LeBron James credits good nutrition and ‘optimal sleep’ for still being elite at age 38

Peter Dewey
3 Min Read

Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James explained how nutrition and sleep have helped him be successful for so many seasons in the NBA.

James, who just turned 38, is in his 20th season in the NBA and is still putting up elite numbers.

“At 18 and 20, you’re just doing it off straight-up energy and straight skill,” he said when comparing his younger self to now. “… But at 38 for me, it’s mental. How much rest I can get from day to day, get my optimal sleep, get the right food in me,  treat my body right.”

Earlier in his career, James was such a dominant athlete that he didn’t have as much of a need for some of the things he does now in his career. However, with the superstar facing injuries in the last few seasons, he appears to have made some changes to help his body hold up for the grind of an NBA season.

James once again looks like one of the best players in the NBA, and he’s been critical for the Lakers as they try to stay in the playoff chase despite Anthony Davis dealing with an injury to his foot.

On Monday night, the 18-time All-Star scored 43 points on 16-of-26 shooting to lead the Lakers to a 121-115 win over the Charlotte Hornets. It is the second consecutive game in which James has scored over 40 points in a Lakers road win.

The four-time champion added 11 rebounds and six assists in the game, and he has some impressive season-long numbers at this point in the 2022-23 campaign.

James is averaging 29.0 points, 8.2 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game while shooting 51.0 percent from the field. Even though the Lakers are in the No. 12 spot in the West, they’d be much further out of contention if it weren’t for James.

After so many seasons with long playoff runs (James made the NBA Finals in eight consecutive seasons during his time with the Miami Heat and his second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers), it’s truly amazing that the four-time league MVP is able to keep playing at this high of a level.

The Lakers are certainly leaning on James to keep them afloat until Davis returns, and he’s delivered, pulling the team within two games of a play-in tournament spot with Monday’s win.

James is under contract with the Lakers at least through the 2023-24 season, and it’s always possible that he plays beyond that, especially if he’s still playing at this high of a level.

James and the Lakers will look to continue their winning ways as of late when they take on the Miami Heat in Los Angeles on Wednesday night.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.