Oats contain a small amount of protein, but adding a protein powder to your porridge is the best way to transform your breakfast into a nutritionally complete meal. Protein is crucial for runners, because muscles are largely made up of protein (actin and myosin). Including enough in your diet is vital for recovering from runs and building muscle to improve performance, so adding some to your pre-run or postrun porridge is a great move. Try a naturally flavoured option such as FreeSoul’s Vegan Protein Blend.
While ‘superfood’ is more of a marketing term than a nutritional definition, there are super-healthy powders you can add to your porridge to boost its health benefits and provide a flavour kick. Cacao powder is rich in polyphenols to reduce inflammation and aid run recovery, and will taste great in your porridge. Green spirulina powder is one of the richest natural sources of antioxidants that aid postrun recovery. Don’t be alarmed by the colour it turns your porridge!
Healthy fats are an essential part of your diet, providing slow-release energy to fuel your run. Adding them to your porridge is a great way to improve the nutrient density and taste of your breakfast. Try mixing in a tablespoon of coconut oil to add creaminess and provide lauric acid, which is understood to decrease brain inflammation. Nuts and nut butters are also great in porridge. Almond butter, for example, is a source of vitamin E, phosphorus and magnesium. Or top with a tablespoon of seeds such as flax, chia or hemp seeds for a fish-free omega-3 boost.
A sliced banana on your porridge is a classic, but switch it for a handful of berries for an even healthier sweet treat. Blueberries, blackberries and other berries contain antioxidants that have anti-inflammatory effects, providing a range of health benefits and helping to counteract damaging free radicals produced while running.
Chocolate almond porridge with raspberries
- 70g oats
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
- 2 scoops FreeSoul chocolate protein
- 1 tsp cacao powder
- 1 tbsp almond butter
- Handful of raspberries (fresh or frozen)
- 1 tbsp cacao nibs
- Heat the oats with almond milk in a pan over a medium-to-high heat. After 2-3 mins, as the oats start to bubble, reduce the heat and add the protein powder, cacao powder and nut butter.
- Stir well. Once cooked, remove from the heat, pour into a bowl and top with raspberries and cacao nibs.
Kim Pearson is a qualified nutritionist, with more than 12 years’ experience. Website: kim-pearson.com
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