Perfect foods if you're running the London Marathon - The Bromsgrove Standard

Perfect foods if you're running the London Marathon

Bromsgrove Editorial 20th Apr, 2024   0

IN PREPARATION for Sunday’s London Marathon, nutrition experts revealed the must-have ingredients for meal prep, as well as some recipes to try out.

Data from the nation’s top recipe site, BBC Good Food, sports nutrition at analysed over 200 top-rated recipes and the most popular ingredients.

The top ingredient was garlic – an essential, known for flu busting properties – followed by onion and olive oil.

They also looked at which foods are the best for building muscle and stamina.

Garlic, good for fighting a cold but also a useful source of potassium to help keep a normal blood pressure.

Onion are a source of organic sulfur compounds which work to reduce cholesterol, and are also a source of B and C vitamins which help strengthen our immune system.

Olive oil is a source of healthy monosaturated fats and has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.

Tomato are a solid base for many meals and are a good source of fiber and vitamin B9 which helps tissue growth and normal functioning.

Nuts are also in the top five, with fibre, health fats and magnesium. This helps to regulate biochemical reactions, such as blood pressure, sugar levels and muscle function.

Some ingredients which featured in the research included spinach, mustard, and fish.

A spokesperson from said: “It is important for athletes to get nutritionally rich meals, especially ahead of the London Marathon which requires a lot of physical, and mental, effort.

“In order to make sure you are eating healthily and prioritising your training, meal prepping is a fantastic way to save time during the week before the big event, especially

when you might not feel like cooking.

“Including these ingredients in your meal prep can help boost immunity and ensure you’re getting a varied diet full of protein and vegetables that will help you keep up your stamina and perform to the best of your abilities.” has created three protein-packed recipes for people to try.

Mustard Chicken with Vegetables – 71g Protein


1 chicken, 2 onions, 6 celery sticks, 6 carrots, 50g butter, 100g smoked bacon lardons, 3 small turnips, 1 tbsp plain flour,

2 tbsp wholegrain mustard, 3 rounded tbsp creme fraiche, 900ml stock.

For seasoning: 2 bay leaves, 2 thyme sprigs, 1tsp black peppercorn, Handful of parsley, chopped.


Cook chicken in a pot with half one onion, one celery stick and one carrot, then strip the meat and tear into pieces.

Chop the remaining onion, celery and carrots into thick slices and fry with the butter and lardons.

Add the rest of the vegetables and seasoning, fry for two minutes then add stock gradually.

Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes

Finish by adding the chicken to the pan with the mustard and creme fraiche, return to simmer and stir gently. Sprinkle with parsley to finish.

Storage: The BNF recommends using cooked chicken within three to four days when kept in the refrigerator.

Red Lentil & Squash Dhal – 42g Protein


1 Tbsp olive oil, 1 onion, finely chopped, 1 garlic clove, finely chopped, 400g butternut squash, 400g chopped tomato, 1.2L chicken stock, 300g red lentils, 1 heaped tbsp mango chutney.

For seasoning: 1tsp coriander, 1tsp ground cumin, 1tsp ground turmeric, half tsp cayenne pepper.


Put the oil and onion in a saucepan and fry for five minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for another minute.

Stir in the spices and butternut squash.

Add the chopped tomatoes, stock and chutney and season well. Bring to the boil, then gently simmer for 10 minutes.

Add the lentils and simmer for another 20 minus. Stir in coriander and serve.

Storage: Cooked lentils last for three to five days in the refrigerator in a sealed container.

Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew – 27g protein


2tbsp olive oil, 1 red onion, chopped, 100g lentils, 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks, 500ml vegetable stock, 400g chopped tomato, 400g

chickpeas, drained.

For Seasoning: 1tsp cumin seeds, 1tbsp curry powder, 1tsp mustard seeds.


Heat oil in a large pan, add the red onion and cook until softened.

Add seasoning and cook for a minute, then stir in the lentils, sweet potatoes, stock and chopped tomatoes.

Bring to the boil, then cover and simmer for 20 minutes until lentils and sweet potatoes are tender. Add in drained chickpeas, then heat through.

Season, sprinkle with coriander, and serve.

Storage: This meal should last for three to five days in the refrigerator when stored in a shallow sealed container or ziplocked bag.

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