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6 pro athlete breakfast recipes

Posted by James Eacott on

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and this is particularly true for athletes. But with so much choice, what’s best? These six pro athlete breakfast recipes will give you the nutrition you need to perform and recover like a boss.

33fuel pro athlete breakfast recipes - ultimate daily greens

Start your day right: just one spoonful of Ultimate Daily Greens will provide a serious nutrient hit from the off

Athlete breakfasts should tick a few boxes:

  1. Be nutrient dense
  2. Be specific to your training demands
  3. Pack as many superfoods as possible

With that in mind, here are six pro athlete breakfast recipes.

Pro athlete breakfast recipe #1: Mighty porridge

Porridge is an all-time classic for good reason, consumed by pro athletes around the world like Gwen Jorgensen, Jessie Thomas and Lucy Bartholomew. Indeed, as world renowned endurance coach Matt Fitzgerald says, “I’ve asked a lot of elite endurance athletes about their breakfast foods, particularly before races, and oatmeal comes up again and again and again.

That’s because oats release energy gradually throughout the day so you’ll ride stable blood sugar levels with no peaks and troughs. Plus, you’ll feel fuller for longer.

There’s much heated debate (particularly in Scotland) over which type of oats are best. Personally, I avoid the milled, powder-like oats that seem to turn into wallpaper paste and instead plump for the whole rolled variety. To me, the less processing the better.

33fuel pro athlete breakfast recipes - oats the breakfast of champions

Oats – a breakfast of champions

The topping is where you can go off-piste and add what you fancy. Here’s a few of my favourite for taste and performance:

  • Nuts – almonds, walnuts and hazelnuts all work a treat adding healthy fats to the meal
  • Seeds – sprinkle flaxseedschia seeds or pumpkin seeds for more protein and good fat
  • Coconut – increase sweetness while regulating blood sugar
  • Berries – blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, goji and acai berries will all supercharge your porridge and reduce inflammation
  • Cinnamon – strengthen your immune system and regulate blood sugar

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Add 50-75g oats to water or milk in a saucepan and bring to a simmer
  2. Cook for 5 minutes
  3. Mix in the nuts, seeds and fruit
  4. Cook for a further 5 minutes
  5. Serve and sprinkle with further tasty toppings

Pro athlete breakfast #2: Poached eggs with avocado on sourdough

Eggs are full of protein (6g per egg), healthy fat and good cholesterol. Combined with the mighty avocado and crunchy sourdough, this is a great recovery breakfast the morning after a hard training session.

Sourdough is a good choice because it’s high in probiotics and the fermentation process it goes through boosts its nutritional profile compared to other bread. This process also reduces the phytate content within the bread which results in an increase in mineral absorption.

33fuel pro athlete breakfast recipes - sourdough is one of the healthiest breads around

Sourdough is one of the healthiest breads due to its higher good bacteria content

It’s important to pay attention to the source of your eggs - it’s worth forking out for organic, free range eggs – to get the highest quality fat and protein. Better still, rear your own chickens...there’s nothing more satisfying than collecting your own eggs and popping them straight in the pan.

Method:

  1. Bring water to simmer, swirl and add the eggs
  2. Toast the sourdough
  3. Poach the eggs for 1.5 – 2.5 minutes depending how runny you like the yolk
  4. Dice an avocado and mash it onto the toast
  5. Fish the eggs from the water and voila!

Pro athlete breakfast #3: ‘Nuts about fruit’ power bowl

We started making this while supporting Luke Tyburski on his epic Ultimate Triathlon adventure and still eat it a few times per week. It’s quick to make, requires no cooking and is packed with nutrients.

Method:

Thoroughly mix the following together in a bowl and enjoy:

  • ½ avocado diced
  • One apple or pear (or both if you’re feeling wild), peeled and finely sliced
  • Almonds
  • Shredded coconut
  • Chia and flax seeds
  • Raw cacao nibs
  • Cinnamon

Voila: simple but tasty and full of powerful anti-inflammatories for muscular and skeletal recovery.

Pro athlete breakfast #4: Quinoa porridge

You can substitute the oats from #1 for quinoa for an equally powerful breakfast bowl.

33fuel pro athlete breakfast recipes - quinoa makes a great porridge

Perhaps not the normal go-to, quinoa makes for a cracking porridge

Quinoa might not be at the top of your list for breakfast, but it should be. It’s protein rich, is a slow-burning carb and a great source of fibre making it superb for gut health.

Method:

  1. Rinse the quinoa under cold water
  2. Add 50-75g quinoa to soya or almond milk
  3. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 – 15 minutes
  4. Add a smorgasbord of toppings as per #1

Pro athlete breakfast #5: Nut butter banana shake

This one ticks all the macronutrient with an extra dose of protein due to the scoop of Premium Protein. With natural anti-inflammatories, this shake is great after a big training session or as a quick on-the-go breakfast.

Into a blender, add:

  • 500ml almond or soya milk
  • 50g oats
  • 1 x peeled banana
  • A tablespoon nut butter
  • A drizzle of honey
  • Pinch of cinnamon
  • Scoop of Premium Protein
  • Handful of ice

Blitz it and you’re good to go.

33fuel pro athlete breakfast recipes - premium protein

With 20g plant protein per serving, Premium Protein makes this shake the perfect recovery breakfast

Pro athlete breakfast #6: Bircher muesli with apple and banana

The process of soaking oats and seeds overnight results in a lovely creamy texture which is also easier to digest. I love this before a long Saturday ride when I want to get out early and need plenty of slow-release energy.

  1. Add 50g oats, seeds and nuts of your choice to a bowl
  2. Grate an apple and throw this in too
  3. Stir in a dollop of Greek yogurt and then add your choice of milk
  4. Leave in the fridge overnight
  5. Top with cinnamon and a sliced banana

More performance boosting content

From the Vlog – Neal Henderson: every endurance athletes’ dream coach

From the Podcast – How to be your best on race day with World Champion Michelle Dillon

From the Blog

Nutrient density and sports performance

Inflammation and food – what’s the deal?

Probiotics and prebiotics for health and performance

Top 10 superfoods for energy and recovery

Gut health and endurance – good and bad foods


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