How To Assemble A Runner’s Sandwich

What’s for lunch? For many time-strapped runners, the answer – at least a few days a week – is a sandwich. “If built correctly, they provide energising carbs, protein to repair muscles, healthy fats for hormone production, and vitamins to build immunity,” says Anthony Meade, an Adelaide-based sports dietitian and runner. Take your lunch to the next level with these six unique recipes (each serves two). You’ll never go back to ham and cheese again.

Swap your tuna salad for salmon and you’ll get more inflammation-reducing omega-3s. Scientists in Japan found that capsaicin, the nutrient that gives chilli sauces their kick, can increase fat-burning during exercise. Dark rye bread contains up to five grams of fibre per slice – more than wholemeal.

Assemble Mix 3 tablespoons low-fat mayo and 1 teaspoon jarred chilli sauce; set aside. Combine one 100g can salmon, juice of ½ lemon, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, 1 minced garlic clove, and salt to taste. Divide between 2 slices of dark rye; top each with rocket, tomato, half the aioli, and a second slice of rye.
Electrolyte Replacement: FIG PROSCIUTTO SANDWICH
Dried figs contain calcium, iron, and potassium. The latter “works with sodium to maintain the body’s water balance,” says Meade. Prosciutto is high in sodium, making it ideal after a sweaty run, when you need electrolytes. Red capsicums are brimming with vitamin C, which Harvard researchers have found may keep upper-respiratory-tract infections at bay.

Assemble In a pot, boil ½ cup apple cider and ½ cup dried figs, then simmer for 10 minutes. Move to a food processor; blend with 1 teaspoon honey, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Spread on 4 slices wholemeal baguette. Top 2 slices each with 1 slice prosciutto, 1 slice Swiss cheese, baby spinach, and roasted red capsicum. Top with remaining bread.
Immunity Booster: CURRY EGG SALAD
Velvety Greek yoghurt gives egg salad a protein boost along with a dose of probiotic bacteria. A study published in 2011 in the Nutrition Journal found that athletes who take a daily probiotic supplement have a 50 per cent decrease in symptoms of upper-respiratory-tract infections. Eggs are rich in muscle-friendly protein, vitamin D, vitamin B12, and selenium. Dried fruit adds natural sweetness along with an extra hit of antioxidants and carbs.

Assemble Mix 1/4 cup Greek yoghurt, 2 tablespoons raisins, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 2 sliced spring onions, ½ teaspoon curry powder, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix 4 chopped, hard-boiled eggs with yoghurt. Cut two wholegrain rolls in half. Divide mixture across 2 slices; top each with avocado, coriander and remaining roll.
Compared to peanut butter, almond butter contains more of the bone-building minerals calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. It also has more monounsaturated fat, “which improves blood cholesterol levels,” says Meade. Pears add fibre, while dried apricots are a good source of beta-carotene, which bolsters immunity.

Assemble Whisk 3 tablespoons almond butter, 1 teaspoon honey, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract. Spread on 2 slices of wholegrain bread; top each with 4 thin pear slices, 2 tablespoons chopped dried apricots, 2 tablespoons crumbled cheese, and a second slice of bread.
Chicken breast is an excellent source of protein and niacin. “Your body needs this B vitamin to produce energy,” says Meade. The carbs in wholegrain pita help replace energy stores post-run. Carrots get their vibrant hue from stellar amounts of the antioxidant beta-carotene and are a good source of vitamin K, “which assists with bone strengthening,” says Meade, “so it’s important for preventing stress fractures.”

Assemble Mix 120g cooked, shredded chicken breast with 1 tablespoon jarred basil or chargrilled vegetable pesto. Slice two wholegrain pocket pitas in half; stuff each half with an equal amount of the chicken pesto. Stuff all four pitas with grated carrot and lettuce.
Wraps have about 20 per cent fewer kilojoules than two slices of bread, while a half-cup of beans has seven grams of hunger-reducing fibre. Beans are also a non-meat source of iron, and eating vitamin C-rich veggies (such as artichoke hearts) boosts absorption of this mineral. “Iron helps carry oxygen to your muscles,” says Meade. “If you don’t get enough, your running suffers.”

Assemble In a food processor, blend a 400g can four bean mix, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, juice of ½ lemon, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, ½ teaspoon paprika, ½ teaspoon cumin, and salt and pepper. Spread over two wholegrain wraps. Top each with 1/3 cup artichoke hearts, 1/4 cup parsley, and 1/4 cup roasted red capsicum; roll and slice in half.


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