Why pancakes are great for runners

Here are a few reasons to indulge this Shrove Tuesday

Many in the UK will be enjoying the odd pancake or two this evening and, as we savour that simple but tasty mix of plain flour, eggs, milk and water, we’ll probably wonder why we’ll wait another year to have them again.

However, they’re not exactly viewed as a healthy choice and, as runners tend to be on average more health-conscious, should we give them a miss?

Pancakes can be quite calorific depending on how they’re cooked and the toppings. If you’re doing plenty of miles of running, you needn’t be obsessing overly about calorie intake. On the other hand, if you are concerned, you could try this recipe for 66-calorie pancakes and try topping them with blueberries rather than jam or honey, remembering also not to have too many of them.

However, there are several reasons why they’re great for runners.

Plenty of carbs
Carbs are a runner’s friend. We need them for recovery. The recipe above has 9.4g of carbs in each one and a 60kg person would ideally want about 60g to recover from a hard run - not that we’re suggesting you have six or seven of them instead of an evening meal!

They have protein too
With 3.1g of protein per pancake in the above recipe, it’s not far from the ideal proportion needed to help with recovery.

The calcium helps your bones
Calcium in the milk assists your bones in staying healthy, which is important for runners.

Iron
One pancake will give you about one fifth of the recommended daily iron intake for most adults, although runners tend to need more than most.

You can race with them too!
Pancake races are another great Shrove Tuesday tradition. There are some taking place all around the country. In case you fancy trying to break any records, it’s worth noting that the fastest time for running a marathon while flipping a pancake is three hours two minutes by Mike Cuzzacrea in New York 1999.