How Many Calories Does Basketball Burn?

Photo of author
Last Updated On

Basketball is a popular sport that increases the intensity of your movements. Find out more or less how many calories this burns.

Some rough estimations are that the average person burns around 236 to 406 calories per 30 minutes of playing a basketball game.

It is fair to say that basketball can be a good choice for burning a lot of calories per minute. Especially if you play intense competitive games.

Keep in mind that these numbers are not perfect.

You may burn different amounts of calories due to personal differences in relevant areas like body weight, body composition, exact match intensity, etc.

That aside, you can also find a more detailed chart of calorie-burning estimations below, how much energy different types of basketball training burn, and how you can see more results from playing basketball.

Biggest factors in calories burned with basketball

Something to keep in mind is that predicting how many calories basketball and other activities burn is hard to do perfectly. There are a variety of hard-to-measure things that influence the process.

At the same time, you can still make your estimations more accurate by taking certain details into account.

Knowing about the details that influence how many calories basketball burns can also help you understand how to modify your sessions to see more results.

Some of these details include:

  • Weight: To move around your body needs energy, measured in calories. The more you weigh, the more energy you need to fuel movement.
  • Body composition: Body composition is how much of your body weight is made up of different tissue. Two people can weigh the same but for one individual most of the weight can come from fat while the second individual has a lot of muscle. The reason that is important is that the same weight of muscle requires more energy than that weight in fat.
  • Intensity: If you’re looking at calories burned per minute of basketball this can vary a lot by moving your body at a fast vs slow speed. The intensity of a basketball match can vary a lot.
  • Training vs match: There are different aspects of basketball, for example playing a match vs shooting hoops at training, that cause varying amounts of calorie-burning.

Weighing your estimations with the energy in food is still not a perfect method so make sure you use other measurements too.

Hidden calorie burning from basketball

Another interesting thing to keep in mind is that it is possible that your basketball sessions help you burn more calories even after you stop working out.

The main reason for this is that there is a thing called afterburn. This is where intense workouts lead to extra calorie-burning for some time even when you stop the extra movements.

Afterburn will not have a crazy effect but your results from playing basketball may be slightly bigger than the estimations imply at first.

The numbers below only include estimations for during the actual workout session.

Chart of basketball calorie-burning estimations

There is a list from the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention that puts how many calories you burn with basketball into 3.5-7 calories per minute for shooting hoops or more than 7 calories per minute for playing a basketball match (1).

Luckily, you can get more precise estimations with MET values too.

These are estimations (or measurements if there are studies) of how intense certain activities, sports, and exercises are.

In turn, you can use the MET value to calculate calorie-burning estimations for people of different body weights doing basketball for certain amounts of time.

More specifically, you can use this formula: METs x 3.5 x (your body weight in kilograms) / 200 = calories burned per minute

There are different MET estimations for different “types” of basketball. These vary from 4.5 at shooting hoops to 8 at playing an intense basketball game (2).

You can find the calorie-burning estimations for playing a basketball match in the first table below. After that, you can find a table that compares the different types of basketball in this area.

It is worth mentioning again that you should not take these numbers too precisely. Your actual results can vary a good amount.

Besides that, knowing that 100 grams of boiled potatoes contain about 87 calories can help you connect these estimations to reality (3).

Calories burned with basketball per time interval

Since there are no sets or reps involved, your main way of estimating how many calories your basketball sessions burn is by using time intervals.

The estimations below are for playing a basketball game.

Weight Person
1 Minute15 Minutes30 Minutes45 Minutes60 Minutes
125 Pounds (56 kg)8 calories118 calories236 calories354 calories473 calories
155 Pounds (70 kg)10 calories146 calories293 calories439 calories586 calories
185 Pounds (84 kg)12 calories175 calories350 calories524 calories699 calories
215 Pounds (97 kg)14 calories203 calories406 calories610 calories813 calories
Calories burned while playing a basketball game for different time intervals

Calories burned with different types of basketball

You may also wonder how much energy other ways of doing basketball require.

In the chart below, you can find some estimations for the calories burned while shooting hoops and recreationally playing basketball.

These numbers are for 30 minutes of doing the activities.

Basketball “Type”
Weight Person
Basketball (Shooting Hoops)Basketball (Non-Game)
125 Pounds (56 kg)133 calories177 calories
155 Pounds (70 kg)165 calories220 calories
185 Pounds (83 kg)197 calories262 calories
215 Pounds (97 kg)229 calories305 calories
Calories burned per 30 minutes for different types of basketball

Ways to burn more calories with basketball

You can likely guess that there are many details that can change how many calories you actually burn with basketball.

This is great news because that means you can see more results than the numbers above imply.

The first way to burn more calories with basketball is by moving more intensely.

This can mean playing more intense matches but also really picking up the pace if you are shooting hoops.

Next, how much you weigh influences how many calories you burn a lot.

Increasing your weight in a healthy way by building muscle with resistance training can increase your energy consumption while playing basketball.

In theory, you could also wear ankle weights or a light weighted vest. In practice, these will likely interfere with your basketball play.

Lastly, you can also consider playing basketball longer or more often. If you don’t get to the point of overtraining, this will positively influence your calorie-burning efforts.

Person burning calories by shooting basketball hoops

How long does it take to see results from basketball?

You likely want to know what all the numbers above mean in terms of results in other areas like fat loss.

Something to note first is that while basketball can help weight loss, this will not always be the case. Your habits in other areas like your diet still need to be good enough too.

That being said, if you assume there is a 155-pound (70 kg) person who is at a weight loss plateau and only implements more basketball sessions, you can get a few numbers.

By playing two 45-minute basketball games a week, this 155-pound (70 kg) person would burn an extra 878 calories or about 0.25 pounds (0.11 kg) of body fat.

After doing this for four weeks, the same individual would have burned an extra 3512 calories which is about 1 pound (0.44 kg) of body fat.

Keep in mind that weight is an important detail in how many calories you burn with basketball and other activities.

As the person above (and you) lose weight, the same basketball matches will burn fewer calories.

Should you do basketball for calorie burning?

In terms of burning calories per minute, basketball can be a good exercise choice.

An additional benefit of basketball is that it does not feel like exercise for many people. You could just enjoy yourself and get healthier in the process.

It is still worth noting there are more effective exercise alternatives in terms of burning calories too.

Additionally, it can sometimes be challenging to set up a basketball match since so many people have to agree to be at a certain time and place.

That aside, if you want to burn a lot of calories with basketball (or other activities), it can be smart to build muscle with weight lifting exercises too.

This extra healthy mass can increase how many calories you burn throughout the day which includes your basketball matches.

Photo of author


Matt Claes founded Weight Loss Made Practical to help people get in shape and stay there after losing 37 pounds and learning the best of the best about weight loss, health, and longevity for over 4 years. Over these years he has become an expert in nutrition, exercise, and other physical health aspects.