You’ve heard the axiom, "Breakfast is the most important meal of the day," but is it REALLY that important? Yes, it’s been kid tested, mother approved! As we sleep, our metabolism slows way down to replenish glycogen stores and aid in muscle recovery. Upon waking, the engine is running on “E,” blood glucose is at a daily low. Eating a healthy breakfast replenishes the fuel tank with two scoops of active potential. You are what you eat, so eat like a champion! As an avid athlete, you burn more calories than average, recreational exercisers. Let’s take a closer look below at the importance of your morning meal.
Why is it Important?:
Breakfast is gr-r-reat for a few reasons, one being it kick starts your metabolism to help you burn calories throughout the day! Other benefits include: providing energy to help you focus; lowering levels of bad, LDL cholesterol; and reducing risk of diabetes, heart disease, and excessive weight gain. Furthermore, skipping breakfast can skew your body rhythm. Upon awaking, your blood sugar is low. In order to make your muscles and brain work their best, nutrient stores need to be replenished. Many of us groggily reach for the coffee right away - the caffeine may seem like the best part of waking-up – but try eggs with avocado and toast as well. The vitamins, proteins, carbs, and fats offer the energy you need to jump start your day!
“I exercise first thing, though:”
If you exercise first thing in the morning, you may not want a huge pre-exercise breakfast. Eating too much before your workout can bog you down and be uncomfortable. However, most can handle ½ breakfast pre-workout such as toast with peanut butter or a banana without discomfort. Having 100-200 calories beforehand puts carbs in your system, boosts your blood sugar and ensures you have the fuel needed to enhance performance! (In a research study, athletes who ate breakfast were able to exercise for 137 minutes as compared to only 109 minutes when they skipped this pre-exercise fuel.)
“I Don’t like to eat in the morning, my stomach doesn’t handle it well:”
Progressively acclimate your body! Find something that works for you. If you have gone years without eating breakfast, of course your stomach may react funny at first. Do you like a sluggish metabolism, feeling drained, or decreasing your sports performance? Probably not – solution: ease the transition into eating breakfast. Make a smoothie! Sometimes drinking your breakfast is a great way to ensure you do not miss out on important nutrients. Experiment with a few different things and check-out some options at the bottom of this post!
“I Don’t Have Time!:”
Carpe diem – seize the day – make time, to make the most of your day! No Excuses! Are you rushing out the door and skip breakfast because you just “don’t have time?” Try prepping your meals ahead of time! Make overnight oats the night before and grab them on your way out OR make your smoothie the night before and just shake it up in the morning. Excuses are just laziness in disguise.
You wouldn’t drive your car without gas in it would you? Then don’t drive your body without the properly fueling-up first! Breakfast is 100% necessary, no contest. Your muscles and brain need proper fuel to function. Implementing breakfast will improve the quality of your diet by making you less susceptible to eat junk later or overeat at lunch. Also, sports performance, energy level, and general health will improve! Make it a habit, no excuses!
Simple Grab-and-go Breakfasts
Homemade Cereal Bar
Peanut Butter Toast
Banana Bread topped with Peanut Butter
Granola with Raisins and a mug of milk
Plain Greek Yogurt with Berries and Granola
Smoothie (½ cup milk, ½ cup water, ½ banana, ½ cup spinach, ½ cup yogurt, 1 scoop protein powder, 1 tsp Vanilla, dash of cinnamon, 1 tbsp avocado) - you can prep the night before and shake up on your way out the door!
Overnight Oats (½ Cup Cashew Milk 2. ½ Tbsp Chia Seeds 3. 2 Tbsp Peanut Butter 4. 1 Tbsp Honey or Agave Nectar 5. ½ Cup Rolled Oats 6. 1 Tsp Flax Seed. Top with bananas, strawberries, cinnamon - whatever you like) - Recipe courtesy of Amanda Ghent
More Traditional Breakfast (for those with extra time)
Scrambled Eggs with Veggies (top with avocado and salsa) and a bran muffin
2 over easy eggs with turkey sausage and toast
Protein Pancakes with peanut butter and fruit (top with agave nectar or honey) - 2 Eggs, 1/3 cup oats, 1 scoop protein powder, 2 TBSP almond milk, dash of cinnamon and vanilla
Sweet Potato and Eggs hash (mix in green pepper and onions, top with salsa) - 1 sweet potato shredded with a cheese grater, 2 eggs. Cook sweet potato, pepper, and onions on stovetop with oil for 5 minutes, Crock 2 eggs over top. Cover and let cook for 5-7 minutes. Medium heat.
Breakfast Pita - Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, Avocado, cheese, salsa