How to Eat for Exercise

Carbs Before Marbs ?

Yesterday's London Marathon got me thinking.  How do you know your fueling your body correctly, previously in my blog we have discussed times of meals and when to eat around your training - but how are you going to maximise your training with the fuel your providing your body.

How we fuel our bodies can have a huge impact on both performance and enjoyment. So before you head out on your next run or cycle, find out exactly what you need to eat alongside a balanced diet to help you hit that new PB.


Carbs are the main source of energy for our body during exercise, and can be split into two categories – simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates can be found in sweets, fruit juice and chocolate; whereas complex carbs tend to be found in pulses, fruit, veg and whole wheat breads and pasta.

Simple carbs are what’s known as ‘empty calories’, as they provide a quick burst of energy but offer very little nutritionally. For longer bouts of exercise reach for those complex carbs – they’re harder for the body to break down and so release energy at a slower, more sustained rate. This can help stop a blood sugar spike after eating, preventing those dips and peaks in energy. Don't class them as the enemy use them wisely.


Iron-rich foods such as spinach and lentils can increase the capacity of the blood to carry oxygen, helping to prevent fatigue during exercise. Vitamin C can help the body absorb iron, too – try adding a squeeze of citrus the next time you have some spinach on the go.


Milk, natural yoghurt, cheese and other dairy products are naturally high in calcium, essential for building bone health and strength. It can also help regulate muscle contractions, too. A balanced diet should provide all of the calcium the body needs, but for diets that restrict dairy, it can be difficult to get what you need. Other foods that are high in calcium include tofu and nuts such as almonds, Brazil nuts and hazelnuts.


As well as maintaining and increasing muscle mass, protein is also essential for healthy bones. Try mixing up your intake with protein-packed lentils, beans and fish as well as classic lean meats such as venison and turkey.

For those of you who are not keen on breakfast try giving this recipe a go.

Kiwi, Ginger and Banana Smoothie

Kiwi, Ginger and Banana Smoothie


  • 3 kiwi fruit
  • 4 tablespoons organic porridge oats
  • 1 banana
  • 8 ice cubes
  • 200 ml organic milk
  • 250 g organic fat-free natural yoghurt
  • ½ cm piece fresh ginger , finely grated
  • honey , optional

Smoothies are usually the easiest way of encouraging your kids to try different types of fruit. Simply decide on a good combination of flavours, whiz it all up and drink! Kids will love to get involved with making these.


  • Top and tail the kiwi fruit and stand them on their ends.
  • Slice the skin off in vertical strips with a sharp knife.
  • Whiz the kiwi fruit with the remaining ingredients, apart from the honey, in a blender for 30 seconds and pour into 4 tall glasses.
  • Sweeten with a little honey, if you like.

Nutritional values:

Calories : 187
Fat: 1.9g  3%
Saturates: 0.9g 5%
Protein: 11.1g 22%
Carbs: 30.1g 12%
Sugars: 6g  7%