​​This Tuna And Beans Pitta Pocket Recipe Proves Sports Nutrition Can Be Very Simple

(Image credit: Unknown)

Nigel Mitchell is a sports nutritionist who has spent decades advising the very best on how to fuel their training to maximise performance, with his Rolodex of clients including British Cycling, Team Sky and British Athletics.

Nigel knows his onions, then – and all his other vegetables and foodstuffs. So when he tells you that mixing tuna and baked beans and throwing them in a pitta is a great meal, pay attention because it’s advice coming from the very top.

“When you say sports nutrition, people tend to think of supplements, but actually a recipe as simple as beans, tuna and pitta covers most of your nutritional needs,” says Mitchell. “It provides high-quality protein, omega 3 fats, complex carbohydrates, B vitamins and a host of other micronutrients.”

The recipe is taken from Mitchell’s new book The Cyclist’s Cookbook: Food To Power Your Cycling Life, which is laden with accessible recipes to help people power their cycling, or indeed any other sport.

We particularly liked this recipe because it is so simple, and uses ingredients many of us will already have stashed in the cupboard or freezer.

“I use this one a lot when I have been away for a few days and get home and have nothing fresh in the house,” Mitchell writes in the book. “I always keep a packet of pitta bread in my freezer for just such emergencies.”

Ingredients (Serves One)

  • 1 (67g) wholemeal pitta bread
  • ½ can (210g) reduced-sugar baked beans
  • 1 small can (72g) tuna in spring water


  1. Pour the beans into a bowl and mix in the tuna. Heat in the microwave for about 60 seconds (they do not need to be piping hot).
  2. Cut the pitta bread across the middle and, using a knife carefully, open the pitta like an envelope. Scoop a good spoonful of the beans and tuna into each half of pitta.
  3. If you have a toaster with wide slots, you can put the filled pitta in it and toast for about three minutes or place under a grill, again for about three minutes on each side.

Nutritional Information

Swipe to scroll horizontally
Row 0 - Cell 0 per 100gper 347g serving

Nigel Mitchell’s book The Cyclist’s Cookbook: Food To Power Your Cycling Life (GCN, £16.99) is out now

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.