8 Healthy Breakfast Ideas For Athletes
Carbs are an athlete’s main fuel. Your body changes them to glucose, a form of sugar, and stores it in your muscles as glycogen.
When you exercise, your body changes glycogen into energy. If you exercise for under 90 minutes, you have enough glycogen in your muscles, even for high-intensity activities. But if your workout is longer than that, use these strategies:
Brathen’s parfait is literally layered with energizing ingredients. “Fruit provides fiber and readily available glucose to the muscles, along with antioxidants to reduce inflammation,” Larsen points out, “while almonds contribute protein, more fiber, and healthy fats.” Yogurt delivers extra protein, and vitamins and minerals that are key for nerve contractions and bone and muscle health.
Oats are a high-fiber, versatile carb source. The University College of San Diego Athletic Department lists them as their number one complex carbohydrate for athletes. Additionally, dietitian and sports nutritionist Marni Sumbal of USA Triathlon recommends plain oatmeal and adding flax seeds, nuts, honey, protein powder, dried cranberries or raisins, Greek yogurt or fresh fruit to oats to increase its taste, calories and nutritional value.
Punching Up Protein
Consider eggs as a way to get your morning protein. Like oats, eggs are extremely versatile. If you want to keep things simple, boil a few eggs at night and eat them cold in the morning, with a side of toast, or chopped and put into a tortilla, along with salad. For a Mexican-inspired breakfast, keep the tortilla, but scramble the eggs with peppers and onion, and then mix them with guacamole and salsa. Eggs mixed with turkey, spinach, peppers and cheese and served alongside whole-wheat pancakes are good, recommends shot putter and power lifter Chad Wesley Smith.