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The Importance of Breakfast for Athletes

This is the most important meal of the day, particularly when your first training session is in the morning. You should never skip breakfast and if time is tight, the worst thing you can do is grab a cup of coffee and run out of the door.

The focus for breakfast is on good quality protein, low-GI carbs and good fats. Cereals often contain a large amount of sugar and should be avoided. Below are a couple of menu options for you to try. When time is tight, prepare a shake the night before and leave it in the fridge for the following morning.

Don’t forget about your hydration. Always have a drink with breakfast. Green tea, herbal tea, squash, water and diluted fruit juices are excellent choices. Avoid undiluted fruit juices and adding sugar to drinks. If you need a cup of coffee or tea in the morning, try and limit yourself to just one.

Top tips for choosing your breakfast

  • Low GI carbs and protein should form the basis of your breakfast
  • Avoid sugary cereals
  • Smoothies using milk, nuts, oats and fruits can be made the night before if you are short of time in the morning

Cooked breakfast options

#1 Scrambled egg on toast with baked beans

2 free range eggs
Small amount of milk
Spinach and asparagus
1 slice of seeded or Rye toast
1 small tin of low sugar, low salt baked beans

Beat the eggs and milk together in a non-stick saucepan. Stir continuously until the egg has scrambled. Take off the heat and mix in spinach and chopped asparagus. Heat the beans in a saucepan. Serve on wholemeal toast.

#2 Scrambled eggs and smoked salmon

75g Salmon
3 large free range eggs
1 slice of seeded toast

Beat the eggs and milk together in a non-stick saucepan. Stir continuously until the egg has scrambled. Take off the heat and mix in the smoked salmon. Serve on wholemeal toast. The smoked salmon can be replaced with lean meat.

#3 Wholemeal pancakes (makes 8)

300ml skimmed milk
1 large free range egg
125 g wholemeal flour

Serve with 2 spoons of natural yoghurt + mixed berries of your choice + 1 egg cup of almonds

Add the flour to a bowl. Using a whisk, beat the egg with the milk and a tablespoon of sunflower oil and pour into the flour. Whisk until batter is smooth. To cook the pancakes, heat a little coconut oil in a frying pan, when hot, pour in about 2 tablespoons of batter. Tilt the pan so that the batter coats the base of the pan evenly. Cook for about 2-3 minutes, then loosen the edge and either toss or flip the pancake over with a spatula, then cook the other side for 1 minute.

If you’re not eating immediately, cool the pancakes then wrap and store in the fridge. They can be re-heated in a microwave or eaten cold.

Cereal breakfast options

70 g Dorchester muesli/ Sultana Bran (or any other good quality muesli with no-added sugar) with skimmed milk
2 egg cups mixed nuts

# 2
100 g porridge oats with skimmed milk or water
2 egg cups raisins
Seeded toast with peanut butter

Blended breakfast options (good choice if time is tight)

For smoothies, place all ingredients in a blender and whiz! These can be stored in the fridge and consumed the following day if required.

1 pot of low fat Total yoghurt
2 tablespoons of frozen fruit (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries)
1 scoop of whey protein powder
1 banana
300-500 ml water (depending on desired consistency)
50 g oats

300 ml skimmed milk
1 banana
1 scoop of whey protein powder
1 eggs cup mixed nuts
50 g oats

50 g Oats
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 scoop protein powder
300-500 ml Semi-skimmed milk or water (depending on desired consistency)