Nutrition advice for runners: The Wheel of Food Happiness

A picture of a pie chart split equally with the headings: Delicious, nutritious, cheap and easy. The centre of the wheel states " The wheel of food happiness"

Running is going to make you hungry. This is great because a) food is delicious and b) if you take a little care over the ingredients you use, you can get some powerful nutrients in your body which will add to the benefits you’re already getting from training.

Just like with any other aspect of your regime, the most important factor determining the effectiveness of your nutrition plan is whether you actually stick to it. If you don’t get that part right then none of the rest really matters. There is no point concocting the perfect blend of spirulina, raw biltong and ground flax seeds for your post-run snack, if realistically you’re going to find that way too difficult to stomach after you’ve got out of bed earlier than usual to do interval training first thing on your Wednesday morning.

The best running food will ideally be nutritious enough that it actively helps your body adapt to your training. It will be easy to prepare and store so that it doesn’t become an inconvenience. It will be cheap enough that you can eat plenty of it without it any negative financial impact. And finally, it will be so delicious that it actually increases your motivation for training.


Recipe of the Week: Overnight Oats

Our #RecipeOfTheWeek this week is Overnight Oats – a perfect breakfast recipe for people short on time in the morning, or who want to be able to snooze that alarm once more! It can be prepped the night before and finished off in a couple of minutes the next morning.

It’s a really simple recipe, but has huge potential for anyone who wants to get creative with flavour combinations – we’ve given you a few ideas for you to try at the end of the recipe!


  • 50g porridge oats
  • Milk of choice
  • 1-2 tbsp of yoghurt (natural or greek-style)
  • 1/4 tsp of cinnamon
  • Drizzle of honey
  • Fresh or frozen berries
  • Optional: nuts and seeds such as chia seeds, almonds or pumpkin seeds


1. The night before, put your oats, cinnamon and any nuts and seeds that you are using into a jar, bowl or mug.

2. Pour over your milk of choice until it just covers the oats.

3. Leave in the fridge to soak overnight.

4. The next morning, stir your oats and mix in the yoghurt (you can choose how much you add based on the consistency of the oats that you would like)

5. Top with the fresh or frozen fruit, plus any additional nuts, seeds, a drizzle of honey and extra cinnamon.

6. Serve and enjoy!

Some flavour combinations to try:

  • Chocolate brownie oats: use cocoa powder
  • Apple pie oats: top with stewed apple and granola.
  • Carrot cake oats: mix in grated carrot, nutmeg and raisins and top with yoghurt.
  • Tropical oats: Mix in frozen pineapple and mango and top with desiccated coconut.
  • Mocha oats: Mix a shot of coffee and tbsp of cocoa powder into the oats mixture.

Don’t forget to tag us in any kitchen creations @bristolunisport on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter! 

Recipe of the Week: Mushroom Bolognese

Helping our #WeAreBristol community to stay healthy, happy and active is our top priority at the moment, and we hope to achieve this in a variety of ways. One of these ways is by sharing some quick, simple and easy-to-cook healthy recipes with you, developed by our very own chef, Tim.

You might know Tim from our Coombe Dingle Pavilion kitchen, where he is usually found feeding the masses on #BUCSWednesdays and other events. Tim will be sharing a receipt with us every week, to inspire you to get creative in the kitchen and keep you and your family healthy!

A note from Tim about this recipe: “One of my favourite things to make at the moment is a mushroom bolognese. The key to making it brilliant is to shred the mushrooms really fine and use more of them than you’d think, because they shrink quite a lot. Even my son Eli, who has a principled stance against fungi in all forms will gobble them down when they’re prepared like this!”


  • 400g mushrooms
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 1-2 garlic clove(s)
  • Tomato pureé/paste
  • Frozen peas
  • Spaghetti
  • Flaked chilli
  • Soy sauce
  • Optional: Basil (to garnish)
  • Optional: Red wine or Balsamic vinegar
  • Optional: Butter beans or chickpeas

Serves 3-4 adults or 2 adults + 2 children

How to make:

In a large pan, add a generous amount of oil before adding the shredded mushrooms with some soy sauce and black pepper.

Dice the onion in the meantime and add to the pan when the mushrooms have reduced in volume by about a third.

Finely grate the carrot and add to the mushrooms along with the frozen peas (and any other additional veg you like – e.g. courgette or bell pepper).

Whilst this is cooking, add your pasta to a pan of boiling water and cook as per the packet instructions.

To the Bolognese mixture add a generous amount of tomato paste (approx. 3 tablespoons).

Just before the mixture finishes cooking, add the diced garlic* to stir through.

Drain the pasta once cooked and serve.
Optional: add a sprig of basil to garnish.

Tim’s tips for this dish:

Tip 1: Mushrooms are the star of this dish, so when cooking make sure that a lot of the water has drained to increase the density and achieve a texture similar to meat or soy mince.

Tip 2: If appropriate to do so, and if you have it available to you, adding a splash of red wine or balsamic vinegar when adding the tomato paste to counteract the richness of the dish.

Tip 3: Garlic is added late in this dish to reduce cooking time – fresh garlic is great for the immune system!

Nutrition notes for this dish:

1. Adding a tin of butter beans of chickpeas will add valuable plant-based protein to this dish.

2. This dish is packed with fibre and vitamins because of the high veg content and quick cooking process.

3. A high dose of carbs can make you sleepy, so if you’re planning on having this for a lunchtime meal, consider a smaller portion to keep you alert.

4. Mushrooms have a unique property of being able to absorb vitamin D from the sun. Crazy but true! Stick your mushrooms on a window ledge for a few hours before cooking to get a VitD boost!