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Dumplings for Athletes and Executives. Flavour and Nutrition, Health Benefits and Tradition

Updated: Mar 22

dumplings health benefits nutrition

Dumplings those delightful packets of joy, have transcended culinary boundaries. And we propose they are are perfect meal option for athletes, runners, gym goers and executives. Their perfection lies not just in their taste but also in their versatility and, arguably, health benefits. Steamed, boiled, fried, meat-filled, meat-free… from bustling street food stalls to elegant dining tables, dumplings have earned their reputation.

In this article we we will primarily discuss boiled dumplings, because of their slight edge in health (and ease of washing up) compared to fried dumplings. But honestly, enjoy dumplings the way that you want to, as part of the eating practice that suits you best.


Dumpling Talk (in Chinese)

  • Jiaozi 饺子 Dumpling, the generic term

  • Shui Jiao 水饺 Boiled dumpling

  • Guo Tie 锅贴 Fried dumpling aka pot stickers (in Japan, gyoza)


Why We Love Dumplings

Nutrition and Taste One of the key reasons dumplings are beloved is their diverse fillings. Whether with succulent meat or plant based with vegetables or mushrooms, dumplings cater to various dietary preferences and, importantly, tastes.

For the Athlete For those who measure their protein intake, if you are doing strength training or running long, dumplings allow you to be precise with your protein. Our favourite dumplings, bought from a stall, contain approximately 30g of lean pork per dumpling, that’s about 8g of protein.

Boiling vs. Frying While fried dumplings tempt with their crispy texture, boiling is superior in terms of health. Lower in calories and less inflammatory than their fried counterparts, boiled dumplings reduce the intake of unhealthy fats. This cooking method ensures that you savour the goodness of the fillings without compromising your wellbeing.

Frozen Goodness Dumplings can be stored in the freezer, ready to be eaten on demand. Great for any occasion and, boiled in 10 minutes, dumplings are relatively quick and easy to cook after a day in the office or a hard workout session.

An Easy, Nutritious Meal Just add a couple of handfuls of fresh green vegetables, a low salt chicken or vegetable stock cube, some noodles and you have the basis of nutritionally balanced soupy meal that requires little preparation. As this is 1 pot cooking there is very little in the way of washing up.

After a hard workout I know that I can quickly and easily prepare a nutritious, dumpling soup. No fuss and immensely satisfying.

Ginger and Vinegar Dipping Sauce The classic combination of ginger and vinegar dipping sauce to tantalise the taste buds. Ginger possesses anti-inflammatory and digestive properties that support post work-out recovery. Dumplings are also great with chile sauce.

Homemade by Hand. Store bought dumplings are easy, just be mindful of the ingredients. Making dumplings at home is not too difficult, especially if you can buy the skins. Select your own fillings; add vegetables, herbs and spices for flavour and for their antioxidant polyphenols for an added health boost.


Dumplings are more than just a delight to eat; they combine nutrition, creativity and even tradition. With their nutritious fillings, freezability and versatility, combined with cooking techniques that support health, I argue that tasty dumplings are the epitome of a perfect food for the busy person.

Stay Healthy,


  • Dumplings have a wonderful, Chinese New Year related origin story... learn more here.


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Your health, physical – mental – social - is complex and affected by multiple factors within and outside of your control. Our consults and programmes address the whole person, the root causes of ill health and maximising your health, performance & vitality.

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Related Studies

Morton RW, Murphy KT, McKellar SR, Schoenfeld BJ, Henselmans M, Helms E, Aragon AA, Devries MC, Banfield L, Krieger JW, Phillips SM. A systematic review, meta-analysis and meta-regression of the effect of protein supplementation on resistance training-induced gains in muscle mass and strength in healthy adults. Br J Sports Med. 2018 Mar;52(6):376-384. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2017-097608. Epub 2017 Jul 11. Erratum in: Br J Sports Med. 2020 Oct;54(19):e7. PMID: 28698222; PMCID: PMC5867436.

Aragon AA, Schoenfeld BJ, Wildman R, Kleiner S, VanDusseldorp T, Taylor L, Earnest CP, Arciero PJ, Wilborn C, Kalman DS, Stout JR, Willoughby DS, Campbell B, Arent SM, Bannock L, Smith-Ryan AE, Antonio J. International society of sports nutrition position stand: diets and body composition. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017 Jun 14;14:16. doi: 10.1186/s12970-017-0174-y. PMID: 28630601; PMCID: PMC5470183.

Hamidi EN, Hajeb P, Selamat J, Lee SY, Abdull Razis AF. Bioaccessibility of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) in Grilled Meat: The Effects of Meat Doneness and Fat Content. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Jan 10;19(2):736. doi: 10.3390/ijerph19020736. PMID: 35055557; PMCID: PMC8775937.


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