Sports Nutrition: The Key for Basketball Athletes to Reach their Next Level

If you follow basketball, chances are some of your favorite NBA players trained at Impact Basketball. Impact Basketball (IB) is the premier training facility for professional players, international teams, and student athletes at every level.

What is special about IB is that they train every age and skill level of basketball players, based on a 4-pillar program developed by founder and president, Joe Abunassar:

  1. Intense basketball skills development
  2. Customized strength and speed training
  3. Mental coaching (instilling the mindset to constantly improve, train at an elite level, and maximize potential)
  4. Innovative nutritional programs

Impact Basketball Center

Impact Basketball, which has 3 locations in the U.S. and programs running in over a dozen countries, has produced more than 130 NBA Draft picks in the last 9 years, 300+ professional players, MVPs, and more.

Joe’s honest commitment to every athlete and his profound understanding of nutrition inspired us and got us wondering how we could become a part of IB’s success.

Herbalife Nutrition and Impact Basketball

Since 2018, we have partnered with IB. We support the players by providing nutrition education and high-quality sports nutrition products from the H24 line that they incorporate into their training routines.

In 2020, we added an exciting milestone to our partnership: Isaac Mourier joined Impact Basketball as Director of Performance Nutrition and Sports Science.

I’ll let him explain a bit more about what he does and how he has supported players towards the 2020 NBA draft happening on November 18:

Isaac Mourier coaching basketball athletes

Sports Nutrition Starts with Trust

I joined Impact Basketball in March 2020 with the vision to optimize their athletes’ performance through evidence-based sports nutrition. One key part of this was offering athlete-driven and individualized support. When it comes to nutrition there is no one-size-fits-all approach, which is why it is imperative to determine personalized goals for each of the players and track their progress in a number of ways.

We start by establishing food likes, dislikes, medical history, allergies, previous experience with sports nutrition, nutrition knowledge, and things that have/have not been useful in the past. We set short, medium, and long-term goals with regular meetings to analyze progress. Some common goals include improving hydration habits, meal timing, body composition, and on court-performance. Following this initial consultation, I take an in-depth look at how I can improve their habits, behavior, nutrition and supplements strategy to support their goals. My keys are always optimizing health, supporting recovery and enhancing adaptations to training.

There’s an element of education in those first meetings, but for the most part, it’s me understanding each athlete better, which in turn leads to far better support. Building rapport is really important: athletes have to see me as an integral part of their success. If they see me as someone who stands on the sidelines on the periphery, it is impossible to have the impact I desire. Having a genuine relationship with each athlete helps me to serve them better, and it makes me far more approachable too!

The main goal for me is to create autonomy in terms of nutrition. I aim to provide athletes with the tools they need to make educated, well-thought-out nutrition decisions relating to their individual needs.

Isaac Mourier coaching

How Sports Nutrition Can Address the Unique Needs of Basketball Players

As we’re looking at this process of getting basketball players to the next level, it’s really important to lock in on every detail possible. One thing that’s often overlooked by athletes, regardless of level, is sports nutrition. Which as we know can provide huge results and can be the competitive edge needed in sport.

When it comes to basketball, a robust sports nutrition strategy can boost athletic performance in a variety of ways. Here are some examples:

Like other intermittent sports such as volleyball, basketball involves a frequent substitution of players and high-intensity movements. Performance depends on a combination of anaerobic and aerobic energy systems, but it also has particularities we need to focus on, in terms of sports nutrition:

A Partnership to Boost Confidence and Performance

For Impact Basketball players, it’s been really important to have the H24 NSF Certified for Sport® products available to them, coupled with a Performance Nutrition expert who can guide them on how to use the products.

We’re working with very high-level athletes, so having premium-quality products available at the gym is crucial. This lessens the need for athletes to purchase supplements from external vendors. Players have a whole network of people to lean on, and that makes the importance of the partnership with Herbalife Nutrition huge.

Now that we have a set date for the NBA draft, the motivation of the players has greatly increased. Athletes have no control over whether they are going to get drafted or not, so we focus on what they can control: sports nutrition to boost their performance. The amount of benefits an athlete can get from sports nutrition, from a health and performance standpoint, is exponential: once they start, it carries on.