When you want to boost your badminton performance, you might begin by working on your smashes, defense, or footwork. But after a while, you might find yourself wondering about diet. Is nutrition important for badminton? And if it is, how can you make sure you’re getting everything you need to play your best?
In this post, learn about the importance of badminton nutrition, along with some key takeaways to keep in mind as you plan your next grocery trip.
Eating the Proper Amount to Fuel Your Game
As a badminton player, the number of calories you eat is important. Calories fuel your body throughout every grueling training session and intense rally. And when you don’t eat enough (or if you eat too much), your performance can suffer.
Badminton burns more energy than you might expect, and undereating can take a toll on your game. On the flip side, eating too much or too soon before a match can overload your body and make you feel sluggish on the court.
Now, this doesn’t mean you need to rigorously track your calories. But it’s helpful to have a general idea of how much you’re eating each day, so you can adjust as needed.
Don’t Overlook Hydration
Being dehydrated can hurt your badminton performance by making it harder for you to move your body optimally. With that in mind, make sure to drink enough water before, during, and after stepping onto the court.
The Importance of Macronutrients in Badminton Nutrition
How much you eat is important for performance, but so is what you eat.
Here are the roles of carbohydrates, protein, and fat in a well-rounded badminton diet:
Carbohydrates give your body the proper fuel to perform at a high level. When possible, it’s best to eat slow-burning carb sources like oatmeal, quinoa, or other whole grains. But fast-burning carbs like white rice, dried fruit, and energy bars have their time and place too.
For example, you can use simple carbs to boost your energy before a workout, in between matches, or within a half-hour after training to refuel your glycogen stores.
During a fast-paced game of badminton, your muscles are working hard. Every intense jump, fast-paced lunge, and swing of your racket can stress and tear your muscle fibers on a minuscule level. This is a normal part of exercise. However, your body will need fuel in the form of protein to repair that damage afterward.
For muscle repair, the latest science suggests that you don’t necessarily need to worry about when you eat protein — just that you’re getting enough. Experts recommend 0.5 to 0.9 grams of protein per pound of body weight daily if you’re physically active.
You might not hear about fats much in badminton nutrition, but they’re still crucial for energy and overall health. With that in mind, try to get your fats from high-quality sources, such as avocados, fatty fish, and whole eggs.
Vitamins and Minerals in Badminton Nutrition
You might be wondering: What role do vitamins and minerals play — if any — in your badminton game?
When it comes to performance, here are some key nutrients to be aware of:
- Vitamin B12. B12 is an essential vitamin for your energy metabolism. You can get this vitamin from meat, fish, cheese, and eggs. Most people get plenty of B12, but some people on plant-based diets may benefit from supplements.
- Vitamin D. Having proper levels of vitamin D (aka the sunshine vitamin) offers vast benefits for badminton players. Some research suggests that this vitamin can even impact your strength and exercise capacity.
- Iron. This mineral ensures that oxygen-rich blood can flow to your muscles and keep you moving optimally.
In any case, having healthy levels of all vitamins and minerals is essential. Not just for performance, but for you to feel and function at your best each day.
Do You Need Supplements in a Badminton Diet?
You don’t necessarily need to take supplements to get everything you need. When possible, experts recommend getting most of your nutrients from a well-rounded, healthy diet.
That being said, if you find out that you’re deficient in any vitamins or minerals, your doctor or dietitian may recommend supplements. And there’s nothing wrong with filling in the gaps in your diet if needed.
The Takeaway on Badminton Nutrition
All things considered, optimizing your badminton nutrition can take your game to the next level. And the good news is that you don’t need to overthink things too much to improve your diet.
Instead, focus on eating a variety of whole foods to get enough carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats. Beyond that, remember to stay hydrated both on and off the court.