Close up of a disposable takeaway pot with vegan porridge made with coconut milk and 5 grains (oatmeal, jumbo oats, barley, rye and quinoa flakes), and berry compote and crushed almonds on a wooden table

Sleep easy: improve your sleep and recover quicker with these easy tryptophan-rich recipes

Posted by for Fitness Recipes

Struggling to sleep soundly? Aching days after your last workout? These simple recipes are packed with tryptophan, an amino acid responsible to speeding up recovery and rest. So sit back, grab a spoon and prepare to relax.

Imagine your day without caffeine. Maybe you’d make it through your first meeting without yawning… but many of us would struggle to even get into work without a morning coffee. While nothing can substitute taking down stress for a good night’s sleep, what you eat may help to send you off to sleep sooner.

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid that is responsible for the creation of niacin, a B vitamin that helps the body turn the food we eat into energy. It’s also a substance that’s great for promoting good sleep quality and stable mood. That’s because it controls our melatonin and serotonin signals – the hormones that tell us when we should be asleep or awake. If we aren’t eating enough of the amino acid, our internal clock gets thrown off, making it hard to drift off at the end of a hard day. So if you’re lying in bed staring at the ceiling, it might be time to start thinking about getting more tryptophan in your life. 

Blackberry porridge for better sleep
Blackberry porridge for better sleep

Quinoa And Oat Porridge With Blackberry Compote


50g quinoa

100g jumbo oats (gluten-free)

100ml water

250ml soya milk combined with 1 vanilla pod

100g raspberries

1 pear

1 tsp honey

1 pinch ground cinnamon


Place the uncooked quinoa in a saucepan and cover with the water and soya milk

Bring the pan to a boil on medium heat and then turn the heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

Whilst the quinoa is cooking, make the compote. First, peel the pear and remove the core, then finely dice.

Place the cut-up pear, raspberries, honey, cinnamon and a splash of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil on medium heat.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer the compote for 10 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Once the quinoa is soft, add the jumbo oats and stir for three minutes until completely warmed throughout. Add more oat milk if you prefer a wetter porridge.

Serve the porridge immediately and top with the compote. 

Edamame dip

Edamame beans dip with lemon
Up your intake of tryptophan with this healthy snack


300g soya beans (edamame)

100g (4 tbsp) low or zero fat yoghurt

1 avocado, stoned, peeled, and chopped

5g chilli (optional)

Juice of 1/2 lime

Handful coriander

1/2 tsp sesame oil


This one is pretty easy… Blend all of the ingredients together! 

If the dip is a little too thick, you can add more yoghurt but the finished product should be coarse, not smooth! 

Serve with fresh veggies or on toast.

For more healthy recipes, check out the rest of the Strong Women Training Club library.

Recipe courtesy of Rob Hobson, registered nutritionist at Healthspan.

Images: Getty 

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