Diet planning suggestions for athletes (Part1)

Professional advice/ Chang Pei-rong, Sentosa

The body’s anti-oxidant substances can be formed by the body itself and can also rely on food supplementation. Chang Pei-rong says that, to reduce the production of free radicals or speed up their elimination to have the effect of easing fatigue, professional athletes need to supplement nutrients which have an anti-oxidant effect, such as vitamins A,C and E, and Selenium and β-Carotene etc.

When we do sport our bodies become fatigued and our muscles ache;this is because, when we exercise, our body releases a large amount of free radicals which cause cell oxidation. Over a long period muscle is also put under oxidation pressure.

Badminton players are nimble and quick type athletes

Also, the calorie requirements of an athlete are usually higher than a normal person, which means the nutrients needed for energy metabolism should be suitably supplemented—vitamins B1,B2 and BCAA delay muscle fatigue; calcium form and repair bone. Intake of these nutrients can be increased in an athlete’s daily diet.

In accordance with the length time the sport lasts and type, athletes can be divided into three types: endurance, resistance and nimble and fast type athletes. Chang Pei-rong says that, apart from the basic dietary principles, different groups need to pay attention to slightly different things.

Nimble and quick type athletes:
attach importance to controlling calorie intake

Weight has to be controlled in a suitable way to maintain fast reactions, avoiding excessive body weight making the athlete less agile. However, in the process of controlling diet, attention should be paid to maintaining a nutritional balance. In particular, micro nutrients, such as vitamins and minerals, should meet the amounts suggested by DRIs (Dietary Reference Intakes). If insufficient micro nutrients can be gained from one’s regular diet, then taking nutritional supplements can be considered.

For athletes who are trying to lose weight, nutritionist Change Pei-rong suggests that calorie intake is reduced by 250-500 a day to avoid losing weight too quickly with resulting excessive muscle loss that will affect sporting performance.

For nimble and quick type athletes, Change Pei-rong suggests suitably reducing fat intake, for example by eating low fat fish and lean meat in place of fried chicken, braised pork and beef shank. In this way, with the precondition of maintaining a balanced diet the original muscle mass will be retained and ideal balanced weight achieved.

For the dietary guide for endurance type athletes (marathon runners, cyclists, triathletes,) resistance type athletes (for example, weightlifters) and vegetarian athletes, please see the next article.

(The above content represents the author’s views alone and not those of this company)
(Edit by VICTOR Badminton )


Queena, Chang
* School of Nutrition Chung Shan Medical University - Bachelor
* Certified Specialist in Renal Nutrition
* Certified Hospital Diabetes Educators
* Expert Advice Website 「JUST WOMAN」- Dietician on site
* Cathay HealthCare Management - Dietician
* Sentosa Inc. - Dietician