Top Breakfasts for Athletes | STACK
X

Become a Better Athlete. Sign Up for our FREE Newsletter.

How to Create the Breakfast of Champion Athletes

January 3, 2012

Must See Nutrition Videos


If you routinely run out the door without eating breakfast, you’re not only sabotaging the rest of your day, you're sabotaging your season. Athletes who never eat breakfast don't get the jolt they need to wake up their bodies out of fasting mode and kick-start their metabolism. Study after study has shown that skipping breakfast hurts academics, sports performance, workout effectiveness and overall health.

Ready to start eating the type of breakfast that boosts performance on the field? Follow these breakfast guidelines and try these sample meals.

Breakfast Guidelines

  • A good breakfast should contain 500 to 750 calories, roughly half from carbohydrates, 25 percent from protein and 25 percent from fats. Ideal breakfast carbohydrate foods are fruits and vegetables, whole grain cereal such as oatmeal and whole grain breads such as 100-percent whole wheat or rye bread. Great sources of breakfast protein (which also contain fats) are eggs, nuts, seeds, peanut butter, milk, cheese, yogurt and meat.
  • Start with one or two glasses of water for adequate hydration following a night's sleep. Squeeze some lemon or lime juice in the water for added flavor.
  • Drink one cup of coffee or of black or green tea with your breakfast. Coffee and tea have antioxidants that boost immunity and help prevent disease. Caffeine can also provide energy, enhance metabolism and promote endurance.
  • Opt for whole fruit over fruit juice. Whole fruit contains fiber, which enhances digestion, and delivers more antioxidants within their skins and pulp than juices, which often contain added sugar.

Athlete Breakfast Suggestions

  • A handful of nuts or seeds with raisins, glass of milk or string cheese and a buttered whole grain bagel (690 calories)
  • Apple slices topped with peanut butter, buttered whole grain toast and a glass of milk (455 calories)
  • Banana with a cup of plain yogurt mixed with nuts (435 calories)
  • A bowl of whole grain cereal and milk, topped with raisins and nuts, and a glass of milk (635 calories)
  • Two hard-boiled eggs, buttered whole grain bagel, orange slices and string cheese (610 calories)
  • Five-minute egg sandwich. Blend two eggs with a half cup of milk in a bowl. Add some butter or olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Place the bowl in a microwave for five minutes. While the eggs are cooking, put two slices of whole grain bread (e.g., 100-percent whole wheat or rye bread) in a toaster. The toasted bread and eggs should be done at nearly the same time. Use a spoon to remove the eggs from the bowl and slide them between the two slices of toast. Have a banana or other fruit such as grapes with the sandwich, and you'll have a convenient nutritious breakfast! (580 calories)
  • High-calorie meal for athletes who want to gain muscle mass: oatmeal, two eggs, a banana, two glasses of whole milk and a handful of almonds (885 calories)

Jim Carpentier is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, a New Jersey-licensed massage therapist and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as associate health and wellness director at the Greater Morristown YMCA in Cedar Knolls, N.J.

Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as associate health and wellness...
Jim Carpentier
- Jim Carpentier is a certified strength and conditioning specialist, New Jersey-licensed massage therapist and a health/fitness writer. He currently serves as associate health and wellness...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

The summer is approaching which bring to mind certain events. People will go to the beach, enjoying a day by the pool, and most importantly people will...

10 Athlete-Approved, High-Protein Healthy Cereals

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

5 'Healthy' Side Dishes That Are Worse Than French Fries

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

Living Near Fast Food Could Increase Your Odds of Obesity

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

5 Non-Boring Ways To Eat Chicken

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

The 6 Worst Foods for Athletes

The Cheat Meal Day: Why It's Not So Smart

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

Diet Changes: 5 Tips to Help You Stick to Your Plan

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

How to Deal With Your Sugar Cravings

Why You Need Dietary Fiber

Tips for Healthy Weight Gain

Small Change, Big Difference: 5 Foods You Should Buy Organic

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

The Case for Red Meat

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

STUDY: Eat More Fruits and Veggies, Live (Almost) Forever

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Does It Really Matter?

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

5 Ways to Fuel Your Early Morning Workout

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

Spice Up Your Healthy Cooking With These Lively Combos

How to Eat Organic Without Breaking the Bank

3 Nutrition Mistakes Endurance Athletes Make and How to Fix Them

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

The Boston Cannons'

10 Easy Ways to Eat Real Food

5 Nutritional Power Combos for Athletes