While it remains to be debated which meal is the most important of the day, there is no debating the fact that breakfast is essential for athletes who are looking to perform at their peak. Breakfast not only provides your body with the energy and essential nutrients it needs for muscle building, maintenance and repair, but the morning meal has also been shown to help improve academic performance, focus and attentiveness throughout the day. Eating breakfast may also provide health benefits such as a reduced risk of obesity and a reduced risk of nutritional deficiencies.
Emerging research is beginning to point to the importance of evenly distributing protein intake throughout the day, with the goal of 20-30 grams of protein at each meal. And while this probably isn’t as difficult for most of us at lunch and dinner, perhaps it’s a bit more challenging to meet this goal at breakfast.
Including dairy foods as part of your morning meal is an easy way to ensure you’re getting adequate protein and other essential nutrients your body needs. Did you know that milk provides nine essential nutrients, including calcium, plus eight grams of high-quality protein, in just eight ounces?
Try some of the breakfast ideas below, each designed to meet the goal of 20-30 grams of protein…they’re sure to help you start your day right.
- Yogurt Breakfast Bowl served with a Latte – 1 cup plain Greek yogurt + ¼ cup slivered almonds + ¼ cup granola + berries + a drizzle of honey; serve with a small latte made with 8 ounces of milk
- Scrambled Eggs, Fresh Fruit and Chocolate Milk – 2 eggs, scrambled + ¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese + handful of grapes + 1 glass of chocolate milk
- Power Smoothie – combine ½ cup cottage cheese + 1 cup of chocolate milk + 1 banana + 1 tablespoon peanut butter in a blender and blend until smooth
- Breakfast Burrito – 1 whole grain tortilla + 2 scrambled eggs, + ¼ cup diced Canadian bacon + diced veggies of your choice (peppers, onions, or tomatoes) + ¼ shredded cheese. Roll it up and enjoy.
- Breakfast Sandwich and Milk – 2 slices of Canadian bacon + 1 egg (cooked in a cup in the microwave) + 1 slice of cheddar cheese + 1 bagel, toasted + 1 glass of milk
- Oatmeal “Plus” – ½ cup of oats prepared with 1 cup of milk + 1 tablespoon unflavored whey protein powder + 1 teaspoon of brown sugar + 1 teaspoon of cinnamon + ¼ cup of raisins + ¼ cup diced walnuts + 1 tablespoon chia seeds
For more easy breakfast ideas, visit https://westerndairyassociation.org/download/fuel-morning-protein-milk/.
Athletes can train harder and perform better with proper nutrition. Visit https://westerndairyassociation.org/dairy-in-your-diet/sports-nutrition/ to read more about milk as an exercise recovery beverage and learn how to eat for peak athletic performance.
*All information associated with the Western Dairy Association “Nutriton Corner” is sponsored by Western Dairy Association as a partnership with University of Denver Athletics & Recreation, and not provided by trainers or staff of the Coors Fitness Center.