In the world of beach volleyball, all athletes are measured against Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh. At one point, the duo racked up 112 straight wins, and they’re the only team in the sport’s history to win two consecutive gold medals in the Summer Olympics (2004 and 2008). In both Games, they did not lose a single set.
Now, May-Treanor and Walsh are poised for a run at immortality. After taking a short sabbatical, during which Walsh had two baby boys and May Treanor recovered from a torn Achilles, the two stars are focused on dominating the 2012 Olympics in London and securing a three-peat.
So what’s the secret behind their competitive edge? Relying on a healthy, wellbalanced breakfast to give them energy to last throughout a full day of training.
Walsh says, “I’ve been eating multigrain Eggos with almond butter, agave [a natural sweetener] and honey.” She also likes protein shakes with natural whey protein and fresh berries. “This gives me my grains, protein and fruit—everything you need to start off your day,” she says.
May-Treanor’s favorite? She likes the protein punch of eggs, and she “doesn’t think bacon is a bad thing.”
Many young athletes still find excuses to skip breakfast, despite the meal’s numerous benefits. Eliminating breakfast sabotages your performance for the entire day. If you skip this meal, your body will remain in preservation mode until you eat. If you don’t consume something early in the day, eventually you could break down your own muscle for fuel.
If you don’t eat breakfast, you’re less likely to eat healthy for the rest of the day. Even something as simple as a bowl of whole-grain cereal with milk, or an English muffin with natural peanut butter, provides your body with the nutrients it needs to get started in the morning.
“I make sure I have a good breakfast,” says Walsh. “Without it, I’d be in trouble.”
As the world’s best beach volleyball team goes after their third straight gold medal, athletes would do well to take their advice: make breakfast a priority.