The old saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day is not an exaggeration or a cliche.
How you start the day makes a huge difference, especially when you’re planning to get into the gym and get after it at some point. Your body needs the right fuel to generate energy and maintain that energy throughout the day.
In this article, we’ll give you five ideas for healthy, high-performance breakfasts that will help you push through and reach new personal bests in the gym. Want to level up? Read on for more.
Making the Perfect Breakfast
First, let’s help you understand what your body needs from the first meal of the day.
In broad terms, you want a balanced breakfast, with enough calories and decent amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fiber.
Protein aids energy production, and is also vital for athletes, helping the body build and repair muscle tissue.
Carbohydrates are the most abundant source of energy we have, particularly anaerobic energy you’re likely to use at the gym.
Low-carb is fine if you want to lose weight, but if you want performance, you need carbs.
Finally, fiber is a form of carbohydrate that aids gut health and supports long-term, sustained energy production. Any nutritious breakfast should contain a healthy dose of fiber.
Bear in mind that the best high-performance breakfast also depends on when you plan to work out. If you’re working out earlier in the day, focus more on easily digestible carbohydrates for a quick energy boost. If you plan to work out later, look instead for more protein and fiber to give you sustained energy over the whole day.
5 High-Performance Breakfast Ideas
Without anything further, here are some great breakfast ideas that will help you get more done in the gym.
Oats are a go-to breakfast staple. They’re versatile and nutritious, packed full of fiber and protein, two of the most important nutrients you need from a high-performance breakfast.
Oats themselves have a decent protein content, but for even better results you can mix your oats with protein powder and get a headstart on your daily protein intake goals.
Try Naked Oats, which is a powder made up of real powdered oats and whey protein powder, plus other whole foods.
You just mix it with water or milk for a quick, nutritious breakfast shake, containing 20g of protein and 9g of fiber (32% of your daily recommended intake).
If you’re looking for a delicious breakfast that also delivers everything you need nutritionally, a breakfast burrito is a great idea.
What goes into it is up to you, but a breakfast burrito will generally contain eggs, which are an excellent high-protein food to start your day with.
A few more common ingredients include:
- Bacon, sausage or your choice of meat
- Tomato salsa
After that, some ideas to add include potatoes (if you need more carbs), cabbage, bell peppers or other vegetables (for more nutrients without too many calories) and black beans (for more fiber and protein).
English Muffin Sandwich
Muffin sandwiches (think of a DIY Bacon and Egg McMuffin) are another high-protein, high-performance breakfast, similar to a breakfast burrito.
You get eggs and meat for protein, english muffins for carbs, and flexibility to add any other personal touches.
English muffins are particularly good for high-GI carbs for readily-available energy, so consider this if you’re working out in the morning.
Whole Grain Protein Pancakes
Pancakes are a breakfast favorite, and by using the right ingredients you can make pancakes that both taste great, and set you up for a killer workout.
Putting a scoop of whey protein in your pancakes gives you a great mix of protein and carbs, perfect to kick-start your day.
Even better, use wholegrain flour and oats for fiber. Add in your choice of topping - such as fresh berries, bananas, dark chocolate, maple syrup - and you’ve got a great-tasting, nutrient-packed breakfast.
Turkey and Veggie Breakfast Wrap
If you want a lower-calorie option, try a breakfast wrap with turkey.
Turkey is a great lean protein source, with a high protein content while being low in calories, carbs and fat.
From there, add in whatever veggies you like in order to meet your goals and make the wrap something you look forward to every morning.
Include a variety of colored vegetables (lettuce/cabbage, bell pepper, carrot, tomato) to deliver a well-rounded mix of nutrients, as well as a solid serving of fiber.
You could add eggs for extra protein, your choice of sauce/dressing for taste, or keep it lean if you’re looking to maintain a low-calorie diet while still hitting your performance goals in the gym.