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Strangest Diets in the NBA Today

Jesse DorseyFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2013

Strangest Diets in the NBA Today

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    With Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire coming out with big news about their NBA diets recently, there's been a lot of talk about what an NBA player should and should not be putting into their bodies throughout the course of the season.

    Many people seem to think most of the "kooky" or just diets that seem out of the ordinary should be saved for the offseason, and the season should be dedicated to nothing but basketball.

    To me, if Carmelo Anthony can go on a 15-day fast and see his scoring average stay constant, then let him go out there and do whatever he wants.

    It's all up to the individual players to decide what they feel most comfortable eating and not eating during the season, and if it works for them, then who are we to criticize.

    That being said, there's a lot of diets, or even just parts of NBA players' diets that seem a bit strange, even if they are effective.

    So let's take a look at the league's weirdest diets and figure out just which one makes the least sense.

6. Amar'e Stoudemire's Vegan Life

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    I'm all for the vegan lifestyle, but to hear about a professional athlete becoming a vegan is a bit shocking to hear, especially when it's a dude as big and as strong as Amar'e Stoudemire. It just seems like it wouldn't be enough to supplement his huge frame.

    It seems as if a diet lacking in any form of meat, chicken, pork, fish or animal byproducts at all just isn't enough to support such a huge physique.

    In the end, that's just not true.

    Sure, it's a lot harder to get all the protein necessary, but it's not impossible, and Amar'e is proving that as he goes along.

    I'm interested to see how this all pans out, but Stoudemire has been a vegan for three months, so it's hard to point out any major flaws in his diet thus far.

5. Steve Nash's Contagious Sugar-Free Diet

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    Steve Nash's diet is perhaps the most famous in the NBA, as he's one of the oldest players in the league, yet he is still looking and playing like he did when he was a younger man near the beginning of his stint with the Phoenix Suns.

    Nash's diet isn't weird in that it's a strange set of rules or a strange group of food that he eats more than any other. It's strange in that everywhere he goes it seems to catch on with one or two new people.

    His diet looks a lot like the Paleo Diet, one in which you go back to human roots and, well, basically eat like a caveman.

    The basics are to cut out sugar and as much salt as possible, while eating as many natural foods as possible.

    It makes sense, and it works.

    In the process, Nash has pushed a ton of healthy habits off on his teammates, namely former Sun teammate Jared Dudley, who went from chubby to muscly thanks to Nash's diet.

4. Derrick Rose's Gummy Bears

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    It was a few years back now, but Derrick Rose was once identified by the crazy obsession he had with gummy bears.

    Rose's gummy bear habit got so bad that in college he was nearly forced to miss the Kansas-Memphis national championship game because of a stomach issue, linked to the gummy bears.

    When asked about his habit, then-teammate Chris Douglas-Roberts told the media that the team warned him to slow down. Douglas-Roberts said:

    We tell Derrick the whole year, "Stop eating so many Gummy Bears and Sour Straws." But he can't...Nobody eats Gummy Bears more than him.

    Rose's addiction to the sweet, sticky gummy bears seems to be a lot more under control now, especially since he's been able to hire a personal chef, but it's no less interesting that Rose was once stuffing them down by the handful.

3. Carmelo Anthony's Fasting Frenzies

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    Amar'e Stoudemire taking on a vegan diet is one thing, but completely fasting for more than two weeks in the middle of the season? That seems completely ridiculous, if not downright dangerous.

    Before we get too up in arms about Anthony suddenly deciding to fast, it must be pointed out that this is something he does regularly. The most recent time that he told the public about it happened back in 2011.

    The specific type of fasting that Carmelo puts himself through is called a "Daniel fast." It's not  abstaining from all food. It's abstaining from meat, breads and sweets, so he was still able to have protein shakes, fruits, veggies and nuts.

    Over the course of the most recent 15-day fast, Carmelo did just fine on the floor. He may have been a bit tired, but he was able to average 32 points over the course of six games, even though the Knicks did fall into a bit of a funk, winning just twice in those six games.

2. Caron Butler's Mountain Dew Habit

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    It seems to me that fasting is fine, so long as you know your limits, but guzzling can after can of Mountain Dew is a line that is weird to cross.

    At least when fasting there's some kind of discipline being showed, and it's an actual way to lose weight, and even stay in shape in some situations.

    Drinking an average of six 12-ounce cans of Mountain Dew a day is a crazy addiction with the empty calories and gobs of sugar exemplifying what is pretty much the opposite of what a professional athlete should be consuming.

    Butler talked about his habit while blogging for NBA.com and wrote:

    It was so bad at one point that I had to have a cold one right there at the night stand before I went to bed. I had to get the coasters and let it drip a lil' bit and just have it waiting on me. Come 2 a.m., I'd wake up out of my sleep, I'd pop one open and hear the fizz sound ... and just down it! Then I always had to have another one in the morning when I woke up. Before practice I had one too and before games I would knock back two.

    I'm getting the jitters just thinking about that.

1. Lamar Odom Embraces the Top of the Pyramid

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    A few years back, Lamar Odom revealed his ridiculous addiction. He ate candy for meal after meal, which eventually caused him to balloon up to size when he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks.

    Back in 2009 was the peak of fans embracing his candy-gobbling habit. I guess if it isn't broke, don't fix it.

    He talked to reporters about his candy exploits during the playoffs, admitting that he would eat meals of just candy during the playoffs, and he would play better when he was doing just that. Odom said:

    It's funny because the games I played well were the games where I ate candy for breakfast. It's the reason why I got double digits in points and rebounds. I guess I'm going to have to eat candy for breakfast in order to play well.

    He's finally starting to get his weight under control now that he's in full form with the Los Angeles Clippers, but he's always going to be remembered as the dude who has a diet that is ridiculously candy-heavy.

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