He’s the homegrown boy wonder who’s consistently smashing racing records – sprint runner Jonnie Peacock reveals the diet that keeps him moving.
By the end of the 2012 London 2012 Paralympic Games, Jonnie Peacock was a household name. Aged just 19, he’d stormed to victory, clearing the 100m T44 sprint final in just 10.9 seconds and smashing the previous record in the process.
Since then Jonnie, now 23, has casually picked up another three gold medals on a global stage and received even more recognition for his incredible achievements when he was made an MBE in 2013 for his services to athletics.
Off the running track he’s one of the key Sainsbury’s Active Kids ambassadors, inspiring a new generation of boys and girls to take their sporting talents worldwide. But, as he prepares to represent ParalympicsGB again in Rio, all that energy has to come from somewhere.
He tells us about the fuel for his fire: food fit for a superhero athlete.
Menu of the day
It’s a strong start for Jonnie in the mornings, as he powers up with some homemade porridge, fruit and a jolt of caffeine with a cup of coffee.
During and after training, he says: “Protein bars, flapjacks and shakes keep me going during sessions and are important for my recovery afterwards, too.”
He also makes sure there’s loads of fresh fruit to hand for snack attacks. “I love chocolate but if I need something sweet, I try to opt for fruit instead, usually bananas and mangos.”
Make like the speedy athlete and combine the two by dipping a banana in a little melted, high-quality dark chocolate.
When lunch rolls around, he loves to get stuck into a protein-packed club sandwich followed by fruit, perhaps in the form of a smoothie made with his favourite combo: orange juice, apple juice, berries, a banana and lots of spinach. “For dinner,” he says, “I usually have a rump steak with sweet potatoes and lots of broccoli.”
Get all your fruit and veg in with this smoothie.
“I also drink up to three litres of water a day.” Staying hydrated will be even more crucial with the average daily temperature of 22C in Rio.
Surely the multiple medal-winning sportsman has his own private chef, always on hand to whip up any dish that Jonnie desires? “Ha, I wish!” he laughs. “I do it all myself. I like cooking but I think I’d enjoy it even more if I didn’t have to wash up…”
Still, it means he’s become a bit of a dab hand in the kitchen. “I prepare all my own meals, so I don’t make myself anything that I don’t like,” he explains. “My favourite is definitely steak, especially as it’s so easy to cook.”
Rare, medium or well done? We’ve got you covered with this ultimate guide to cooking steak; watch our video on how to cook to the perfect steak.
Highs and lows
It’s not all steak and chocolate though. Jonnie knows the importance of nutritional extras that may not taste great, but are an important addition to his daily diet. “There is a recovery drink that I have during training that tastes like rotten eggs but I know it’s good for me,” he says.
Still, he makes up for it by celebrating in style after a race: “It’s all about the burger for me, with all the trimmings. Although I once had a burger on room service the night before a race and I actually performed well the next day.”
Well, it’s certainly a protein-boost. “I’m also a big fan of Nando’s,” he adds. “And I love a Victoria sponge.”
As a Sainsbury’s Active Kids ambassador, Jonnie is always on hand with good nutritional advice for aspiring sportspeople. He says: “Eat little and often when you’re training to keep your metabolism moving. Pace yourself, keep it fun and make sure you enjoy what you’re doing.”
He also recommends keeping close to your teammates to inspire each other: “We definitely share ideas. Fellow Paralympian Aled Davies recently gave me an awesome marinade recipe for BBQ prawns.
These tandoori prawns with a lime dip are great for the weekend. You can easily make the prawns go further by adding spring onions,
“I just hope we get the weather this summer to use it.” When he’s not sending sparks flying on the track, he’ll definitely have a chance to get grilling in Brazil this summer…
Try something new from our healthy eating meal plan.