Food and Nutrition

‘I’m a WNBA Player—Here’s What I Eat To Keep My Energy Levels Up On and Off the Court’

Emily Laurence

Photo: Provided; Art: W+G Creative
Ever wondered what a CrossFit champion eats for breakfast? Or how a spin instructor powers themselves through multiple classes a day? Or how an Olympic gymnast snacks? Food Diaries takes you on an inside journey through the healthy eating habits of athletes at the top of their games because, admit it, you’re curious. See More

Gaming is a huge part of Alexis Jones’s life in a few different ways. After playing college basketball for Duke University and Baylor University, she was drafted to the WNBA in 2017 and currently plays for the Atlanta Dream. The team is still practicing together daily, with COVID-19 precautions in place. “We get our temperatures checked every day, take a COVID-19 test every three days, and wear masks while we play,” Jones tells me over a Zoom call. (She and the team are currently in Spain.) But basketball isn’t the only game in Jones’s life.

In November, Jones joined Queens Gaming Collective, a new gaming lifestyle brand to promote and support female gamers. (The streamers and content creators are aptly named queens.) “I’ve always been into competitive gaming—when I’m not playing basketball that’s what I love to do—and I really started getting into it during quarantine,” Jones says. In a year when physical connection has been scant, gaming has provided a way for people to interact while still staying safe at home. “To me, Queens is important because it connects you to a group of women who are going to understand you, believe in you, and support you,” Jones says. “These are women who actually listen to your journey and want to support you on it.”

As much as Jones loves gaming, her schedule revolves around basketball practice. A typical day for her is a workout with the team, break, and then team basketball practice. “During the offseason, I still practice on my own and have also started lifting,” she says. “Lifting is important to keep muscles strong—and it doesn’t have to be a heavy weight,” she says. Jones adds that rest is really important too; if she worked out hard the day before, she’ll take it easy the next day, allowing her body to recover.

In terms of eating, Jones says that, for her, nothing is really off-limits. “I try to eat healthy, but I also love fried chicken,” she says. “The only food I really minimize is red meat, though I will have a good steak a few times a year.” So what does she eat? Here, Jones shares what an average day of eating looks like for her. While her food diary isn’t meant to be a guide—after all, as a professional athlete, her dietary needs are different than the average person’s—it does offer a fun, voyeuristic look into what keeps her fueled on and off the court.

Keep reading to see WNBA star Alexis Jones’s food diary.

alexis jones food diary breakfast
Photo: Getty Images/Stefania Pelfini, La Waziya Photography; Art: W+G Creative

Breakfast

“My coach told me I should start every morning by drinking a big glass of water, so I start each day doing that, followed by 60 crunches,” Jones says, adding that she makes sure to finish an entire water bottle before heading to practice. “I’m not a big breakfast person though, so normally I will head to the team workout and just eat after.”

alexis jones food diary lunch
Photo: Stocksy/Cameron Whitman; Art: W+G Creative

Lunch

Even though she skips breakfast, Jones says she makes up for it when lunchtime rolls around. “One of my go-to lunches is chicken tacos,” she says. But whenever she gets taco fatigue, she’ll switch it up and have sushi. “I like to have a big lunch, but I just try to stay away from fried food since I have to head back to basketball practice after lunch,” she says.

alexis jones snack
Photo: Stocksy/Joanna Nixon; Art: W+G Creative

Snack

Jones says on practice days that she’s usually so busy that she doesn’t have time for an afternoon snack, but if she’s relaxing at home gaming, she’ll nosh on something she can eat while she plays. Her go-to: popcorn. “I definitely have more of a salty tooth than a sweet one,” she says.

alexis jones dinner
Photo: Stocksy/Helen Rushbrook; Art: W+G Creative

Dinner

For dinner, Jones loves a classic pre-game favorite: spaghetti. “I don’t cook much, but I do have a handful of meals that I like that I can cook well, like spaghetti, chicken, or salmon,” she says. Since Jones isn’t big into sweets, she says she tends not to have dessert. Instead, she spends the evening winding down and then heads to bed. After all, practice time comes early.

Oh hi! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts for cult-fave wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content. Sign up for Well+, our online community of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards instantly.

Loading More Posts...