How to Prepare Nutritious Overnight Oats for Busy Athletes

Try this super-simple oatmeal recipe that will take you less than five minutes to whip up an awesome breakfast.

Being a student-athlete is all about time management.

Balancing your studies, practice, competition and a social life is a full plate. Now add essentials such as nutrition and sleep, and unfortunately something has got to give. Most of the time it is an athlete's nutrition and recovery that take a hit. Lack of sleep and poor food choices can leave you under-recovered and at risk for injury and falling behind on the field and in the classroom.

Enter overnight oats!

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Being a student-athlete is all about time management.

Balancing your studies, practice, competition and a social life is a full plate. Now add essentials such as nutrition and sleep, and unfortunately something has got to give. Most of the time it is an athlete's nutrition and recovery that take a hit. Lack of sleep and poor food choices can leave you under-recovered and at risk for injury and falling behind on the field and in the classroom.

Enter overnight oats!

Overnight oats are a no-cook method of making oatmeal. Instead of cooking your oats on a stovetop or in the microwave, you mix your oats with the liquid and ingredients of your choice and leave it in the fridge overnight.

If you enjoy squeezing every last second of sleep, especially when you have early morning practice or class, this is the quintessential breakfast option for you.

Add overnight oats to your meal prep toolbox for a nutritious, efficient grab-and-go breakfast.

Overnight Oats

How To Prepare Your Overnight Oats

There are only a few essentials. You need a container. You can use a Mason jar, plastic container or a shaker bottle. Of course you need oats (rolled oats, gluten-free oats or steel cut), your favorite milk (coconut, almond, cow, soy, etc.) and chia seeds. The chia seeds will soak up the milk, expand to give you a nice creamy texture and they are packed with nutrition benefits including protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.

Once you have your essentials, you can customize your recipe with a few more ingredients based on your preferences. Keep it simple by adding 3 to 5 ingredients from the following categories:

Fruit

  • Berries (blueberries, strawberries, etc.)
  • Dried Fruit (raisins, goji, dates)
  • Banana (chopped, sliced or mashed)
  • Tropical (pineapple, mango, peaches)

Nuts and Seeds

  • Almonds
  • Hemp Seeds
  • Pecans
  • Brazil Nuts
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Walnuts
  • Flax Seed

Spices

  • Cinnamon
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt

Sweetener

  • Maple Syrup
  • Honey
  • Coconut Sugar
  • Agave

Protein

  • Whey
  • Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Vegan Protein Powder

Flavor Bombs

  • Unsweetended Coconut Flakes
  • Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Nut Butter
  • Lemon/ Orange Zest

Once you put all your ingredients in the jar, mix it up and store in the fridge overnight. Now all you need to do is roll out of bed, grab your jar and go. To get you started here is a quick and easy recipe.

Chocolate Almond Butter Overnight Oats

  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 2/3 cup unsweetened milk of choice
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 0-2 tablespoons honey or maple syrup

Photo Credit: IslandLeigh/iStock

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Topics: HEALTHY BREAKFAST | OATMEAL | FRUIT | ALMOND MILK | SOY MILK | CHIA SEEDS | SKIM MILK