As a recent guest columnist for iVillage.com, Kobe Bryant revealed something quite interesting on the night he scored his historic 81 points. “I only started really focusing on my nutrition a few years ago,” Kobe said. “I started experiencing low energy and was feeling bloated. Then it hit me: 'Kobe you’re not 25 anymore' (I once had pepperoni pizza before scoring 81 points).”
The older Kobe Bryant may have recently dropped 16 pounds for the Olympics, but the younger Kobe Bryant never cared about his diet and nutrition at all. When you’re in your twenties you can get away with eating junk food, but once Kobe hit 30, he realized he couldn’t get away with his pepperoni pizzas any longer.
“It was time to adjust, so the struggle began,” Kobe said. “Lots of veggies, fruits, fish and lean meats. Instead of viewing my new way of eating as a diet, I looked at it as a way of life. Balance was the key. I didn't want to feel like I was punishing myself. Now, though it's still difficult, I enjoy the veggies much more knowing that if I have an occasional cookie I'm not a failure”
Kobe celebrated his 34th birthday yesterday. Though he may not be the same player that he used to be, his diet and nutrition have clearly extended his career. When you're older, talent can only get you so far. Diet and nutrition are just as equally important. Just think about how much better Shaq’s career could’ve ended if he was on his current diet. And think about how much longer Steve Nash and Ray Allen have extended their quality of play and their careers, by simply watching what they ate.