One can never emphasize on the importance of breakfast. For runners, it’s all the more important because it’s a ‘make-or-break’ meal. Without it, performance can be greatly affected. As a trainer once said, “running without breakfast is like driving a car on fumes.” 9 hours of sleep equals 9 hours of starvation, when crucial energy sources like muscle and liver glycogen and blood-glucose levels drop. This means it isn’t important to just eat breakfast- it’s important to eat the right breakfast.
Here are a few quick-fix breakfasts that are considered ideal for runners:
Bread and Peanut Butter
Carbs are necessary to release glucose in the blood and give you the burst of energy that you need. Bread, preferably whole wheat, is good for glycogen storage in the muscles.
Peanut butter is always a better option when compared to cheese or margarine because it combines fiber and protein, and also keeps you full for a longer time, making you eat lesser overall. One tablespoon of peanut butter also contains Vitamin E, bone-building magnesium, muscle-building potassium and also immunity booster- Vitamin B6.
Eggs and Spinach
Proteins are the building blocks of cells and tissues in the human body. As runners experience more wear and tear in their muscles, they always require a higher intake of proteins. The International Society of Sports Nutrition has noted that people who engage in regular exercise need 1.4 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. However, they take longer to digest, so depending on how much and what kind of proteins agree with you, accommodate them in your breakfast accordingly.
Eggs, whether boiled, poached or in the form of omlettes, are absolutely vital for all runners. They help maintain muscle mass, prevent injury, and also play a role in energy metabolism. Eggs can prevent respiratory problems, fatigue and also prevent muscle cramps- something that all runners dread.
Spinach is also protein rich, but can cause digestion troubles if consumed in large quantities. So try and include spinach in your omlettes, or consume the eggs with creamed spinach for an adequate serving of protein. Boiled spinach with a serving of salt and pepper is also good- and just the way Popeye likes it!
You can never go wrong with bananas! Packed with carbs, it is the perfect energy booster that a runner needs. This fruit is also high in potassium content, which helps regulate blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke.
Bananas can be consumed whole, or as smoothies or in salads. But include them in your meal, come what may!
Milk is another ingredient that has to be a part of your breakfast. Unless in the case of lactose intolerance, cereal and oatmeal are ideal as quick and nutritious breakfasts. Though an old-fashioned choice, it gives you the nourishment you need without making you feel heavy or uncomfortable after a full meal.
For added protein, top it off with a dollop of peanut butter, yogurt or a serving of dry fruits.
What do you prefer to have for breakfast that’s easy to cook up, healthy and also tasty? Let us know in the comment section below!