Here’s how to breakfast like a triathlon superstar, says exercise and nutrition scientist Gill Cummings-Bell…

These banana and spelt pancakes are a great source of carbs, vitamins, minerals and fibre for empty leg triathletes. They bring a lot of goodness to the recovery from those long training hours. Bananas and spelt flour (instead of traditional wheat flours) together provide a double whammy.

Bananas are a great training food as they provide vitamins and minerals in good quantities but also potassium, which is important for the body fluid balance, bone health and intra cellular health of an athlete. The potassium content is also suggested as being useful in the prevention of muscle cramps in athletes. A recent study showed that eating one or two bananas before an hour of exercise kept blood potassium levels higher after the training.

Spelt flour is a low glycaemic carb which has a lower gluten content than wheat flour, is high in vitamins, minerals, fibre, and is highly water soluble which makes it easier on the digestion while still slow releasing into the blood. In a 100g portion, spelt flour provides about 5.5 mg of niacin – 5 per cent more niacin than wheat flour – which can help keep your energy metabolism high for training. The type of carbohydrate found in spelt flour (mucopolysaccharides) also possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can aid the catabolic effects of long training on the joint structure and cartilage.


Amount per serving: 

Calories 275, Carbohydrate 46g, Fat 5g, Cholesterol 93mg, Sodium 136mg, Potassium 220mg, Dietary Fibre 8g, Sugars 11g, Protein 10g

INGREDIENTS – Serves 2 (or one very hungry person)

  • 100g spelt flour
  • Approx 100ml milk
  • 1 egg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 ripe banana, mashed
  • 1tsp cinnamon


1. Put flour into a bowl and gently whisk to remove any lumps.

2. Make a hole in the bottom of the flour and crack in the egg. Whisk gradually bringing in some fl our to make a paste. Slowly add the milk, keep whisking continually until you have a thick batter.

3. Stir in the salt, cinnamon and banana, and leave to rest for five minutes.

4. Heat some oil in a pan. Fry in small batches for a few minutes each side.

5. Serve with maple syrup or honey.

Get more recipe inspiration from our nutrition section.