What do top athletes eat for breakfast? One of the most common questions asked. According to many coaches, it’s not what you eat but about how you eat; the habits you pick up in your daily lifestyle to enhance a formidable athletic performance. With a number of different diets comes a variety of healthy and nutritious ways to start the day! Here are few examples inspired by top athletes such as Jessica Ennis Hill or discus thrower Lawrence Okoye to help you kick start the day with the right amount of nutrition and caloric intake!
Steel-Cut Porridge (Heptathlon Jessica Ennis Hill)
Becoming increasingly popular for the avid cardiovascular athlete steel-cut oats provide a lot more energy and fiber than rolled oats which lose fiber from being de-husked. Add a banana and you’ve got a great source of potassium, electrolytes and a natural way to lower blood pressure!
Green Smoothie (Surfer John Florence and Ultra-runner Scott Jurek)
If you’re struggling for time, grab a smoothie. A smoothie is not only hydrating but smacks an excellent source of protein and nutrition. Athletes will try all types of protein (whey, soy, pea or hemp seed… to name a few) but go ahead and try maca powder and chia seeds which are said to improve your immune system; or coconut water and almond milk to vary flavour. Another quick Scott Jurek tip: try throwing flaxseeds in the mix to give you 100% of your daily requirement of omega 3 fatty acids.
Bacon and Egg Muffin (Mat Fraser and Lawrence Okoye)
Inspired by Crossfitter Mat Fraser and discus thrower Lawrence Okoye. ‘My breakfast mainly consists of eggs! Not many, just five’, Lawrence explains. While a simple bacon and egg muffin mixed with sweet potato hash helps Fraser prepare for an explosive workout of burpees and snatches without feeling bloated. Why? Because it’s loaded with eggs that provide a perfect form of protein and vitamin D. The egg yolk isn’t too bad either by the way, containing choline, the building blocks for acetylcholine (the neurotransmitter linked to memory, mood and muscle function!).
Breakfast Burrito (Skier Lynsey Dyer)
Favourite among skiers that have to function at high altitudes! Try loading the burrito with that famous combination, egg, bacon, sweet potato and spinach. High altitude exercise means a lot of calories will be burned, making sweet potato an ideal option for high, explosive, cardiovascular workouts. More fiber found in the sweet potatoes mean a low GI index, allowing energy to be released slowly throughout the day.
There’s many ways to help boost nutrition, however the simple approach is always the most effective! John Honerkamp, a successful coach who has trained many athletes for the New York marathon, puts it another way: ‘If staging for the race means you’re going to be eating cold oatmeal on a bus, eat cold oatmeal on a bus. You know your stomach best!’ Don’t neglect your nutrition, eat well and fuel your focus and performance in the Dojo!