Muscle Is the New Skinny 3 Foods That Burn Fat & Build Muscle Endurance

Nutritionist/ Cheng Hsin Yi, Formosa Cancer Foundation

Bony, skinny figure is no longer a trend. It is muscle that is the new skinny. All-around exercises such as badminton, swimming, and core strength training are all excellent choices for building your muscle. Take badminton for example, each swing, hitting, and the rapid back-and-forth movement can help train the muscles of the upper and lower arm, as well as the abdominal muscles. It not only reinforces metabolism and maintains cardiopulmonary function, but also helps people stay fit and healthy.

The following nutrients can ease post-workout soreness, increase muscular endurance, and even help build six-pack abs:

Balanced Low-glycemic Diet

High-glycemic diet tends to raise blood sugar levels, thus making people dizzy, stimulating insulin release, and causing body fat to accumulate. A balanced low- glycemic diet is always the best bet. Badminton smash and all of the back-and-force movement require enormous energy. If you need to build explosive strength for this kind of energy-consuming exercises, carbohydrate will never disappoint you. It can be the source of glucose and be saved as glycogen in muscles and liver to act as back-up energy. Banana, sweet potato, and bread are perfect pre-workout snacks since all of them are easily absorbed. Be sure to avoid high-fat or high-fiber foods before exercise to prevent stomach pain.


The human body consists mainly of water, muscle, and fat. Muscles play an important role in boosting basal metabolic rate and can help overcome the bottleneck period of weight loss. Protein is an essential component of muscles. A good protein can help replenish protein lost during exercise and repair damaged muscles. Consuming protein after workout such as badminton swinging and core strength training is good for building up abdominal muscles and even six-pack abs. For men who want to grow muscles or women who want to sculpt their bodies, it’s advisable to eat good proteins such as eggs, chicken breast, fish, soy milk, and protein shakes to repair damaged muscles and help them grow. However, one of the by-products of long-term high protein consumption is ammonia, which may impose a burden on liver and kidney. As a result, this approach may not work for those with liver and kidney problems.

Branched-chain Amino Acid (BCAA)

Weak smashes at critical moments, a lack of agility due to low muscle endurance, and lactic acid buildup after exercising—these are all nightmares for badminton players. Branched-chain amino acids (valine, leucine and isoleucine) are essential amino acids that help replenish nutrients. It’s been proven that BCAA can treat workout fatigue, increase agility, improve muscular endurance, prevent muscle injury, and even relieve muscle soreness after weight training workout. Foods rich in BCAA include soybean, eggs, milk, and so on. Consuming foods with BCAA after exercise is of great benefit to protein anabolism and muscle building.

It’s important for athletes to adopt a balanced low- glycemic diet. Before exercise, easily-absorbed carbohydrates are the best choice, while BCAA and water are what you need during exercising. Last but not least, don’t forget to consume good proteins after exercise. With the right diet and a great all-around workout plan, building six-pack abs is no longer a mission impossible!


Cheng Hsin Yi
* Master in Food Science and Biotechnology, Providence University
* Nutritionist at Formosa Cancer Foundation
* Licensed nutritionist, diabetes educator, and kidney disease educator