Dwyane Wade

Wade turns 30 later this month, and in his ninth pro season nutrition is as important to him as any other part of his regimen. That wasn’t always the case: Even when he was on his way to being MVP of the NBA finals in 2006, Wade could get away with eating just about anything he wanted, chicken fingers and cheeseburgers seeming like staples of his diet.

Not anymore. Farewell, sweets. Hello, salads.

And Wade says changing the way he fuels his body has him feeling as healthy as ever.

“The protein, the drinks, the carbohydrates, I know all the things I need,” Wade said. “The biggest thing is that I’ve talked with a nutritionist, who’s working with the team, who understands what we need, how much we practice, what weight I need to be at, what body fat, this, this and this. Put them together, come up with a master plan and I reap the benefits.”

So are the Heat, who are 5-0 for the first time after polishing off the Charlotte Bobcats 129-90 on Sunday night not long after Wade polished off that pasta-and-fruit dinner. Wade came into the season with a body fat of less than 4 percent, but says he has enough strength and bulk to get through the grind of a condensed 66-game regular season, and credits the culinary changes for that belief.

– Reported by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press