All-day races, multi-day rides, evening 10s… whatever your plans this summer, you need to keep fuelled for peak performance.
Here are 10 tasty recipes that will keep you going.
Biker's burger with BBQ relish
Why it's good: Beef is a perfect protein source to keep muscles fuelled, and a rich source of iron needed to help transport oxygen around the body. Rich, too, in zinc it will help combat problems of overtraining by supporting immune health and fighting fatigue. Pop it in a wholemeal bap for slow releasing carbs and serve with the delicious antioxidant-rich relish.
Nutritional information: Per burger with relish (no bap): calories 173kcal, protein 12.8g, carbohydrates 5g, total fat 11.4g of which saturates 4.5g, fibre 0.7g
For the burgers (makes eight small burgers)
- 500g (1lb 2oz) lean beef mince
- 1 small red onion, grated
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- Few drops of Tabasco sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
For the relish
- 6 vine-ripened tomatoes
- ½ red chilli, deseeded, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp molasses
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- Pinch of ground cumin
- Pinch of paprika
- Place the mince, onion and garlic in a bowl. Add a few drops of Tabasco and season. Mix well and form into eight small burgers. Place on a plate, cover and chill for 30 minutes.
- To make the relish put two of the tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth. Place in a bowl. Finely chop and deseed the remaining tomatoes and add to the sauce. Chill until needed.
- Lightly brush the burgers with olive oil and oil the barbecue rack. Grill for 10 minutes, turning them halfway through, until golden brown and cooked through. Serve in burger buns topped with the relish along with some lettuce and slices of red onion.
Cheat's choice: Waitrose Aberdeen Angus fresh beef burgers with Meridian tomato sauce.
Why it's good: Pomegranate is crammed full of disease-fighting antioxidants – rich in polyphenols important for heart health, fighting fatigue, reducing inflammation and revitalising the body. It’s also a good source of ellagic acid, another antioxidant which protects the skin against sun damage. This sorbet contains plenty of potassium, important for regulating fluid levels and restoring electrolytes. Manuka honey provides quick release energy for post workout refuelling. Manuka also contains immune factors to boost the body’s protection.
Nutritional information: Per serving: calories 98kcal, protein 0.4g, carbohydrates 25.7g, fat 0g
Ingredients (serves six)
- 400ml/14fl oz/just over 1½ cups pure pomegranate juice, without sugar or sweeteners
- Finely grated zest of 2 oranges
- 5 tbsp Manuka honey
- 200ml/7fl oz/¾ cup freshly squeezed orange juice
- 1 tbsp grated orange peel
- Sprig of mint leaves to garnish
- Pomegranate seeds to garnish
- Put the pomegranate juice, orange zest, honey and orange juice in a bowl and mix well. Pour the mixture into a freezer-proof container and freeze until just setting.
- Alternatively, if you have an ice cream maker process according to manufacturer’s instructions, then spoon the sorbet into a container and freeze until firm.
- Remove from the freezer and process in a blender to break up the ice crystals. Return to the container and freeze until firm.
- Scoop into glasses and decorate with orange peel, pomegranate seeds and mint sprigs.
Cheat's choice: Smooze Mango and Coconut Fruit Ice; Bottlegreen Elderflower or English Summer sorbet.
Seared tuna with Moroccan quinoa
Why it's good: Tuna provides plenty of lean protein and omega 3 fats – great for reducing inflammation and aiding recovery – plus creatine, an essential muscle building ingredient. Quinoa has a good mix of carbohydrates, fibre and protein to aid refuelling of glycogen stores. The added vegetables and herbs provide a wealth of vitamins including antioxidants beta-carotene, vitamin C and E, and zinc, all important for quenching free radicals generated during training, preventing muscle soreness and aiding repair.
Nutritional information: Per serving: calories 489kcal, protein 34.4g, carbohydrate 27.9g, total fat 27.4g of which saturates 4.4g, fibre 1g
For the tuna (serves four)
- 4 tuna fillets about 115g/4oz each
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- Pinch of fresh oregano
For the quinoa
- 180g/6oz quinoa
- 500ml/16 fl oz vegetable stock
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 tsp each ground cumin and coriander
- Handful of cherry tomatoes, halved
- Half a red pepper, diced
- Large handful of pitted olives
- 2 tbsp each chopped fresh coriander and mint
- 1 preserved lemon, rinsed and chopped, rind only
- Mix the olive oil, lemon juice and garlic, and pour half over the tuna. Marinate for 30 minutes.
- Place the quinoa in a pan with the vegetable stock. Bring to the boil then simmer, covered, over a very low heat for 15 minutes.
- Leave to stand for 5 minutes, then fluff up with a fork. Set aside to cool.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and spices, and sauté for 2 minutes until soft. Stir the onion mixture into the cooled quinoa and fluff up with a fork. Add the remaining ingredients.
