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The benefits of porridge for swimmers

You’ve probably heard before that breakfast is the most important meal of the day because it’s vital for kick-starting your metabolism after your ‘fast’ through the night.

But with so many so-called ‘danger foods’ making us scared of eating salt, sugar and everything else under the sun, it’s hard for the health-conscious swimmer to know what to eat in the morning.

Nutrients and energy

In the morning, we need to replace everything we’ve lost overnight which is nutrients and energy. But to stop our blood sugar levels from spiking, we also need something high in fibre which slows the release of energy and helps the body absorb more sugar rather than storing it as fat.

A great example of a high-fibre breakfast meal that ticks all these boxes is porridge.

Benefits of porridge

One of the beauties of porridge is that it’s simple but very effective! We know it’s rich in fibre and the combination with complex carbohydrates and protein creates a slow release energy source that is perfect for exercise, training or competition later in the morning. You also feel fuller for longer and don’t feel the need to snack.

Protein is also essential and the protein from porridge oats helps improve immune function and stimulates muscle growth, helping those aching muscles repair themselves after a tiring session in the pool.

Porridge is also packed full of essential vitamins and minerals like zinc, iron, Vitamins B and E and insoluble fibre, which help maintain a healthy bowel.

Studies have also championed porridge in maintaining general good health – it can lower blood pressure, control blood glucose levels, and lower LDL cholesterol levels.

Give it a go

Try this porridge recipe as an energetic and healthy alternative to your usual breakfast routine. You will need:

  • 50g porridge (organic oats, avoiding pre-mixed varieties)
  • 200ml water
  • A handful of blueberries or any other fruit (sweetness) or nuts (for protein and healthy mono-unsaturated fats)


Mix oats with water and heat in a saucepan until thickened. Add your fruit or nuts. (If you want to capture more vitamins, you can soak the oats overnight. You can also use milk, skimmed is best, in place of water.)