A steaming bowl of porridge is the go to superfood for athletes.

Porridge is a performance power house.

Porridge can be made by boiling any ground, crushed, or chopped grain in water and/or milk – it has been extolled by everyone from Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah, Paula Radcliffe and Haile Gebrselassie. Sports nutritionists often prescribe a bowl of steaming porridge as the perfect preparation for training or competition.


Researchers at Loughborough University  studied the effects of eating different foods before a workout found the choice of breakfast for in particularly endurance athletes made a big difference to performance. They found that foods with a low to moderate GI, such as porridge, enhance endurance when consumed around three hours before exercise. They appear to trigger the body and muscles to use fat more efficiently, thereby conserving glycogen to be used later. As a result, you can perform well for longer.


There are other benefits. Oats, the most popular porridge ingredient, are rich in soluble fibre, which binds to and reduces the harmful lower-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol in the body and studies  showed that regularly eating them can lower blood cholesterol levels by up to 20 per cent.


Porridge and its related grains are not just for morning meals, they make excellent snacks at any time of day because they are low in fat, but they also help to regulate blood sugar.

Use basic unrefined porridge oats rather than the quick-cook variety, as they have an infinitely better flavour and texture and are more sustaining. And with the addition of a scoop of protein powder or peanut butter you can boost your protein intake.


COOK TIME: 10 minutes

100g porridge
550 ml water or milk or half and half Pinch of salt
150grams of  blueberries you can also add a few raspberries if short.
Handful of walnuts
A good drizzle of runny honey or maple syrup

1. Put the walnuts on a baking tray and roast in the oven for 5 minutes. As soon as you have put them in the oven then pour the oats, water and/or milk into a pan and add a pinch of salt. Whilst stirring, bring to the boil over a high heat and then turn the heat down and simmer for about 5 minutes until you get a thick and creamy consistency.
2. Pour into two warmed bowls, crumble the nuts on top of the porridge with the blueberries and drizzle over the maple syrup or honey.

Nutrition per serving:
Calories 382 kcal
Carbohydrates 50 grams
Protein 12 grams
Fat 15 grams