Basketball is considered to be one of the most popular sports that is believed to enhance height growth. However, whether this is a myth or reality is still a topic of debate. Two common questions are when is the best time to start playing basketball and how often should it be played. So, how does this sport contribute to height growth? Let’s explore together.
Can playing basketball make you taller?
The main factor that determines your height is your genetic makeup, with environmental factors such as diet during childhood and adolescence having a smaller impact on your ability to reach your genetic height potential.
Unfortunately, there is no evidence to support the idea that playing basketball or any other activity can increase your maximum height, which is disappointing for those looking to grow taller. However, playing basketball has many other benefits that make it a great exercise for both children and adults.
Young people who play basketball experience improvements in their lean body mass, jump height, grip strength, and other athletic abilities. Recreational basketball also improves various health measures, such as blood pressure and body fat percentage.
Like many other sports, playing basketball stimulates the pituitary gland to produce growth hormones. These substances help in the development of cartilage tissues, which later turn into bone cells. As long as your epiphyseal plates have not fused, your body can continue to grow taller.
Why should you play basketball then?
Basketball is a physically demanding sport that involves various movements such as running, sprinting, jumping, and tossing. These movements have a positive impact on overall health, improving cardiovascular function, bone density, muscle strength, and cognitive reaction time. Playing basketball can also enhance maximal oxygen uptake, lean muscle mass, and bone density while reducing the risk of abnormal blood pressure, lipid levels, and resting heart rates.
During puberty, it’s crucial to maintain a well-rounded diet that includes nutrient-dense foods and avoid junk food to optimize height growth. Inadequate nutrition during this period can result in the body prioritizing important processes over bone elongation and development. It’s also important to stay hydrated, get adequate sleep, get sun exposure, and eat foods rich in nutrients that support physical growth.
Epiphyseal growth plates, which are found on the ends of several bones, are where bone elongation occurs. The greatest increase in height typically occurs during the pubertal growth spurt, and the growth plates solidify towards the end of adolescence and the beginning of adulthood, halting further bone length development.
It’s important to note that, while you cannot increase overall height with the right diet and exercise plan, you can still enhance bone thickness and density, which is beneficial for overall health, strength, and lifespan.
What you should do before playing basketball.
To prepare for a match or any physical activity, it’s important to follow these steps:
- Eat a light snack 15 to 30 minutes before to boost your energy. If you exercise on an empty stomach, you may run out of energy quickly and waste your entire game.
- Keep your drink nearby and stay hydrated throughout the activity. Water or sports drinks are the best options, but don’t drink too quickly or overdrink water when you’re exhausted, as it can lead to water intoxication. Sports drinks contain electrolytes that can help replenish and balance your system.
- Warm up your body before the activity. Regardless of the intensity of your training, warming up can help prevent injuries and cramps. Stretching and rotating your knees, wrists, and other joints can help loosen up your muscles.
If playing basketball does not help your height development, why are basketball players so tall?
The ability to jump higher is a crucial advantage for basketball players as it enables them to score, block shots, and grab rebounds. Taller players have a natural advantage in jumping ability and are more likely to outperform shorter players, both individually and as part of a team. As a result, coaches may prefer taller players when selecting players for elite teams, as they are more likely to perform well. Thus, the rosters of top basketball teams tend to feature players who are significantly taller than the average person, as performance is the key factor in player selection.
Playing basketball or any other sport alone cannot guarantee that you will become taller. Height is determined by various factors, and playing basketball is only one of them. To maximize growth potential, basketball players should also focus on having a well-balanced diet and getting enough quality sleep in addition to their basketball training. Sleep is particularly important as it is during this time that the body’s healing process takes place and growth hormones are produced.
In order to achieve a healthy and tall appearance, it is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle that includes a nourishing diet, sound sleep, and regular physical activity. It takes years of consistent effort from a young age to build a tall and healthy body, and there is no quick fix or miracle solution.