Playing one of the world’s fastest games demands a lot from your body, so it’s important to replenish the energy that was consumed on the court. In fact, to be able to produce a stellar run on the court, your body needs the right nutrition well before the match. Typically, the nutrition of a Badminton player is provided in three stages: before training/match, during training/match and after training/match.
If you look at the food chart, the three most important parts of a diet are: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. The most important thing nutrition provides for a Badminton player is energy, so a player’s diet should deliver 60% carbohydrates, as they are a rich source of energy. Next comes 15% proteins and the rest is fat.
Let’s have a look at the diet a badminton player should follow from before match to after match.
On the training/match morning, it is important to give your body the fuel that will provide you with the energy you require on the court. A balanced diet is essential, as eating too much will cause sagging, and less will lead to hypoglycemia.
Prior to the match/training, one should eat easily digestible food, as digestion is the most energy-consuming process in the body and will slow your movements on court if still in progress.
The best option is to switch to an all-fruit diet before you step onto the court. In case you aren’t comfortable eating before the game, go for a fruit juice.
There are a few things that you should strictly avoid prior to the match/ training. Say no to any kind of high fat and oily food. Also avoid any kind of high sugar snacks or bars, as that will lead to high blood sugar.
Here are some breakfast ideas:
It’s important to drink lots of water before a game and keep sipping on water during and even after the game. This will prevent lactic acid build-up and keep your muscles refreshed and in great shape.
Hydration during the match is important, as water can lower the risk of injuries. A dehydrated player is more prone to injuries than a hydrated player. If you have a long session, say, more than an hour, then it is advised to drink water in smaller quantities every 10-15 minutes. However, if your match is scheduled for less than 45 minutes, avoid drinking too much.
The best way you can predict your needs for hydration is by understanding your body. If you’re feeling thirsty, don’t avoid the urge to drink water, as it will enhance your game, not hamper. However, sipping water is a better option, rather than drinking too much at once.
Apart from water, players also like to consume sports drinks for instant energy on the court. Notably, there is a huge difference between sports drinks and energy drinks. The energy drinks are often high in sugar and calories, and have processed additives. While the sports drinks are high in caffeine to boost performance. Always refer to the ingredients before buying your drinks!
After a rigorous training/match, you should fuel your body up for all the energy that was lost on court. You need to eat healthy carbohydrates to replace all the glycogen lost during physical activity. The top three things needed will be sugar, protein and vitamins.
It is also advised that you consume protein-rich foods, as they are rich in amino acids, which rebuild muscle tissue that gets damaged during the game.
If you have a habit of drinking a cold drink, or even cold water after a match, you should know that it can cause diarrhoea, abdominal pain and stomach pain, so try some warm water after you step out of the court.
Also, avoid drinking too much water post game, as it is well known that this can lead to swelling of the stomach and can further hamper breathing. It’s not just the stomach, either. Too much water can also affect your heart, as water increases the amount of blood circulation in the body, which increases blood pressure. The ideal post-match recovery diets include smoothie, pineapple juice, apricots, figs, dates, apple and banana.
Some players also use protein supplements for recovery after practice/match. The three protein supplements that are commonly used by players are: Whey Protein, Soy Protein and Casein Protein.
Whey Protein is not only an easy-to-use water soluble supplement, but also contains all nine essential amino acids, while Soy Protein is the protein powder preferred by vegans.
Playing the fastest game in the world exposes you to potential injury on court. Should the worst happen, proper nutrition is important for healing. A protein-rich diet will reduce the effect of injury and will speed up the process. Omega-3 fatty acids in particular have anti-inflammatory properties.
There are many things to consider when planning your diet for the game. You may have the best equipment in the world, but if you don’t follow a balanced nutritious diet, you’re not giving yourself the best fuel and you are unlikely to see the results you’re aiming for on court.
Nutrition is a vast subject, so we have decided to limit this article content to a general or common view. We have more advanced articles planned, especially on nutrition. These are from a few of the world’s best nutritionists, so well worth the wait. Until then, keep enjoying the articles, all of which aim to set you up for the best Badminton experience.