The success of a workout is largely dependent on how you approach that day as a whole, from the hours you spend sleeping, to how you manage your meals to what you do after the exercising is over.
Of those factors, perhaps one of the more important and undervalued aspects is what you eat for breakfast to prepare your body for exercise and for the day in general.
While there’s no concrete menu, there are certain nutrients that your body needs in the morning to maintain a workable energy level until your next meal and even for the rest of the day as a whole. It’s possible that if you’re having trouble mustering up the energy to work out, you might not be getting the right kind of fuel into your body at the beginning of the day.
Since some people don’t like breakfast food, I won’t suggest that you have to eat a full complement of bacons, eggs and pancakes with sawmill gravy to keep your energy up (although to some that might sound amazing).
Yet for those of you who don’t eat breakfast at all, the unfortunate reality for you is that avoiding the first meal of the day will definitely compromise your ability to exercise, even if you wait until the evening to do so.
Breakfast is simply a must have.
What Your Body Needs
To get your body moving and create energy, you need two basic things with your breakfast in the morning, and I’m sure they won’t be unfamiliar to you:
It’s simple, but it’s important and most people don’t usually see breakfast in these terms. They think of it as a necessary inconvenience while they’re walking out the door, where you just need to eat something.
You definitely need something, but whatever that something is should have a lot of both of these things, especially protein. That’s why a cup of a coffee and a bagel with butter won’t get you very far. You’ve got your carbs, but you’re missing the protein.
Carbs and protein work together to create energy, so if you only have one or the other, you’re likely to crash not too long after the full-feeling leaves you.
Getting Plenty of Both
On a day where you plan to expend a lot of energy, this isn’t an acceptable result of your breakfast, as you need something that’s going to stick with you and sustain you, even as you get hungry again.
The only way to make this happen, is to get plenty of both protein and carbs, and of the two, protein is probably the more important one.
As I’ve already said, I don’t want to tell you what to eat because I’m sure you know which foods will give you protein and carbs; though it is worth considering that, for that very reason, breakfast foods have become popular for the first meal of the day.
Yogurt, eggs, sausage, pancakes and other foods that you’d typically find at the breakfast table are all packed with both protein and carbs or at least a lot of one or the other. On a day when you plan to exercise a lot, having a “typical” breakfast might not be a bad idea.
On a more practical note, here’s some foods you can mix and match for both carbs and protein in the morning before you plan to workout.
- Cottage Cheese
- Turkey Bacon
- Rice based cereals
- Whole Grains
- Sweet Potatoes
- Frozen Fruit
- Fresh Fruit
- Fruit Juice