- Preheat a griddle pan or use a barbecue. Sear the tuna on each side for 1-2 minutes. Remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Pile the quinoa onto plates and top with the tuna. Drizzle over the remaining marinade.
Cheat’s choice: Sainsbury’s Albacore Tuna in olive oil with Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Moroccan cous cous salad.
Mediterranean feta cheese wrap
Why it's good: Wholemeal tortilla wraps are great slow release starchy carbs for energy. Mediterranean vegetables such as peppers and tomatoes are fantastic for vitamin C, and rich in beta-carotenes, important antioxidant vitamins. Feta cheese is one of the lower fat cheeses providing plenty of protein to fuel the muscles plus calcium to keep your bones at full strength. Add a handful of spinach or watercress to provide iron needed to transport oxygen to your muscles plus folic acid which is good for your heart.
Nutritional information: Per serving: calories 331kcal, protein 13.1g, carbohydrate 30.6g, total fat 18.2g of which saturates 7.6g, fibre 2.5g
Ingredients (serves one)
- 1 wholemeal tortilla wrap
- 50g/2oz feta cheese, cubed
- 1 tsp pesto sauce
- 1 roasted red pepper, sliced (can buy in jars)
- 2 sundried tomatoes, chopped
- Handful of spinach leaves or watercress
- Spread the wrap with the pesto. Place the feta in the centre, top with the vegetables and roll up – it’s that easy.
Cheat's choice: Waitrose goat’s cheese wrap.
Shredded chicken, walnut and artichoke salad
Why it's good: Chicken is a fantastic muscle building protein and packed full of B vitamins needed for energy production. Walnuts cram in yet more protein together with essential fats to keep inflammation in check. Adding artichokes will help keep your liver and digestion healthy this summer while spinach leaves add valuable iron to keep you fuelled for longer.
Nutritional information: Per serving: calories 441kcal, protein 27.9g, carbohydrates 3.3g, total fat 35.1g of which saturates 4.2g, fibre 2.3g
Ingredients (serves four)
For the salad
- 3 roasted chicken breasts, shredded
- 400g/14oz can artichoke hearts, in water, drained
- 2 handfuls of rocket leaves
- 2 handfuls of baby spinach leaves
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 6 cherry tomatoes, halved
- 100g/3½oz/1 cup walnut pieces, toasted
For the dressing
- 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
- 3 tbsp walnut oil
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a bowl. Cut the artichoke hearts into halves. Arrange the leaves on a large platter and scatter the rest of the ingredients over them. Drizzle with dressing.
Cheat's choice: Toss some roasted chicken breasts over a prepared salad.
Chocolate and orange protein mousse
Why it's good: Dark chocolate is a great source of flavonoids, potent antioxidants which have been shown to help reduce blood pressure and improve circulation. It also contains magnesium, calcium and potassium plus B vitamins, useful for energy production. Oranges provide plenty of immune supporting vitamin C – important for keeping the body in top condition when training. Using silken tofu provides a low fat protein source without adding cream or fat to this dish.
Nutritional information: Per serving: calories 297kcal, protein 9.5g, carbohydrates 30.8g, total fat 15.9g, fibre 1.5g
Ingredients (serves four)
- 175g/6oz plain chocolate (75 percent cocoa solids)
- 350g/12oz silken tofu
- Zest and juice of 2 oranges
- Grated orange zest and chocolate to decorate
- Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool slightly.
- Place the tofu, chocolate and orange zest and juice in a blender and process until smooth and creamy.
- Spoon into four individual dishes and chill in the fridge for three hours or overnight.
- Decorate with a little orange zest and grated chocolate.
Cheat's choice: Gu chocolate mousse; Green & Blacks plain chocolate (70 percent cocoa).
Apricot and almond bar
Why it's good: Oats are a great way of providing all-day energy when in the saddle while the dried apricots and oranges will give you an instant energy kick and help restore glycogen stores. Nut butters like almond provide heart healthy vitamin E, and monounsaturated fat plus calcium and magnesium important for muscle action, helping to recharge the body during intense cycles. Packed with protein, these bars can help maintain muscle and balance blood sugars, preventing the dreaded bonk.
Nutritional information: Per bar: calories 202kcal, protein 7.8g, carbohydrate 25.1g, total fat 8.4g of which saturates 1.2g, fibre 6.1g
Ingredients (makes about 16 bars)
- 3 large oranges, pips removed
- 225g/8oz dried apricots, chopped
- 170g/6oz almond nut butter, cashew nut butter or tahini
- 225g/8oz porridge oats, buckwheat millet flakes
- 125g/4½oz wholemeal self raising flour or gluten-free flour mix
- 25g/1oz mixed seeds eg sunflower, sesame, hemp, pumpkin
- ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 125g/4½oz dried apricots, chopped
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder, optional
- Preheat the oven to 190ºC, gas 5.
