The benefits of oats should not be underestimated

Овсянка для бегунов Nutrition
Овсянка - это идеальное гоночное топливо для бегунов, о котором незаслуженно забывают некоторые спортсмены.

Oatmeal is the perfect race fuel for runners, undeservedly forgotten by some athletes. Many modern parents, obeying advertising, accustom their children from childhood to quick breakfasts that have an attractive texture but little nutritional value. Most of them are solidly diluted with flavorings, colorings, and sugars, so they make ordinary oatmeal a rather boring dish for children in comparison.


Oats are the seed of a grain plant, the edible part of which is called croup. Like wheat, oats are considered a gluten-free whole grain. The traditional dish is porridge. It is appropriately called oatmeal.

The list of nutrients contained in oats is quite long. In addition to complex carbohydrates and dietary fiber important to the runner, oats, like buckwheat, contain protein. Half a cup of oats includes as much protein as the same amount of quinoa – 7 to 13 grams.

But, to be fair, we should clarify that, unlike buckwheat and quinoa, the protein in oatmeal is not complete, that is, the amino acid profile does not include all 9 essential amino acids (of the 20), which the body is not able to produce itself.

To make the protein complete and contain all the important amino acids, porridge-oatmeal is eaten with milk, butter, or with peanut paste.


Бета-глюкан – это тип сахара, а точнее, полисахарид, обнаруженный в клеточных стенках овса. Но он служит цели, намного превосходящей простую заправку углеводами. Исследования показали, что бета-глюкан снижает риск инфекций верхних дыхательных путей у бегунов на длинные дистанции и велосипедистов.

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This is important because endurance cycling sports encourage athletes to stay within their aerobic thresholds for long periods of time, making the airways vulnerable to some infectious diseases.

A study published in Sport Science and Medicine fully confirms this. Moreover, a decrease in fatigue and an improvement in overall health were reported in the marathon runners who participated in the experiment. The result is pretty clean because the method used was a placebo for part of the subjects.

Мы заостряем внимание на бета-глюкане, поскольку в необходимом количестве он может быть получен лишь из овса, ячменя и из некоторых видов грибов.


Although manganese is present in the body only in very small amounts, it serves several very important functions, regulating blood clotting, calcium absorption, and blood sugar levels.

A study in the journal Medicina found that athletes who participate in cyclic endurance sports consume 44 percent less manganese than recommended.

Although, to my knowledge, no recommended dietary allowances for manganese have yet been established. Therefore, what is used as a guide is what is called adequate intake due to the manganese content of the body in an individual group of healthy individuals.

The situation with manganese is rather murky, but nevertheless, too low a level of manganese in the body for runners can mean slower recovery and quicker fatigue. Less stable blood sugar levels and a greater likelihood of approaching a “wall” in a marathon may also be associated with this.


Флавоноиды являются естественными антиоксидантами, которые могут помочь бороться со свободными радикалами – потенциально вредными молекулами, повышающие риск развития рака и болезни Альцгеймера.

They are also thought to play a major role in recovery from exercise and reduce inflammation in tissues. A certain group of flavonoids, called avenanthramides, are found in no other grain except oats. They are especially useful for regulating all kinds of cholesterol levels and promoting heart health.

Содержание витаминов и минералов

Oats are loaded with important micronutrients. It is most practical to present the percentage of substances from the daily allowance (RDI) in a standard amount of cereal to make a serving (half a cup or 80 g):

  • Марганец: 185%
  • Фосфор: 40%
  • Магний: 37%
  • Медь: 25%
  • Железо: 20%
  • Цинк: 20%
  • Фолат: 12%
  • Витамин B1 (тиамин): 38%
  • Витамин B5 (пантотеновая кислота): 10%
  • Есть так же небольшое количество кальция, калия, витамина B6 (пиридоксина) и витамина B3 (ниацин).

A similar serving of 80 g of oats contains 50 g of carbohydrates, 10 g of amino acids (protein), 5 g of fat, 8 g of fiber, and has an energy value of 300 calories (if the porridge is with water and no sugar).


Oatmeal leaves a feeling of fullness for a long time. It’s not just its texture that contributes to this feeling. Beta-glucan regulates hunger, optimizing the number of meals eaten during the day.

Beta-glucan can also promote the release of peptide YY (PYY), a hormone produced in the gut in response to the appearance of food. This peptide has been shown to be a kind of satiety hormone and leads to a decrease in caloric intake.

In general, all this is good for those who are trying to lose weight by running, so oatmeal should certainly be in their diet.

Other effects

Овес снижает риск развития астмы и других аллергических заболеваний у детей. Для взрослых и пожилых спортсменов-любителей более актуальной может быть способность овса облегчать запоры и даже полностью заменить слабительное средство.

How to Cook

You can cook oats any way you want, but by far the most popular and tasty option is the usual oatmeal porridge with the addition of milk, a bit of butter, and various flavors, from berries and raisins to honey. Or simply soaking the cereal in yogurt.

Many triathletes put oat flakes in the blender when making their shakes-gainers, but I just add oats to my omelet base.

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