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Classic Banana Oatmeal

Posted by LoveandZest
January 09, 2014
Featured in: Athlete Eats
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Classic Banana Oatmeal

Classic Banana Oatmeal with peanut butter is a tasty and sustaining way to fuel for long training runs and races.

~by Kristina LaRue, RD

What’s the best food to eat before a workout or competition? This is a question I get often because the last thing an athlete wants is to feel sluggish and weighed down from food. If you have a sensitive stomach, you’ve likely had issues with pre-workout fuel which makes it tempting to forgo eating all together for fear the food won’t settle well. I can assure you that skipping the pre-workout meal isn’t the best strategy if you have performance in mind. We just have to figure out the right formula for your body.

A pre-workout meal is meant to keep your tummy from grumbling during exercise, and to sustain your body with energy so you don’t get a low blood sugar, all while fueling your working muscles. If pre-workout food is foreign to your body, you need to train your gut to tolerate fuel. Because everyone has a different tolerance level for food, you should experiment with what works best for you during your training instead of waiting until the day of competition.

Fatty foods like bacon avocado cheeseburgers or foods with lots of roughage and fiber like bean soup tend to be harder to digest and are likely to cause stomach upset because they sit in the stomach longer. Eat foods that are easy for your body to tolerate and make sure that you allow enough time for digestion. Here’s a general rule of thumb for meal timing.

• Big/Full Meal: Allow 3-4 hours to digest
• Small Meal: Allow 2-3 hours to digest
• Smoothie/Liquid Meal: Allow 1-2 hours to digest

When I was on the triathlon team in college, my mainstays were peanut butter bagels and of course hotel coffee. Bagels and peanut butter are so easy to pack in a travel bag! I’ve switched it up a bit and found that a nice bowl of Classic Banana Oatmeal with fresh fruit and peanut butter is more tasty and very sustaining taking me through long training runs and races.

Do you have a tried and true pre-workout meal?

Classic Banana Oatmeal

Classic Banana Oatmeal

Classic Banana Oatmeal

Yield

makes 2-3 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 banana, broken into chunks
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • spoonful of peanut butter

Directions

  1. Over medium high heat, combine all ingredients in a medium sized pot. As the liquid begins to heat stir the oats until the bananas are melted. Turn heat to low and continue to stir until much of the liquid is incorporated and you have a creamy pot of oats. Enjoy with a spoonful of peanut butter and all of your favorite toppings.

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LoveandZest

LoveandZest
Kristina LaRue is the author of the ATHLETE EATS on HealthyAperture -- a feature that hopes to inspire creativity in the kitchen to fuel active lifestyles! As a board certified sports dietitian, Kristina cooks up healthy menus for collegiate and professional athletes in her day job. In authoring Athlete Eats, she shares simple, energizing recipes designed for the athlete and hopes readers will learn sports nutrition tips along the way so that they can be their best self and fuel for performance. Kristina is a Registered & Licensed Sports dietitian for the Orlando Magic and University of Central Florida Athletics. She provides nutrition services for Tara Gidus Nutrition Consulting and works in the treatment of eating disorders with Joyful Nutrition. She is a co-author of The Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies and the blogger behind Love & Zest where she shares recipes, life, and nutrition. She graduated from Auburn University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and completed her dietetic internship at Oakwood University in 2011. She loves running and training for marathons and triathlons, gardening, creating (mostly healthy) recipes, decorating, blogging, photography, and volunteering with the women’s recovery ministry at her church. On the weekends you can find her at the Farmer’s Market or a local coffee shop spending quality time with her husband, Eric.
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