- Place the oranges, apricots and nut butter in a blender and puree to form a thick paste.
- Place the porridge oats, flour, seeds, soda, cinnamon and protein powder in a large bowl. Stir in the chopped dried apricots. Add the apricot puree and combine thoroughly.
- Press the mixture into a greased shallow rectangular tin, approximately 20x35cm. Smooth the top with the back of a spoon. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before turning out. Cut into small bars.
- Store in an airtight container. As they contain a high proportion of fruit they’re best kept in the fridge. These bars also freeze well.
Cheat’s choice: Nakd bars; Trek bars.
Vanilla spiced nut and seed granola
Why it's good: The wholegrains provide plenty of slow-releasing energy while the nuts and seeds are packed with vitamin E, folate, calcium, magnesium and zinc – important nutrients for energy production and avoiding muscle fatigue. Walnuts are a great source of arginine and essential fats great for reducing inflammation. Arginine is also known for increasing human growth hormone (well known anti-ageing hormone) as well as improving blood circulation and exercise performance. Honey, apple juice and dried fruit provide plenty of quick releasing energy to kick start your morning ride.
Nutritional information: Per serving: calories 460kcal, protein 12.4g, carbohydrate 52.5, total fat 21.4g of which saturates 2.7g, fibre 6.2g
Ingredients (serves eight)
- 5 tbsp apple juice
- 5 tbsp honey
- 3 tbsp light olive oil
- 2 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- 200g/7½oz/2 cups rolled oats
- 115g/4oz/1 cup barley flakes
- 60g/2oz/½ cup flaked almonds
- 60g/2oz/½ cup chopped walnuts
- 30g/1oz/1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- 30g/1oz/1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 3 tbsp sesame seeds
- 115g/4oz/1 cup dried berries
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4.
- Mix the fruit juice, honey, oil, vanilla and spices.
- Place the remaining ingredients, except the dried fruit, in a large bowl. Pour over the honey mixture and stir to combine.
- Spread the mixture onto baking sheets and bake for 20 minutes until golden. Stir occasionally during cooking.
- Leave to cool then mix in the dried fruit.
Cheat's choice: Jordan’s Superfood Granola; Alara Active Muesli.
Cherry and coconut revitaliser
Why it's good: Coconut water is a perfect isotonic sports drink, rich in potassium (contains more than a banana) and magnesium for speedy whole body rehydration. Cherry juice contains powerful antioxidants to help inhibit the body’s inflammatory response to exercise, meaning less muscle soreness following training and quicker recovery.
Nutritional information: Per serving: calories 137kcal, protein 2g, carbohydrates 34.7, total fat 0.5g, fibre 1.2g
Ingredients (serves one)
- 3 tbsp cherry concentrate (CherryActive)
- 500ml/17fl oz coconut water
- Handful of ice cubes
- Place the cherry concentrate and coconut water in a blender or sports bottle and shake well to mix. Add ice cubes and serve.
Cheat's choice:Zico mango flavoured coconut water.
Berry power shake
Why it's good: This smoothie contains banana for its starch and fruit sugars, perfect for recharging your glycogen stores after training, plus potassium to restore electrolyte balance. Strawberries and the berry juice are rich sources of vitamin C and antioxidants anthocyanins and ellagitannins, useful for reducing inflammation and preventing damage to tissues. Adding yoghurt provides probiotics to ward off dodgy tummies over the summer and dairy foods are a good source of protein and calcium for bone support. Adding a spoonful of flax seed provides fibre to help stabilise blood sugar levels and essential fats important for recovery and lowering inflammatory compounds. Choose a hydrolysed whey protein powder to provide an efficient high quality source of essential amino acids for the ultimate recovery drink.
Nutritional information: Per serving: calories 215kcal, protein 16g, carbohydrates 32.8g, total fat 3.3g of which saturates 1.8g, fibre 1.1g
Ingredients (serves two)
- 1 cup/250ml semi-skimmed milk
- ½ cup plain low fat yogurt or vanilla yogurt
- 1 banana (sliced)
- 1 scoop protein powder – plain, vanilla or berry
- 6 strawberries (sliced) or handful of other berries
- 2 tsp ground flaxseed
- 1 tsp honey or agave nectar to sweeten, optional
- ¼ cup/60ml 100% berry juice such as blueberry or pomegranate
- Place all the ingredients in a blender and whizz until smooth and creamy. Adjust the amount of milk to get the desired consistency.
Cheat's choice: Innocent Smoothie pomegranates; blueberries and acai with a scoop of whey powder.