Finale Round - 30 Day Drinking Oats Challenge

Last week, the (imaginary) bell sounded to indicate the last round of drinks for my Rude Health 30 Day Drinking Oats challenge. For the whole month of April, I was challenged to incorporate the easy dissolving milled oats into my daily nutrition, and see what effect the low-GI food would have on my health, riding and performance. Here's a wrap up...


Convenience is King!

Drinking Oats are made to be a convenient breakfast or snack; just add a few tablespoons of them to any drink, and you've added some low-GI carbohydrates that will keep you going and fuelled-up at any time of the day. 

Convenience and cycling go hand-in-hand. Whether you're looking for a quicker start to the day, so you can get out on the road, or you're in need of a quick afternoon snack before an evening training session, Drinking Oats could be the key.

Here's three ways I've used Drinking Oats in the last month, as a convenient snack:
  • Pre-Ride Breakfast - Mix three tablespoons of Drinking Oats with milk, honey and a banana, and blitz it up in a blender. The result, is a quick to drink breakfast, which will get you out the door, and on the bike quicker than a bowl of porridge, but equally well fuelled.
  • Pre-Race Snack - We all know that optimal pre-race fuelling involves a decent low-GI meal three hours before (normally a large bowl of porridge); then, smaller snacks leading up to the start. Drinking Oats proved to be a great option for the latter, and lets you hydrate and fuel with the correct kind of carbs, all in the same mouthful.
  • Post-Ride Recovery - It can be a struggle to eat immediately after a hard ride or race, but if you add a few tablespoons of drinking oats to your whey powder when you make up your recovery shake, then you need not worry. Slow-release carbohydrates and protein, combined in a drinks bottle. 

Top Five Recipes

Experimentation and testing were the name of the game last month, and I spent a long time trying to find the tastiest and most nutritious Drinking Oats combos that I could. Here are my five favourites:
  1. Raspberry Ripple: Add a handful of fresh raspberries, two spoonfuls of strawberry yoghurt, a drizzle of honey and two tablespoons of Drinking Oats to a NutriBullet. Fill up to the max line with almond milk or dairy milk. Mix it up. A great breakfast, snack or recovery drink.
  2. Tropical Recovery: One banana, a spoonful of vanilla or banana flavour recovery powder, some tinned tropical fruit salad, Drinking Oats and milk. Blend it all together, and feel the tropical recovery.
  3. Ginger Kickstarter: A cube of fresh ginger, a teaspoon of honey, two tablespoons of drinking oats, and top up to the line with apple juice. A great buzzing start to the day. 
  4. Creamy Yoghurt Snack: As well as drinking Drinking Oats, I also tried adding them to other things. Put them in low-fat yoghurt, and they thicken it right up, a bit like soaked muesli. Mix in some fresh fruit, and you've got a great snack.
  5. Orange Mango Tango: A simple one to finish. Just add Drinking Oats to orange and mango fruit juice, stir, and enjoy! Quick and easy. 

Top Results

I incorporated oats a lot into my diet before I started this challenge; whether it was porridge for breakfast most days, or apple crumble for dessert (when I was lucky)! So, I wasn't expecting any major changes in physique or dietary gains. That said, I did find that the need to make a Drinking Oats recipe each day suppressed what might otherwise have been a craving for less healthy snacks. For example, trading an evening piece of cake for an oaty milkshake was definitely a Rude Health trade. Better still was avoiding that post ride binge on toast and peanut butter, by adding some oats to my recovery shake.

I did measure my body fat, weight and BMI before and after the challenge, and have to say they were almost identical in all honesty. However, the more notable result, was increased time. Increased time before a ride, as a result of a drinkable breakfast; increased time after a ride, due to the lack of kitchen cupboard raiding. Increased time is always a good thing in our hectic lives, and even more so when it frees up more time to ride.

Summary

I thoroughly enjoyed doing the Rude Health Drinking Oats Challenge, and discovered some interesting new recipes in the process. I've now incorporated Drinking Oats into my pre-race routine, it has firmly become one of my late-night snacks, and it makes a great breakfast when you need to be out the door quickly. Drink up!

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