Eating a hearty and healthy breakfast is important for everyone, but even more so for athletes who need to kick-start their metabolism first thing in the morning and keep energy levels high all throughout their busy days. The nasty habit of skipping breakfast and routinely running out the door without waking up the body out of its fasting mode could hurt your performance, muscle gains and overall health and well-being, so if you’re guilty of this, read this article to get inspired by some breakfast ideas straight out of the diets of the fittest people around!
Basic Breakfast Guidelines
When it comes to athletes, a decent breakfast should contain 500-750 calories, consisting of roughly 50% carbs, 30% from protein and 20% from healthy fats. Ideal carb sources are fiber-loaded fruits and vegetables, whole grain cereals and whole grain breads; to meet the protein and healthy fat requirements, opt for nuts, seeds, eggs, peanut butter, cheese and lean meats.
One important go-lean tool that many people forget is water. Adequate water consumption will not only keep your body well hydrated, but it will also help you digest your food, flush out all toxins and cellular waste and keep all bodily functions running smooth. That being said, water is particularly important for athletes because the nature of their activities lend to using up stores more quickly. And let’s not forget that your muscles are 75% water, so if they are not hydrated, they can’t fire properly.
Include water with all meals and snacks to ensure you arrive to training well-hydrated, and then keep on drinking small amounts of water regularly during exercise to avoid dehydration. Drink water with your high-carb and high-protein post-workout meal to support and enhance muscle recovery.
In addition, always opt for whole fruits over fruit juices, as whole fruits contain fiber and their skins and pulp are filled with antioxidants, lots more than you’d find in a fruit juice, especially if it’s commercially produced.
Breakfast Ideas for Champions
Sculpting a fit, strong, competition-winning physique takes a great deal of patience and effort, and we all know that roughly half of that has to go into the kitchen. Great nutrition is the pillar of fat loss, muscle building and overall health, and this includes every meal in the day, starting with a healthy breakfast. Below you’ll find some supercharged breakfast recipes that helped many superstar athletes build lean bodies of steel!
#1. Soak ½ cup of oatmeal in almond milk, egg whites or water, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, mash in one banana and add a scoop of vanilla-flavored whey protein powder. Sprinkle some cinnamon on top and enjoy!
#2. Take your classic bowl of oats to the next level by adding a scoop of chocolate-flavored protein powder and one teaspoon of almond butter. Drink one large cup of black coffee with this for a fully energized start of the day!
#3. If you’re one of us peanut butter-junkies, add one heaping scoop of peanut butter chocolate protein powder (MusclePharm Combat is a great choice) and mix in a tablespoon of peanut butter as well. Top it with one sliced banana and sprinkle some cinnamon on top. Now that’s super-delicious!
#4. For a real power breakfast that’s loaded with antioxidants and other essential nutrients that will give your digestive system a boost and nourish your health, mix in a teaspoon of brown sugar and a handful of mixed berries in one cup of oatmeal. If you have a busy training day ahead, follow it up with a 6-ounce grilled chicken breast and a scramble of 10 egg whites and one yolk an hour and a half later.
#5. Want to save time in the mornings? Make a big batch in a large container and you’ll be good for a couple of days. Mix together 2 cups of rolled oats, 2 cups of almond or soy milk, half a cup of chia seeds and one-two apples cut into tiny slivers, and let it sit in the fridge overnight. In the morning, top one serving with yogurt, fresh blueberries or cranberries, banana slices and sliced almonds. Enjoy!
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