Superfoods for runners

New ‘life-changing’ superfoods are popping up everywhere. Once the secret of those truly commitment to dietary glory, the availability of wonder seeds and all-powerful veg has very much entered the main steam, but it's still somewhat confusing what they all do and how best to prepare and eat them.  

As these superfood ingredients tend to come in their most basic form, we are here to tell you what really may be worth introducing into your diet as a runner and how to incorporate it into your diet in a truly delicious way.

Chia seeds

What: Chia seeds have grown for thousands of years in central Mexico. They are a versatile seed and are the highest combined plant source of omega-3, fibre and are a complete protein, plus they contain a host of other vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

Why: They have been proven to increase energy levels, plus the protein is great for muscle recovery.

Make this: Chia pudding

This tastes like a treat but is packed full of goodness for muscle recovery.

Ingredients

(serves 2)

6 tbsp chia seeds

2 x cups milk of your choice

2 tbsp honey or agave nectar

½ tsp cinnamon

1 cup frozen berries of your choice

¼ cup chopped hazelnuts

Method

  1. You simply need to combine all the ingredients here except the nuts, stir thoroughly then leave it to sit in the fridge for at least two hours.
  2. Before you serve, toast the nuts and sprinkle on top. Chopped banana or fresh berries also make a welcome addition. 

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Matcha green tea

What: This powder is 100% green tea leaves which have been ground down.

Why: One serving of this stuff gives you 10 times the antioxidants of a cup of green tea, it’s therefore brilliant for your immune system, boosts metabolism and provides a vitamin C hit.

Make this: Matcha latte

This makes a brilliant recovery drink, the protein in the milk is ideal for muscle repair, plus post-run when your immune system is vulnerable is the time to boost it.

Ingredients

(serves one)

1 tsp matcha powder

½ cup hot water

½ cup milk of your choice 

To make this you simply stir the boiling water into the powder so it dissolves then add in hot milk, if you have a milk frother or small whisk, use this to make it foamy. 

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Baobab powder

What: Sourced in Africa from the baobab tree, this is a raw and pure powder from the tree’s fruit.

Why: This powder has more vitamin C than oranges and more iron than red meat. Both of these are essential for runners; you need vitamin C to boost immunity, which is weaker post-run and iron is essential for red blood sell and oxygenation of the blood. Runners are prone to low-iron so this intake is worth taking seriously.

Make this: Baobab breakfast smoothie

Adding a teaspoon of this into a breakfast smoothie means you’ll get your hit to set you up for the day.

Ingredients

(serves 1)

1 banana

1 tsp baobab powder

Large handful of frozen berries of your choice

½ cup milk of your choice

1 tbsp nut butter

¼ cup muesli

Method

  1. All you need here is a blender. Add in all the ingredients and pulse till it’s at your preferred consistency.

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Raw cacao 

What: This comes from cacao beans, it is essentially fermented to remove the bitterness then milled into the powder.

Why: It’s the richest natural source of antioxidants, essential to protect you from harmful free radicals that come from things like air pollution. It also contains iron and magnesium, which is essential for good bone health.

Make this: Raw cacao energy balls

These are a delicious snack at any time of day, they’ll power you through a workout or keep the post-run munchies at bay.

Ingredients

(Makes a batch)

2 cups of oats

½ cup medjool dates

1 tbsp coconut oil

¼ cup of peacan nut (optional)

1-2 tbsp nut butter of your choice

1-2 tbsp raw cacao powder

Method

  1. All you need here is a blender. Add the dates in first and blitz these, then add the rest of the ingredients and pulse.
  2. You should have a sticky mixture, if it’s not wet enough, add a little more nut butter or oil. Then roll into balls and put on a tray and into the fridge for 1-2 hours to set. Then try not to eat them all in one go. 

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