5 post-run recovery breakfasts

Peach and raspberry smoothie

HOW TO In a blender, combine one small pot of low-fat peach yoghurt, 60ml low-fat milk, 125g crushed canned pineapple, two tbsp dried coconut, a handful of plain porridge oats and 180g frozen raspberries. Blend until smooth.

HOW COME A 2008 Australian study reported that long-distance runners who take a strain of the probiotic lactobacillus (found in live yoghurt) every day suffer less severe bouts of respiratory illness. Oats can also help cut your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, while raspberries are rich in quercetin which may help increase exercise endurance. 

Mediterranean turkey bacon pitta

HOW TO Toast a wholewheat pita. Spread two tbsp olive tapenade inside. Fill with three diced dried apricots and a few slices of tomato, red onion and red pepper. Add three pieces of turkey bacon and 40g low-fat feta cheese.

HOW COME Breakfast is an ideal time to eat antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables. “When you exercise intensely, you create a lot of free radicals, which can attack your cells,” says sports dietitian Tara Gidus. “Antioxidants can reduce those free radicals.” Red peppers pack 60 per cent more Vitamin C (an immune-boosting antioxidant) than green peppers. Tapenade is rich in healthy fat, while turkey bacon contains protein – both of which help keep you fuller longer. 

Banana and peanut butter smoothie

HOW TO Mix two tbsp peanut butter with 220g fat-free vanilla yoghurt and slice a banana over it, then add a small handful of high-protein, high-fibre cereal – bran flakes are perfect. Sprinkle with two tsp cinnamon.

HOW COME A study in the journal Appetite concluded that adults who eat high-fibre cereal daily feel less fatigue than those who eat cereal low in fibre. Bananas are full of potassium, which decreases muscle cramping. Yoghurt contains calcium and lactoferrin, a protein that helps maintain bone strength. Peanut butter provides heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and research shows that daily cinnamon consumption can help fight diabetes. 

High-protein pancakes

HOW TO Warm up two frozen wholegrain pancakes. Top them with 140g of fat-free vanilla Greek yoghurt, a big handful of blueberries and a tbsp each of crushed almonds and hazelnuts.

HOW COME The pancakes provide carbs to restock energy stores. Plus, research shows wholegrains help reduce the risk of chronic disease, “which is why it’s important to make at least half your grains whole,” says Jenna Bell-Wilson, co-author of Energy to Burn and owner of Swim, Bike, Run, Eat. Greek yoghurt contains twice the protein of regular yoghurt. Antioxidant-rich blueberries help fight disease and inflammation, and the nuts are high in Vitamin E, which may help reduce abdominal cramping and pain before and after running. 

Breakfast burrito

HOW TO Fill a wholewheat tortilla with 40g warmed black beans and 50g cooked brown rice. Add a scrambled egg, a handful of spinach, quarter of an avocado, 30g low-fat cheddar, two tbsp salsa and some coriander.

HOW COME A single egg contains 6g of protein, and black beans are also rich with the nutrient, “which helps promote muscle building right after a workout,” says Bell-Wilson. The beans also supply fibre, and the brown rice has plenty of manganese, a mineral that helps convert the rice’s carbohydrates into energy. The spinach has more than 90 per cent of your daily need for Vitamin K, which contributes to bone strength.