Eat like an athlete – Keri-Anne Payne

Eat like an athlete – Keri-Anne Payne

Marathon open water swimming star, Keri-Anne Payne knows how important it is to eat a balanced diet. Here she shares her tips for training, a passion for cooking and a love of American pancakes…

Eat like an athlete - Keri-Anne Payne

What is your typical daily diet when training for a big event?

Pre-training I will usually have two slices of unbuttered toast with raspberry jam at about 5am. After training I get my energy back with a cereal bar or sometimes cereal topped with a banana.

A favourite of mine is prawn pasta with avocado and carrots.

Dinner will usually be something with balanced carbs and protein, such as sirloin steak with baked potatoes and garden peas.

Eat like an athlete - Keri-Anne Payne

How do you keep your diet varied and do you ever get bored with eating for your sport?

I love cooking and always try to experiment with different ideas. Sometimes, if I find a good recipe, I put them in my homemade recipe book, so if I do get bored with my training diet all I need to do is look through that for inspiration.

What super food/juice/meal helps you get out of bed and motivated on those particularly dreary mornings?

Getting up at 5am means that I can have toast. If I am seriously struggling I have peanut butter on my toast instead of raspberry jam – rock and roll!

Eat like an athlete - Keri-Anne PayneWhat's your trusted snack for an energy boost?

Bananas are a great snack. Or I make banana bread cupcakes, which are relatively low in sugar. says; try our sugar-free banana bread recipe: sugar-free banana bread.


How do you stay hydrated when training?

I try to make sure I have a full drinks bottle every session. If it's an easy session I'll usually just drink water and if it's a little tougher I'll add in some berry cordial for a boost.

Eat like an athlete - Keri-Anne Payne

When competition season is over what are your favourite food indulgences?

I love baking, so when I get home after a race or training camp I get in the kitchen and start cooking. I also finally get to eat what I make as, during competition season, they usually go out to other people!

What would be your top diet and exercise tip for the amateur athlete?

Make sure you eat a balanced diet as this will make you feel more energetic. It's also important to find an exercise regime that works for you and stick to it – consistency is so important. If you can only make one gym session a week then make sure it's one every week without fail.
A balanced diet for women
A balanced diet for men

Eat like an athlete - Keri-Anne PayneWhat is your favourite recipe from

I love the Good Food American pancake recipe – I usually just swap the blueberries for raspberries. 
American blueberry pancake recipe



Uncover more diet secrets from top athletes in our eat like an athlete series.

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