANN: Strawberry. Strawberry is the best. Where did you live in Toronto?
OK. So that's breakfast. You mentioned that. What's lunch?
CJ MILES: Lunch, pretty similar too. It would be a salad with lots of protein in it, nuts, chicken, sometimes some [INAUDIBLE], the fruit and apples in it, too, and then some type of carbs. Sometimes I have a little bit of pasta or a little bit of-- or sometimes I'd just make it a wrap so I could get a little bit more, because I don't eat a lot again until after the game. It's just me. I did not like to feel full going into a game, which is why after I would work out again, I had to eat something, obviously, before the game. So I would eat literally apple, orange, banana, and a protein shake.
AMIT MANN: What do you guys do when they get hungry in games? That must happen.
CJ MILES: Protein bars.
AMIT MANN: Protein bars? You can have those on the bench?
CJ MILES: There's protein bars all around. Yeah, they got all the snacks, the energy chews. All that stuff is just laying around, just like somebody comes in and dumps a box out. They're just sitting everywhere. That's what it feels like, yeah.
AMIT MANN: What do you guys drink during games? Is it just water and Gatorade or is there something special?
CJ MILES: Yeah, those guys, water and Gatorade. Some guys got-- me, I used to drink BioSteel, the electrolyte mix. That's what I feel like I got the most out of, just because I didn't like the sugar in a lot of energy drinks because I didn't feel-- I didn't get the same sustainment. I would get, like, these. So I didn't like that. So I wanted something that would keep me from cramping up and keep moving. And that's where I settled on electrolyte mixes like BioSteel and--
AMIT MANN: Coconut water?
CJ MILES: Coconut water. I used Vega for a little bit also. That's what I did a lot. I still do that with my protein and stuff like that too.
AMIT MANN: Post-game meal? What is it?
CJ MILES: It depends. I'm a big fish guy, so I love salmon. I love a big piece of salmon, sweet potato, some type of greens, some type of stuff like that. Depending on where I'm at-- especially during the season, I would pick and choose my desserts and things like that. But if there's no game the next day, and I'm looking at the schedule, I'll have some, because I don't want to do anything that's going to spark some inflammation or anything like that from the [INAUDIBLE] or whatever.
Or it depends on how many minutes I would play. If I played high-level minutes that night because somebody's been out, and I played 37 minutes, I'll eat whatever I want. I wouldn't go eat fast food. I would eat good, but I would eat whatever I wanted because I needed the calories to be able to do it again tomorrow.
AMIT MANN: I've seen that too. I've seen players that-- I go in the locker room, and they're eating pizza. And usually, it's the guys that played a heavy amount of minutes.
CJ MILES: And they're not doing that all the time, but they know at this point-- and the pizza they ate probably wasn't enough, which is crazy, because you think about the whole day leading up-- they did what I did, too, before that game. So you're in a deficit with the calories, caloric deficit.
AMIT MANN: Sure, sure.
CJ MILES: There's a deficit for sure.
AMIT MANN: No question.
CJ MILES: I saw somebody ask about-- I don't know if you're going to ask us about do we count calories. Somebody asked that on Twitter, one of the questions.
AMIT MANN: They did, yes.
CJ MILES: And that's the thing. I'm pretty sure some guys do or did at some point, but I don't know a lot of guys that do. They don't have to-- unless they went home and ate double cheeseburgers from fast food places every day, then you got to. But for the most part, the way we eat-- and they feed us so much-- you don't get that. They have breakfast at practice facility before practice.
There's lunch after practice at the practice facility on practice days. Some days on the road, we won't have a shootaround. We'll have a breakfast meeting. So they'll feed us at the hotel, so they'll have the food out. So you don't have to work as hard to get the food.