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Nutrition insight: Harley Towler


Georgina Impson Davey, Performance Nutritionist at the English Institute of Sport working for the GB Badminton team, talks with Harley Towler about his nutrition & how it relates to performance in the lead up to the YONEX All England 2016…



Why nutrition is important for badminton:


“It’s essential that we optimise nutrition so that players:

  • boost immunity, reducing their risk of injury & illness, allowing more time to train
  • make the most of each training session to its full potential enhancing the training adaptations
  • fuel & recover optimally for match performance & tournament performance

"The performance nutrition team at the English Institute of Sport aims to do this by unleashing the power of food.”

How can nutrition impact your match performance?

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“Pre- & post-match nutritional strategies are vital for producing a good performance.

"Your pre-match strategy is to ensure you are well hydrated and feel energised. It might involve making sure your breakfast is optimal for the day ahead and then also having specific foods/drinks around the match.

"As it is common to play more than once during a day it’s important to ensure you have good recovery nutrition as well as a rehydration technique to prepare for subsequent matches."

What are your nutritional habits like?


"For me the most important area I focus on is controlling and monitoring what macro-nutrients I need and when, as well as ensuring I get enough vitamins and minerals to aid my health and boost my immunity.”

Harley’s 5 favourite ingredients to use:

0% fat Greek yoghurt, beetroot, avocado, almond butter & persimmon!

Harley's training day nutrition:



What do you find is the hardest thing about eating for badminton?


“Maintaining good nutritional habits when abroad during international competitions is the hardest thing! Cooking is usually not an option so typically we will eat out & buy snacks from a supermarket.”

How will your nutrition be impacted for the YONEX All England?


“Generally for domestic competitions it is quite easy to maintain good eating habits as we are more familiar with supermarkets. Restaurant menus are much easier to understand and it is easier to tell waiters/chefs what you need specifically.

"As with any tournament it is just about being well prepared and having food/drinks ready in advance so that you avoid going for long periods without food and miss eating at optimal times such as immediately after competition.”

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Georgina’s top tips for eating for badminton performance…

1. Always keep a performance focus!
2. Make meals and snacks specific to your training sessions & performance goals!
3. Have snacks available in your bag!
4. Carry your water bottle as decreased reaction time & decreased muscular performance are some of the symptoms of dehydration!
5. Trial performance strategies during training NOT competition!

Watch all the world's best players at the YONEX All England Open Badminton Championships, 8-13 March 2016.

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