Fiona Pennie - what fuels her?


Canoe Slalom

Fiona Pennie - what fuels her?

21 August 2016 / 22:09

With the Olympic Games now almost behind us athletes will be taking a well earned rest and treating themselves for the first time in years.

But the preparations for the next event will no doubt be just around the corner and no aspect of preparation is more vital than what an athlete eats and drinks, so we sat down with the stars of Team GB to find out what fuels them.

This time it’s 33-year-old canoe slalom paddler, Fiona Pennie.

The Scot moved from her Crieff home to Waltham Abbey, Essex, to train for the Rio Games. 

Find out more about Fiona on her profile here

But what fuelled her to sixth place in her second Olympic Games in Rio?


Porridge with some blueberries, raspberries and strawberries on top, with a little bit of milled linseed on top.

Then a couple of boiled eggs, and a coffee, of course.


That varies as to where I am. I might have scrambled eggs on toast, or some couscous, with chicken and veg – they’re pretty standard things for me.


Quite often sweet potato with some roasted veg and meat of some sort – salmon maybe – all popped in the oven and out it comes very tasty.


There are normal protein bars that we have, bananas – I’m pretty healthy in general, I enjoy eating it all.

Some of the guys are like ‘come on, have something bad’ but I don’t tend to.

I really like dried mango too, but you have to be really careful how much of it you eat because there is a lot of sugar in it and it is a bit moreish.

Why is good nutrition so important?

We are not a weight-orientated sport, but at the same time strength to weight is an issue for us.

You want to be light on the water, and strong with it.

Recently I have downed my weight quite a lot to try and improve my speed away from the gate and to help with upstream gates.

Eating for competition

Competition does not really change what we eat too much, more just the timing of it and how much I eat.

If racing is over lunchtime then I will have a smaller lunch earlier, and I will have more snacks and maybe some more nutritional supplements, like caffeine.

It’s usually pretty similar, you have to keep all those nutrients going in to keep all the colds away.

Treat food

Caramel spread on things is pretty good – I’ve had to not buy it for quite a while in the build up to Rio.

I have it on a hot cross bun, with bananas on top. That is really good.

Fantasy dinner party

Billy Connolly – he would make me laugh a lot.

Katherine Grainger – I really admire her, she has won medals and came back to get the one she really wanted in London.

Ellen Degeneres – she is funny and a good fighter for causes.

Fiona in the kitchen

If I had to cook dinner for one person then I will be all soppy and say for my girlfriend, she has put up with everything over the years with me getting to Rio.

I’d probably cook a really good fillet steak, that’s what she’d be into. Every time we have steak, she says I’m the one that’s doing it because I’m the one who’s good at cooking it just right, rare.

Sportsbeat 2016