How to Maximise your Learning from Reading

Today’s post is a little different from the usual content on my blog. In a world where we’re inundated with content, hopefully this can post can support you to maximise real learning from what you choose to read.

Im going to share a list of strategies that I picked up that can support learning from reading. This can be particularly applicable for research papers. Its quite simple, and will help you with the 3 stages of reading: the preparation; the during; and the completion.

Before you read

  • Flick through the chapter or paper
  • Consider what is it am I supposed to be learning?
  • Reflect on what you may already know about the subject

While you read

  • Divide the content into sections and stop at each section to reflect on what you’ve read and learnt
  • Practice summarising key points in your own words
  • Note any key terms you recall and try to explain them
  • Note any questions you have about the content
  • Relate info to anything you already know about the subject
  • Write down any insights you have
  • Write down questions & insights re the text and relate to other pages/chapters where relevant

After you’ve read

  • Revisit your learning objectives and consider what you know and what further questions you may have
  • Test yourself and try to locate gaps in your understanding
  • Analyse and critique where you can, identifying strengths, grey areas and areas for development
  • Identify what stands out
  • Discuss the content with someone else. Can you brake it down like you were explaining it to a child? Could you summarise in a couple of sentences, such as an elevator pitch?
  • If you have no one around, practice explaining what you’ve learnt out loud

Ok, hope some of this helps, it’s definitely helped me to order my thinking and actually retain information, which is not an easy task in today’s world!

Chocolate & Cinnamon coated Coffee beans

Here’s a tasty little pre workout treat/pick-me-up for you. There’s some great evidence behind caffeine as a performance enhancer and it’s one of the few supplements that the science is pretty much unanimous on.

If you want to find out more on the how and the why behind caffeine as a performance enhancer, read this previous post for more information;

Try these chocolate coated coffee beans between 40 and 20 minutes before you workout. 


Performance enhancing effects are seen from caffeine at a dosage of 3-9mg per kg of body weight. Your average single coffee bean reportedly contains around 6mg of caffeine in it. To support you doing the calculations, 35 coffee beans weigh 4g which equals 210mg of caffeine. 

Let’s take a 70kg fighter. To workout the caffeine dose I’ll take a midway recommend dosage of 6mg per kg of body weight – 6 x 70kg = 420mg needed. I weighed 35 beans with 6 x 35 being 210mg. 35 beans weighed 4g so double that to 70 beans at 8g and you you have roughly 420mg of caffeine.


  • Unground coffee beans
  • Dark chocolate (70% plus)
  • 1 tsp of Ceylon cinnamon


  • Melt dark chocolate in the microwave until it’s liquid
  • Add coffee beans and stir
  • Empty coffee beans onto a non stick surface of plate or tray, (try using small piece of butter, margarine or grease proof paper).
  • Dust over with cinnamon
  • Leave in fridge over night
  • Break up and enjoy


In honesty it’s extremely difficult to predict exactly the caffeine content in a coffee bean. I’ve read it can be potentially half or even double the 6g proposed. Therefore, if you’re really looking at tracking and serious on dosages, in reality the best option is to go with a caffeine supplement, (it just won’t taste so good!).

High Protein Chocolate Cheeseless Cheesecake

Looking for a high protein breakfast option outside of your standard omelette? Maybe you’re needing a pre or post workout snack? Looking no further! This is a perfect morning breakfast treat or pre/post workout snack you can take on the move. 

Ingredients – 

  • 2 wheetabix
  • 100ml of semi skimmed milk
  • 100g fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp of honey
  • 1 tbsp of cacoa powder
  • 20g whey protein
  • 1 tsp of cacoa nibs (optional)


  • Crush the wheetabix up and place in a jar or similar container.
  • Add the milk and ensure it’s fully mixed up evenly. Pat down flat
  • Combine yogurt, honey and cacoa, mixing thoroughly and evenly
  • Add protein powder to the yogurt mixture and fold in, mixing till even consistency
  • Add to the wheetabix and top with cacoa nibs. Leave in the fridge overnight and you’re away.

Total calories: 410

Performance Chocolate Protein Pancakes

These little beauties are a super simple one to cook up and take on the move with you. They’re a great pre or post workout snack with decent macronutrient split of carbohydrate, fat and protein all included.


1 x medium banana 

 1 x medium eggs 

2 x tsp of cacoa or coco powder

1 x tsp of honey

1 x scoop / 30g whey protein 

1/4 spoon of baking powder

1 x tsp coconut oil (for cooking)


  • Blend eggs, honey & banana in food processor (or mash with fork)
  • Add cacoa, protein and baking powder, again blending or stirring in
  • Melt coconut oil in frying pan and scoop out around a palm size of mixture
  • Cool on low heat around 1/2 minutes each side
  • Serve hot or cold for a pre or post gym snack

Total calories: 445kcal