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No.2: Porridge with banana, blueberries and honey

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No.2 top meal for distance runners

Porridge with banana, blueberries and honey

After all the long and hard training sessions, we have finally arrived on race day! What better way to start your race day than with a delicious, filling and nutritious breakfast providing nutritious, low GI carbs, some simple sugars, protein and healthy fats. Try and aim for a good breakfast 2 to 4 hours before the start of your race to allow for optimal digestion.

The star of this dish are oats. Oats are an excellent source of low GI carbohydrates, essential for fuelling the body for long lasting energy. Carbohydrate foods that have a low glycaemic index  means that the food is slowly converted to glucose in the bloodstream resulting in a slow-release form of energy, rather than causing a sharp rise in blood sugars and then a drop.

Eating a low GI meal on race day has been shown to improve endurance as opposed to a high GI meal. The protein from the milk and nuts will also slow digestion time and allow for a longer lasting, more continual release of energy.

The fruit on your porridge is a great addition too. As well as providing carbs for energy, fruit can provide phytonutrients with antioxidant power as well as other vitamins and minerals. Blueberries are particularly high in antioxidants, while  bananas are a great source of potassium. Potassium is an important mineral for muscle contraction, electrolyte balance and helps to prevent dehydration.

The salt is important not only for flavour, but for performance as well. Consuming a small amount of salt will help to offset the effects of dehydration during your run. Salt will help your body to retain fluid better which is want we want when exercising intensely. Remember to stay hydrated both before and during your run also, in order to balance out the fluids lost through sweat and heat.

Many runners may feel a little nervous on race day and struggle to find their appetite. If this is you, try to consume something small and easy to digest in rather than nothing at all. It’s also a good idea to do a ‘practice run’ beforehand, where you eat your breakfast and then head out for a run as if it’s the real thing. This allows you to get an idea of how your body will handle digestion pre and during your run. Set your alarm early, stick to your regular routine and have all your essentials packed and ready to go the night before. Good luck! 

Porridge with banana, blueberries and honey                       

Ingredients (serves 4)


·      200g Traditional oats

·      750ml milk

·      Pinch of salt

·      30g walnuts, lightly chopped

·      30g flaked almonds

·      1 tsp Cinnamon

·      2 bananas

·      120g blueberries

·      Honey, drizzle to serve 

Step 1      Place milk, cinnamon and salt in large saucepan over a medium heat.

Step 2      Add oats and bring to a gentle boil then reduce heat and cook for 4-6 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 3 While oats are cooking, peel and slice banana diagonally. Rinse berries.

Step 4 Add walnuts and almonds to the oats for the last minute of cooking. Check consistency, add more milk for runnier consistency if desired.

Step 5 Spoon porridge into bowls, top with sliced bananas and blueberries and finish with a drizzling of honey.

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