The Importance of Breakfast for Athletes

Posted: January 31, 2013 by bwholt in Uncategorized

Here is a link to an article that should put breakfast into perspective for those of you that like to sleep in.

http://www.active.com/nutrition/Articles/Breakfast__the_most_important_meal_of_an_athlete_s_day

And for those of you who “don’t have the time” to read the entire 3 page article, I summarized it in bullet point format below. Enjoy!

Brady’s Bullet Points for
Nancy Clark’s Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of an Athlete’s Day

Consequences of skipping or not eating a sufficient (500-700 calories) breakfast
Ex: eggs, toast, and fruit.
• Inadequate energy for school, practice, workouts, games, basically everything.
• More likely to make less healthy choices and overeat later in the day.
• Potential junk food cravings and sugar binges.
Benefits of eating a sufficient breakfast
• Provides necessary energy for daily activities
• Can improve the quality of your diet by making healthier choices easier at other meals.
• Discourages overeating later in the day.
• Can prevent junk food cravings and resultant binges.
If you train or practice first thing in the morning:
• Understanding that too much food can make you feel heavy and uncomfortable, just 100-300 calories (ex: ½ a bagel & peanut butter) can provide some fuel, enhance performance, and add some energy and enthusiasm to your practice or workouts.
• Despite possibly not having an appetite after your morning activity, it is still ESSENTIAL to then take in what you didn’t beforehand. Liquid breakfasts in the form of smoothies or shakes can help you take advantage of thirst to make it easier to refuel immediately post activity.
• When your appetite returns, you can eat “second breakfast” in the form of instant oatmeal or yogurt and granola to refuel your muscles, reduce hunger and minimize sweet cravings at lunch.
If you train or practice in the afternoon or evening:
• A hearty breakfast is just as important because it provides fuel for hard workouts later in the day.
• Breakfast plus a pre-exercise snack like an energy bar can allow you to work 20% harder at the end of an hour long workout.
Sample Grab-and-go Sports Breakfasts
Bran muffin plus a vanilla yogurt
Peanut butter, banana, and honey sandwich with chocolate milk
Pita with cheese plus an apple
8 oz of milk and a baggie of granola with raisins
Cinnamon raisin bagel with a can of vegetable juice

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