By Adam Camara - There seems to be a nutritional revolution going on in professional sports. With millions of dollars at stake, pro athletes will seek out every advantage they can find to boost performance. Lately, we've been hearing more and more about athletes changing their diets in order to prolong, and in many cases, save their careers. Dwight Howard, NBA Center for the Los Angeles Lakers, is the latest example.
Dwight Howard had a terrible first half to his 2013 NBA season (his first with the Lakers). He had just come off having back surgery in the off-season, his numbers were down, his team was out of the playoff picture, and nagging injuries looked like they might end his season short. At the All-Star break he decided to make a drastic change to his diet by cutting out sugar (an idea he got from teammates Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash). This was no easy task for Howard as he was an admitted sugar junkie:
"Am I a big candy person? That's an understatement," he joked. "My pantry is full of candy. Skittles just sent me 30 pounds of Skittles. I have a nightstand full of every candy you could think of. Skittles, blow pops, Laffy Taffy, Reese's Pieces, Kit Kats, all types of candy was in the drawer. They had to clear it out."
Since he's changed his diet (no sugar, meals consisting basically of whole foods) he has looked like a new player. He has more energy and his improved rebounding and defense has the Lakers back in the playoff race.
“All the sugar is bad for us,” Howard said. “It causes us to get fatigued. The less sugar we put in our bodies, the better we’ll be.”
It certainly appears that this new trend in professional sports of eliminating sugar to improve athletic performance will continue to gain popularity as the results seem to speak for themselves.