The Diet That Extended Steve Nash's NBA Career

Steve Nash No Sugar Diet
Steve Nash eliminated refined sugars from
his diet and remains one of the top
point guards in the NBA

In the winter of 2008, Steve Nash was approaching a dreaded number --- 35 --- the age at which most NBA players see their bodies breakdown and their careers either rapidly decline or end.  On top of that, Nash plays the point guard position which is largely based on quickness, speed, and endurance.  He then made a decision that has kept him playing NBA basketball at an elite level and saved his career - to eliminate refined sugars from his diet.

He was talking with a friend about how to stay healthy out on the court and the friend recommended he go see Dr. Suneil Jain, a naturopathic physician in Scottsdale, AZ.

"I have tons of people looking after my well-being – coaches, doctors, trainers – so I'm always skeptical about seeking new advice. But I'm glad I went," said Nash.

Dr. Jain urges a whole-foods diet, one that consists of lots of raw fruits and vegetables.
"Okay, but I'm not giving up my steak dinner. Then Jain started talking about how important it is to cut sugar out of your diet. What? My first thought was that that would be impossible, but he made a convincing case. Jain told me that the average American eats about 92 grams of sugar a day, when the human body needs only about eight grams for energy, an amount that should always be satisfied through natural sugars from fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains," said Nash.

"Refined sugars, he told me, impair your immune system. In fact, one teaspoon of refined sugar suppresses our white blood cells for up to six hours, making it a lot easier to catch a cold. I really can't afford colds during the season, so that's all I needed to hear: I cut out refined sugars cold turkey. No M&M's at the movies, no energy bars, no Gatorade – I even had to be more careful when going to Jamba Juice, because sometimes they use sugar-filled juice from concentrate. After a few months, I stopped craving sugar entirely," said Nash.
This past summer, Nash, now 38 and coming off a season in which he tied a career best for Field Goal % and was named to the NBA All-Star Team, signed a new 3 year, $27 million contract with the Los Angeles Lakers - a team many believe is the favorite to win the NBA Championship this year.
Nash credits cutting out refined sugar in his diet for allowing him to remain one of the very best point guards in the NBA and hopefully playing past the age of 40.
"The difference was instantaneous: I slept better, I recovered from workouts more easily, and I had more energy.  I never got sick. I've got to think it's because sugar wasn't wearing me down.  No doubt, this lifestyle is not easy – sugar gets sneaked into just about everything, so I have to pack my own food. But it doesn't bother me, because the way I feel is so worth it," said Nash.


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