I’m sitting here right now, preparing to go for a run having just eaten my first ever bowl of porridge. Let that sink in for a second. Doesn’t sound much? Ok, add in that I am weeks away from turning 36, sound a little strange now?
I’ve never really been sold on the idea of porridge. It’s a breakfast that takes ages to make and the end product never really struck me as worth the effort. It’s not like a full English where the time it takes to construct is rewarded by a wonderful plate of various cooked guilty treats. Porridge is a dull, grey looking mush.
Porridge – we just didn’t see eye to eye
As with a lot of foods that I would consider belonging to the older generation, you can throw things like stew and dumplings into that mix, it tends to need to filter down from the old generations ie your parents, for you to then take them on board as normal. My dad didn’t eat porridge, so I never ate it and it didn’t really appeal to me anyway. Was I just uneducated? Did I miss out on a belly full of warm porridge before I headed out for a day at school? (No, because I would eat Shreddies with hot milk).
Fast forward 20+ years and here I am, typing a blog post about how a grown adult has only just tried porridge. With age comes knowledge and now that I am training for the marathon again, I’ve been doing all I can to improve my training and that includes correctly fueling my body ahead of a long run.
According to reports, porridge is meant to be an ideal pre-training breakfast. It digest’s easily and shouldn’t sit in your stomach. So you shouldn’t feel it sloshing around whilst you run. Most importantly, it’s a source of slow burning carbohydrate fuel. If you make it with milk you are getting some much-needed protein too that will help your muscles recover.
Perhaps I was put off by what I envisaged the taste might be. I’d often seen people making porridge and adding honey, golden syrup and sugar all of which screamed to me, this stuff probably doesn’t taste too good. On this occasion, as I lost my porridge virginity, I went with one which contained dried strawberry and banana and the taste wasn’t too bad. The fruit added enough of a sweet taste to make it taste ‘ok’.
Consistency – I think I’m going to have to work on this or get used to it. I’m more of a fan of chewing my food than consuming something that looks a little like it’s been prepared for a baby. That being said, it really wasn’t as bad as I had assumed it would be.
I think I may need to look a little deeper into which porridge I eat moving forward. I have to admit that I didn’t check the box when I bought it to see how much sugar had already been added. It was half price and there seemed no better time to test it.
Porridge – the verdict
I’m not going to say that I’ve been missing out all of these years and I do need to go out for a run soon to understand how well fuelled I feel. Was it as bad as I had been imagining, not at all. Could I eat it every day, I guess I could but I’m not sure that I would want to. When training, nutrition is a key factor that can often be overlooked. I’m keen for that not to be the case with me. I’m happy to knock back a bowl of porridge in the morning if needs must. Maybe now I’ll be the one I passes it down to my children when the time comes.Follow