10 Athlete-Approved High-Protein Cereals

STACK Expert Andrew Meyers profiles ten high-profile cereals that are healthy choices for athletes.

All athletes know a good breakfast is important to start their day and fuel their morning workouts. Many experts and coaches advise athletes to avoid highly processed sugary cereal and to opt for healthier options such as eggs, oatmeal, lean meats and fruits. But if you're a cereal lover like I am and always in a rush, sometimes cereal is your best breakfast option. The trick is to choose high-protein cereals rich in vitamins and nutrients and low in sugar and calories, like the ten brands profiled below.

High-Protein Cereals

When you are crunched for time or simply want to enjoy a bowl of cereal, reach for one of these athlete-approved brands, and check out  the video player above for the other carbohydrate-rich foods for athletes.

1. Special K Protein Plus Cereal

When you think about high-protein healthy cereals for athletes, your first thought probably is not Special K, but this cereal is no longer just for women trying to lose weight. With 10 grams of protein per serving and only 7 grams of sugar, it's good enough to fuel any athlete's workout. Add a handful of raisins or some sliced banana for an extra boost of potassium and complex carbohydrates.

Nutritional Analysis (per 3/4 cup serving)

  • Calories: 120
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 19 g
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Protein: 10 g

2. Kashi Go Lean Original Cereal

One of the most protein-packed cereals on the market, Kashi Go Lean Original has 13 grams of protein and only 9 grams of sugar. It is an ideal choice for a post-workout breakfast. You can also try Kashi's Go Lean Crunch Cereal for more flavor options, which still provide a healthy 9 grams of protein per serving.

Nutritional Analysis (per 1 cup serving)

  • Calories: 160
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 35 g
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Protein: 13 g

3. Kashi Whole Wheat Biscuits

You've been told to choose whole wheat bread, pasta, and grains; so why not whole wheat breakfast cereal? Kashi's whole wheat biscuits are a great alternative to other high-sugar flavored biscuit cereals. Available in a variety of flavors and with only 7 grams of sugar, they are great for athletes.

Nutritional Analysis (per 29 biscuits)

  • Calories: 180
  • Fat: 1 g
  • Carbohydrates: 43 g
  • Sugar: 7 g
  • Protein: 6 g

4. Post Selects Great Grains Protein Blend Cereal

Post describes their cereal process as gently cracking the whole wheat berry and adding a mix of grains to their flakes, then adding nutritious fruit, nuts and/or seeds and balancing them with the grains for a great taste. Post cereal is non-GMO and high in fiber and protein, with a total of 8 grams per serving.

Nutritional Analysis (per 1 cup serving)

  • Calories: 220
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 37 g
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Protein: 8 g

5. Nature's Path Optimum Power Blueberry Cinnamon Flax Cereal

With a combo of crunchy strands and flakes loaded with flax, soy and blueberries, this cereal is not only nature's path, but an athlete's path to success. Made with ingredients like whole wheat, flax seed, blueberries, and cinnamon, it's an uber-healthy breakfast choice for cereal-loving athletes.

Nutritional Analysis (per 3/4 cup serving)

  • Calories: 200
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38 g
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Protein: 9 g

6. Special K Low-Fat Granola

Granola can be a great cereal or snack choice, but can also be high in fat and sugar. That's why Special K produced a healthier granola with only 3 grams of fat and 9 grams of sugar. Containing clusters of whole grain oats and a touch of sweet honey, it provides a healthy dose of muscle building protein with 6 grams per serving.

Nutritional Analysis (per 3/4 cup serving)

  • Calories: 190
  • Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 39 g
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Protein: 6 g

7. Kind Health Grains Clusters

Kind has developed a great-tasting granola to enjoy in a bowl or by the handful and in a variety of flavors ranging from Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters to Cinnamon Oat Clusters. Each variety contains between 5 and 10 grams of protein per serving and only 5 to 6 grams of fat. Made with five super grains, this is an excellent cereal to power athletes.

Nutritional Analysis (per 50 g serving)

  • Calories: 210
  • Fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29 g
  • Sugar: 8 g
  • Protein: 10 g

8. Cascadian Farm Protein Granola

Offered in Apple Crisp and Dark Chocolate Coconut flavors, Cascadian Farm Protein Granola is a terrific high-protein breakfast cereal. Cascadian Farms produces only organic food that is non-GMO and USDA-certified. It packs 10 grams of protein per serving, and you can enjoy it on the go or in a bowl.

Nutritional Analysis (per 3/4 cup serving)

  • Calories: 230
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38 g
  • Sugar: 13 g
  • Protein: 10 g

9. Bear Naked Peak Protein Original Granola

This high-protein cereal comes in Cinnamon and Honey Almond flavors, delivering great taste with little sugar. Bear Naked delivers on its promise, and its products contain no artificial preservatives/flavors, high fructose corn syrup, cholesterol, or hydrogenated oils. Just a high-protein breakfast to keep you full of energy.

Nutritional Analysis (per 1/4 cup serving)

  • Calories: 130
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 13 g
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Protein: 10 g

10. Quaker Protein Instant Oatmeal

Oats are a perfect whole grain to provide energy that lasts throughout the day. Quaker's methods for milling, cutting, steaming and flaking the wholesome, nutritious whole grains in their products have been perfected over many years. It's what lets them control cooking time and texture, and it guarantees that their oatmeal has that distinct toasted, nutty Quaker flavor. Packed with 10 grams of protein per serving, it is an ideal breakfast option for every athlete.

Nutritional Analysis (per 1 packet)

  • Calories: 240
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 40 g
  • Sugar: 12 g
  • Protein: 10 g


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Topics: PROTEIN | HEALTHY BREAKFAST | WORKOUTS | CALORIES | HEALTH | CARBOHYDRATES | OATMEAL | BREAKFAST | CRUNCH | CEREAL | GRANOLA | CINNAMON | WHOLE WHEAT