tmbYou can get all the benefits of expensive supplements for a fraction of the cost, by making your own. Just grab the kit and ingredients (right) to make these five performance enhancing recipes

Having a protein shake a few hours before you train protects against catabolism (the breakdown of lean muscle), according to the British Journal of Sports Medicine. But look at the label; the first few ingredients listed almost certainly include whey or case in, both proteins readily available in milk and cheese. Aim for around 0.5g of protein daily per pound of body weight-that’s absolute 67g for the average 12 stone (76kg) man.

. 80g fat-free cottage cheese
. 100g natural yoghurt
. 100ml skimmed milk
. A handful of frozen blueberries

Blend the ingredients together - this shake gives 21g protein, a bit less than the 25g available with commercial powders. It is worth investing in supplements for serious high-intensity training: the Journal of Sports Sciences reports that glutamine and leucine-containing products positively affect protein synthesis; with creatine and HMB proven to increase lean muscle mass. So if you’re going heavy it makes sense to supplement.

Fat burning supplements usually rely on two things. First, thermogenic compounds, which raise your body temperature slightly to encourage you to burn more calories. Then, amino acids like L-Carnitine found naturally in avocado and dairy as well as in red meat, which boost fat metabolism by speeding the transfer offat molecules to the muscles’ cells. Studies at the University of Maryland, US, have linked L-carnitine supps to a reduction in both fat and fatigue. The L-carnitine count in this drink; at about 11mg, is less than you would expect from a supplement. But it comes with the fat-burning benefit of cucumber, which is high in the Sulphur and Silicon that help hasten the removal of fat from cells.

. Half an avocado
. A quarter cucumber
. Pinch of salt
. Fresh mint leaves, 10g
. 35ml skimmed milk
. 35ml natural yoghurt
. 4 ice cubes
. Chilli powder, pinch

Blend half an avocado, a quarter cucumber, pinch of salt, three mint leaves, 35ml natural yoghurt. Add 4 ice cubes and blend again, sprinkling on the naturally thermogenic ground chilli powder before serving. For 130 calorie, you get 5g protein, 8g carbs and 2g sat fat.

When you sweat, you need to top up on fluids and hydration-regulating electrolytes: a 12-stone man needs 500ml of sports drink for every hour of aerobic exercise. And composition is all-important. The European Journal of Applied Physiology reports that marathon runners who drank either water or a 6.9% carb solution posted slower times than the men who drank a 5.5% concentrate. The latter group was also able to maintain  a consistent speed throughout the race. During exercise, a non-pro will be aiming for an Isotonic Solution, that is, 5-8% carbs. But sensitive stomachs might need even more dilute drinks, which is where homemade sports drinks come into their own.

. 100ml full sugar squash
. 400ml water
. A pinch of salt

Stir together the full-sugar squash with the water and add a pinch of salt. This provides the same sodium as a branded sports drink even if the taste doesn’t compare. However it will be a fraction of the cost with only 58 calories compared to 140, which goes some way to make up for the lack of added vitamins and wider range of electrolytes.

The British Journal of Sports Medicine also reports that taking in combined carbs and protein after exercise increases muscle-building hormones. Look for a drink with two parts carb to one part protein: this rehydrates you, restocks your muscles’ glycogen stores and helps repair micro tears in muscular tissue. And how about this: chocolate milk hits the right ratio.

. 50ml low fat yoghurt
. 50ml skimmed milk
. 2 tbsp cocoa powder
. 1 banana
. A pinch of salt
. 1tsp honey

Just put all the ingredients in a blender. This provides 220 cals, 15g protein and 35g carbs. Make sure you get it down you during the “Window of Opportunity”: the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that muscles absorb carbohydrate, and amino acids from protein, most readily if you refuel immediately after your workout.

Your body can only store enough energy for two hours of continuous exercise, so whether endurance athletes rely on bars, beans or gels, the aim is to deliver a shot of glucose to glycogen-deprived muscles. If you watch Tour de France cyclists at their snack stations, you’ll see that malted loaf is their number one energy food. The energy boost comes from malt extract, a fantastic high-GI sugar. Get it in health shops.

. 150g brown sugar
. 175g margarine
. 2 tbsp malt extract
. 4 eggs
. 200g self-raising wholemeal flour
. 1tsp cinnamon
. 1tsp mixed spice
. 150g assorted dried fruit

Heat the oven to 160˚C/gas mark 3. Whisk the margarine, brown sugar and malt extract. Beat in the eggs; fold in the flour, cinnamon, spice and dried fruit. Bake for 60 minutes, cool and cut into bars. Packing 328cals and 51carbs, they are perfect for bike rides or runs-save expensive gels for competitions or PB attempts.

Avoid the pitfalls of comfort food with these healthy 15-minute fixes

Tuna pitta
Its carbs and protein battle muscle soreness
1 pitta, toasted Starch for energy stores.
1 tin of tuna, mixed with 4 tbsp full-fat yoghurt
The protein and the yoghurt’s casein feeds your muscles.
Cumin, coriander, chilli flakes, tomatoes, onions and baby spinach All contain antioxidants, which are shown to reduce inflammation and muscle soreness.pp

Fish and chips
It makes you B6 to reduce that hangover
Want to avoid tomorrow’s headache? Fry the main ingredients in a little oil then sprinkle with the condiments.
1 sweet potato, peeled and thinly sliced
It’s lower GI than white potato and an ideal blood sugar stabilizer after a few ales.
Tuna Steak
There’s no better source of vitamin B6.

Turkey stir frywl
Its tryptophan will relax you, to help you sleep
Cook the noodles and mix with the stir-fried meat. Add the other ingredients and fry.
100g of turkey, thinly sliced, prawns, 1 egg scrambled, spring onions, soy and oyster sauce
These trigger the ‘Umami’ taste receptor, which produces the happiness hormone serotonin and brings feelings of fullness.
Egg noodles
Carbs boost relaxing tryptophan in the brain.

Steak sandwich
Its carbs, protein and fat speed recovery
Grill the steak then make into a sandwich with the other ingredients.pas
160g lean steak
Quality protein, and high in natural creatine.
2 doorstep slices of wholemeal bread
Slower-released carbs for prolonged refuelling.
Ketchup and BBQ sauce
Both contain glucose, the most quickly absorbed carbohydrate, for a quick recovery enhancing sugar hit.
Leerdammer Lightlife cheese, red onions