Too tired to work out? Munch on these energy-boosting foods...
Wholewheat pasta is packed with vitamins B and E and can be a great source of carbohydrate for endurance athletes. “It is a good food choice after you have finished a long event or training session,” says nutritionist Dr Sarah Schenker (sarahschenker.co.uk). “The quicker you replace your muscles'used up glycogen stores, the better they can recover and optimise stores ready for your next training session.”
Porridge oats are bursting with B vits, as well as being a great source of calcium, iron and zinc. What's more, they contain more protein than most other grains, to help keep you fuller for longer. “Oats are known to have a low glycaemic index (GI), making them ideal pre-race fodder,” Sarah says. “They are a rich source of carbohydrate that is released steadily into your bloodstream and allows you to keep performing at a fast pace for longer.”
Yogurt is rich in calcium to help protect your bones. Plus, it's packed with vitamins A, B, C and D. “Your stamina and endurance performance relies on healthy, strong muscles that have the capacity to hold large amounts of glycogen [stored carbohydrate],” Sarah tells us. “Yogurt provides whey protein which has been shown to promote protein synthesis when eaten after exercise. This aids your recovery and growth of your muscles.”
Almonds are a good source of protein and healthy fats to keep your blood-sugar balanced. They are rich in fibre and are thought to burn fat more efficiently. “Almonds have particularly high amounts of many vitamins and minerals including calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamin E, as well as supplying B vitamins, iron and zinc,” explains Sarah. “This makes them the perfect snack to promote general good health and wellbeing.”
Bananas are bursting with vitamins and minerals and give you an instant energy boost. “They provide plenty of carbohydrate, when they are ripe this is in the form of fast acting carbs, making them an ideal snack while you are taking part in long distance activities, like triathlons,” says Sarah. “They are portable, easy to eat and easy to digest, so a few bites won’t make you feel uncomfortable while you're exercising.”