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December 25, 2021 4 min read

I've been playing badminton for many years and I love the game. It's a great workout and it helps with coordination.

But what do you eat before playing? And how much should you eat? What if I'm not hungry enough to finish my meal? These questions are important considerations when deciding what to eat before playing badminton!

Why it's important to fuel your body with the right foods

As you fuel your body with the right foods, it will give you more energy. It also helps stave off hunger during the game. The game consists of intense bursts of physical activity followed by periods of downtime. As a result, it's important to eat foods that provide both carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates are especially important for endurance, while protein is important for muscle maintenance.

There are several healthy snacks that you can eat before playing badminton.

Carbohydrates

Whole grain bread - whole grain bread is an excellent source of carbohydrates. If possible, try to choose multigrain bread over white bread because it doesn't spike your blood sugar level as much as white bread does. White bread contains refined flour, which acts like sugar in your bloodstream. This causes blood sugar levels to spike, followed by a rapid drop. The drop leaves you feeling tired and lethargic, which is the last thing you want before playing badminton!

This also holds true for white rice. Choose brown rice instead of white rice because it's less processed and has more fiber than white rice. It's also a good source of magnesium and thiamine - plus, it gives you the energy you need to play badminton!

Fruits

Bananas - bananas are full of potassium and provide quick bursts of energy because they're high in carbohydrates. If you want a sweeter snack that will provide you with a steady supply of energy, choose an apple or pear. Apples and pears also keep your digestive tract healthy because they contain dietary fiber!

Protein

Nuts - almonds are a great source of protein. They're small enough that you can easily carry them in match bags. Or if you prefer, consider buying pre-portioned packs of almonds.

Nuts also provide you with a steady supply of energy because they contain good quality fats and protein. However, make sure you choose raw nuts over roasted nuts because roasting can damage the oils in nuts and cause them to become rancid. This means that the healthy benefits of eating nuts will be greatly diminished!

This holds true for seeds as well. Cashews, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and sesame seeds are all great sources of fiber, protein, vitamin E, B-complex vitamins (like thiamine), minerals (such as iron & zinc), manganese and magnesium! This will make you feel full longer because they contain healthy unsaturated fats and protein.

Sweets

Dark chocolate - dark chocolate is made from cocoa solids and cocoa butter, which means it's high in antioxidants (which fight free radicals) and rich in flavor! Dark chocolate has only a fraction of the fat found in milk chocolate. It also contains caffeine, which can help give you more energy!

Badminton essentials

How carbohydrates provide fuel for endurance and protein is important for muscle maintenance

Carbohydrates are important for endurance because they form the primary fuel of the body during exercise. It is an energy supply that can be stored in the muscles and liver. The human body does not require any carbohydrates to obtain energy from fat or protein because it can obtain a small amount from a process called gluconeogenesis. Carbohydrates, however, provide a more efficient combustion process which results in a higher proportion of energy obtained from each food item.

Protein also provides energy to your muscles by being broken down into amino acids and used as building blocks for muscle tissue. In addition, protein is essential to maintain muscle function, control hunger and provide flavor to dishes, all of which will help you stay focused on badminton instead of worrying about your next meal!

Final Tips

To get the most out of your next badminton game, bring one or more of these healthy snacks with you. Consume them about an hour before playing so that your body has enough time to digest it and use the nutrients from the snack. You'll be able to play badminton for a longer period of time with more energy!

Some good snacks to eat before a badminton match are things like fruit, nuts, and for a healthier approach, sushi. If you're looking to take a more carbohydrate-heavy approach, you could choose pretzels or crackers.

Things like pasta are great for before an early morning match because they take time to break down and digest. You should probably avoid too much protein before your game because the body needs time to break it down after eating it.

All of this goes for after your game as well. If you find yourself hungry, remember to eat slowly and drink plenty of fluids because it's easy to forget to do either. The more you pay attention to what you're eating and drinking, the better prepared for your next match!

Main Image:Photo by Ella Olsson from Pexels

Badminton Beginner Racket
We'd love to hear your opinions, comments, tips and tricks so please feel free to comment below. If you would like us to write about something in particular, please let us know!

Jeffrey Tho
Jeffrey Tho

Jeff is an ex-international badminton player who represented Australia at the Commonwealth Games (twice as a player & once as a coach), World Championships, All England Championships and multiple Thomas and Sudirman Cups. He was the Australian National Coach, Senior State Head Coach and is the co-founder of Volant badminton & The Badminton Podcast. Jeff is extremely passionate about building the worldwide badminton community & showing the world how incredible our sport really is.


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