read Healthy Carb-rich Indian Recipes for Runners

Healthy Carb-rich Indian Recipes for Runners

Healthy Carb-rich Indian Recipes for Runners

Carbohydrates (carbs) are an important source of fuel for runners. Consuming the correct quality and quantity of carbs before, during, and after training can significantly improve your running performance. Eating adequate carbs pre- and post a training session helps you maintain optimal energy. Moreover, it improves your training quality and helps increase the duration of training. 

Simple carbs like potato and white bread are sources of low fiber. However, potato is an unprocessed source of carbs. It is also rich in vitamin B and electrolytes like potassium and sodium, while white bread is a highly processed food and lacks any micronutrients. It is loaded with preservatives and other artificial additives. The same goes for other items like rice, sweet corn, and sweet potato as compared to sugar-loaded beverages, cakes, and ice-creams. The latter items may provide you with carbohydrates, but are devoid of nutrients and loaded with unhealthy additives. 

As you see, the source of your carbs is as important as the amount that you eat. Let’s help you zero in on some nutritious carb recipes that you can consume before and after training. 

Carb-loading is a practice that is aimed at improving glycogen, or the stored glucose reserves in the body, to increase the fuel available for running. It includes increasing your carb intake in the days leading to a running event, among other changes. 

Consuming carbs during training by sipping energy drinks or eating quick snacks may reduce the perception of fatigue, replenish fuel, and improve performance. As a runner, it is essential for you to consume a proper balance of simple, low-fiber and complex, high-fiber carbs.

The latter category also contains a few protein-rich items. Simple carbs provide the much-needed boost of energy, while complex carbs prevent hunger and ensure sustained energy for running. 

Nutritious carb-rich recipes for runners

Here are some healthy carb-rich recipes that you may include in your diet. 

1. Chatpata sweet corn 

You may consume this after a training session along with a protein-rich item like a  boiled egg or protein shake. Moreover, chatpata sweet corn is a good source of carbs and contains moderate protein and fiber to ensure prolonged energy throughout the training. So, you can eat it before a run as well.


  • ¾ (120g) cup of sweet corn
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Red chili powder, chaat masala, and black pepper powder to taste
  • 1 tsp butter
  • Salt to taste


  • Boil the sweet corn kernels
  • Melt the butter in a pan and lightly toss the boiled sweet corn in the butter
  • Add the sauteed sweet corn along with lemon juice, red chili powder, chaat masala, black pepper powder, and salt to a bowl
  • Toss well and serve immediately 
¾ cup sweet corn11619.75.01.6
1 tsp butter455

2. Banana pancakes 

Banana pancakes contain complex carbs in the form of millet flour and moderate amounts of fat. So, it is advisable to consume this item before a workout to provide prolonged fuel for training without causing abdominal discomfort.


  • ⅓ cup (70g) finger millet (ragi/nachni) flour
  • 1 ripe banana (140g)
  • ½ cup (100ml) milk 
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp butter


  • Mash the ripe banana and combine it well with the milk and cinnamon powder
  • Mix the baking powder in the millet flour and add it to the banana mixture
  • Make a thick batter using milk to adjust the consistency
  • Prepare pancakes with some butter to brush on the pan
⅓ cup finger millet flour22426.75.00.5
1 ripe banana10523.61.20.3
½ cup milk734.93.34.5
½ tsp butter273

3. Millet-vegetable pulao 

You may eat millet-vegetable pulao after a training session to replenish your glycogen stores. 


  • ¼ cup (50g) barnyard millet (samai/vari)
  • 1 cup (140g) diced carrot, potato,  cauliflower florets, and peas
  • ¼ cup (30g) sliced onion
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp red chili powder and ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Heat the oil in a thick bottom pot; add the onions and garlic and sauté until the mix turns golden brown
  • Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, and garam masala, and sauté until the spices are well cooked
  • Throw in the vegetables and barnyard millet and sauté for a minute; also, include 1.5 cups of water and salt for taste
  • Cover this mix and cook it; or, you may cook it in a pressure cooker as per your convenience
  • Serve hot
¼ cup barnyard flour15931.84.31.2
1 cup mixed vegetables539.41.50.7
1 tsp oil455

4. Oats cheela (savory pancake) 

You can eat oats cheela before a run or as a post-run meal since it contains complex carbohydrates that give you the much-needed energy throughout the session.


  • ¼ (25g) cup oats flour
  • ¼ (35g) cup semolina
  • 1 tbsp (8g) rice flour
  • 2 tbsp (6g) chopped onion
  • 2 tbsp (6g) chopped capsicum
  • 1 tsp green chili-garlic paste
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp oil


  • Combine the flours and semolina along with the vegetables, chili-garlic paste, and salt
  • Add water to make a batter
  • Make medium-sized cheelas on an open pan using some oil to brush the utensil
  • Serve with a mint or tamarind dip
¼ cup oats flour172.40.50.2
¼ cup semolina12024.64.10.3
1 tbsp rice flour439.410.1
2 tbsp chopped onion51.0
2 tbsp chopped capsicum40.8
1 tsp oil455

5. Sweet potato tikki

You may eat a sweet potato tikki along with a high-protein item such as a bowl of yogurt or protein shake to ensure optimal recovery.


  • 2 medium (200g) sweet potatoes 
  • ¼ cup (30g) grated carrot
  • 1 tbsp (10g) semolina (rawa) to coat
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp red chili powder and ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Boil, peel, and mash the sweet potatoes
  • Add the ginger-garlic paste, grated carrot, and spices to the mashed potatoes
  • Make medium-sized patties (tikkis) with the sweet potato mixture, coat with semolina, and cook on an open pan with 2 tsp oil
  • Serve hot with some green chutney
2 medium sweet potatoes16336.42.00.4
¼ cup grated carrot223.60.60.3
1 tbsp semolina377.50.30.1
2 tsp oil9010

6. Mexican fried rice 

Mexican fried rice is a high-fiber recipe. You may eat it as lunch about two to three hours before an evening workout. Consuming it too close to a training session may cause gastric discomfort due to the high content of fiber.


  • ⅓ cup (70g) brown rice
  • ¼ cup (40g) kidney beans (rajma)
  • 1 cup (140g) mix of chopped onion, tomato, capsicum, and sweet corn
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic 
  • ½ tsp red chili powder and coriander powder
  • 2 tsp oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Soak for six to eight hours and cook the brown rice and kidney beans separately
  • Heat the oil in a thick bottom pan; add minced garlic, red chili powder, coriander powder, and sauté well
  • Put the tomato puree and sauté until cooked well
  • Add the vegetables, cooked beans, and rice
  • Mix well, season with salt and pepper, and serve hot
⅓ cup brown rice24954.85.60.4
¼ cup kidney beans109178.60.6
1 cup mixed vegetables161.81.10.3
1 tsp oil455

You can try these delicious recipes in portion sizes that suit your body and support your running performance. Adding the right amount and form of healthy carbs to your diet can positively affect your run, and these recipes will help you in this endeavor.