An important part of effective training is fuelling your body post-workout, but it’s not always easy to know what’s best for you.
There’s a window of about an hour after exercise in which your body will be screaming for nutrients, so the food you consume in this time is important to restore energy and repair muscles.
Quick and simple, the recipe ideas below are some of our favourites – not only do they do good, but importantly they taste good too!
British asparagus, avocado, bacon and soya bean salad
Preparation time: 4 – 5 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
- 160g fresh or frozen soya beans
- 1 bundle (about 250g) British asparagus, cut into 1cm lengths
- 1 tsp of vegetable oil
- 4 rashers smoked back bacon, roughly chopped into bite sized pieces
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp grainy mustard
- Zest of 1 small lemon
- 1 small ripe avocado, peeled and cubed
- 4 spring onions, finely sliced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1. Heat a saucepan of water to a fast boil, add the soya beans and cook for 4 minutes. Add the asparagus and cook for a further 1-2 minutes or until the asparagus is just tender. Drain well.
2. Heat the vegetable oil in a small frying pan and fry the bacon until crispy.
3. Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, mustard and lemon zest and season to taste.
4. Place the asparagus and soya beans in a bowl, add the bacon, avocado and spring onions. Stir in the dressing, adjust seasoning and serve.
Nutrition (per portion )
379 calories; 4.5g sugar; 25.5g fat; 5.5g saturated fat; 1.7g salt
For more asparagus recipe ideas visit www.british-asparagus.co.uk.
Did you know? Not only do avocados provide essential fatty acids and vitamin E, they’re also a concentrated source of energy, which is great for athletes who prefer small energy-dense meals.
Spiced egg pilau
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- 85g button mushrooms, sliced
- 200 g basmati rice
- 150g frozen peas
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Small handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
- 4 large British Lion Eggs
1. Heat the oil in a large heavy based pan. Add the onion and cook over a moderate heat for 3 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, coriander, cumin seeds and mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
2. Stir in the rice with 450 ml (3/4 pint) water then bring to the boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the peas and continue cooking for a further 5 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is cooked. Season and stir in the chopped coriander.
3. Meanwhile put the eggs into a large pan of boiling water, then reduce the heat and simmer for 6 minutes. Drain and shell.
4. Divide the rice into four bowls. Halve the eggs and arrange on top of the rice. Serve with a leafy salad.
Nutrition (per portion)
332 calories; 14g protein; 10g fat; 2g saturated fat; 46g carbohydrate; 3g total sugars; 3g fibre; 0.2g salt
For more egg recipe ideas visit www.eggsforaction.com.
Did you know? This dish provides a 3 to 1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein, which studies have shown promotes fastest post-exercise recovery. Basmati rice has a lower GI than white rice, meaning it produces more stable blood sugar levels, whilst the addition of the eggs helps to sustain a supply of energy and protein to the muscles.
Berry power recovery shake
Preparation time: 5 minutes
- 150ml carton fruit yoghurt
- 150ml skimmed milk
- 150g raspberries, blackberries, blueberries or strawberries
1. Put all the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth. Simple!
Nutrition (per shake)
220 calories; 40g carbohydrate (of which 40g total sugars); 13g protein; 2g fat
For more berry recipe ideas visit: www.seasonalberries.co.uk
Did you know? Berries are densely packed with powerful antioxidants which help strengthen blood capillaries and improve blood flow. Blueberries in particular are good for promoting recovery – a 2010 New Zealand study found a blueberry extract reduced muscle damage after exercise.
British asparagus, quinoa and smoked chicken salad
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
- 180g quinoa
- 1 bundle British asparagus, cut into 2-3 cm strips
- 250g cooked smoked chicken, diced
- 150g baby cherry tomatoes, halved
- 30g sun blush tomatoes, finely diced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Dukkah to garnish (optional)
1. Wash the quinoa thoroughly then place in a saucepan with 360ml of cold water, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
2. Add the asparagus to pan with the quinoa in and continue to cook for 5 minutes or until the asparagus is tender and all the water has been absorbed. Set aside to cool.
3. Transfer the quinoa and asparagus into a large bowl. Stir in the chicken, fresh and sunblush tomatoes.
4. Season to taste and garnish with a sprinkle of Dukkah, an Egyptian spice mix made from a blend of nuts and seeds and spices.
Nutrition (per portion)
534 calories; 11g sugar; 11g fat; 2g saturated fat; 0.6g salt
For more asparagus recipe ideas visit www.british-asparagus.co.uk
Did you know? High in protein, this salad aids the growth and repair of muscles whilst providing phosphorus, calcium, iron, vitamin E and B group vitamins as well as fibre. Iron is an important mineral for people who workout as it’s needed for the manufacture of red blood cells which carry oxygen to the muscles.
Sports star advice!
World Champion swimmer Keri-Anne Payne shared her tips at the Virgin Active London Triathlon Secret Series training event saying, “I think the best recovery snack is a banana and a milkshake. It sounds simple but for me this really works. I have this within 20 minutes of finishing a training session to help repair my muscles.”