Working out is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle.
For anyone looking to increase their fitness and activity levels, it is incredibly important to eat a satisfying breakfast beforehand. The right foods at breakfast can help keep you feeling energized throughout the day and provide you with the fuel you need for a great workout.
In this article, we will discuss the crucial importance of exercise and what breakfasts to eat before your workouts. Keep reading to learn about which foods to avoid in a pre-workout breakfast!
Why Exercising is Crucial
Regular exercise is crucially important for many reasons, from maintaining your body’s health and functionality to extending your life.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), insufficient exercise is one of the leading risk factors for early mortality, with people who do not regularly exercise having an estimated 20% to 30% increase in the risk of all-cause mortality.
Additional benefits of regular exercise include:
- More Energy & Stamina: Working out consistently improves your overall fitness level, which can carry over into how much energy and stamina throughout the day. An increase in your energy and stamina not only boosts your athletic ability but can also increase your focus and work ethic as well.
- Better Mental Health: Studies show that regular exercise can help improve the symptoms of many mental health conditions including anxiety, depression, mood swings, self-esteem issues, and cognitive function.
- Improved Sleep: If you ever had trouble sleeping, you’ve likely received the advice to exercise more during the day. Exercise helps to exert more energy during the day and improve your overall quality of sleep at nighttime by encouraging your body to rest.
Breakfasts to Eat Before Every Type of Workout
As you gear up for your next workout, make sure to eat a satisfying and nutritious breakfast beforehand.
Important considerations for your morning time nutrition include protein, carbohydrates, and hydration. Protein helps to build and repair muscles, while carbohydrates replenish your body’s energy stores. Meanwhile, hydration ensures your body functions properly both physically and mentally.
Here are 6 great ideas for pre-workout breakfasts:
1. A handful of cereal or granola
Granolas and cereals can be an excellent way to consume both carbs and protein before a strenuous workout. Plus, these foods are super convenient for a grab-and-go meal!
The standard serving size for foods like cereal and granola is around 1/3 to 1/2 cup. This can be equated to roughly a handful of the cereal or granola mix.
When choosing a cereal or granola, prioritize brands that use whole grains, nuts, and real fruits.
2. A slice of toast with jam
Toast is one of the easiest morning time meals, making it a breakfast classic.
For a quick and easy breakfast before your workout, toast up a slice of your favorite whole-grain bread and spread a generous serving of your favorite jam made from real fruits.
Whole grain bread is an awesome breakfast option, as it contains on average 2 to 5 grams of protein per slice, as well as 10 to 15 grams of carbohydrates. Meanwhile, the fruits in your selected jam help give you energy with natural sugar and even more carbs.
3. Oatmeal made with milk
When it comes to carbohydrates, one of the most famous healthy carbs is oats.
Oatmeal breaks down slowly after being consumed, allowing it to release energy into your body more slowly throughout the day. This is excellent for a pre-workout breakfast, as you need a continuous flow of energy when exercising.
Making your oatmeal with milk helps you boost the nutritional value and protein in this meal. For extra flavor, try adding in a half teaspoon of brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon.
4. A hard-boiled egg and grapes
Hard-boiled eggs are an excellent choice for breakfast, as you can prepare them long before the morning comes. This makes hard-boiled eggs a great option for anyone looking to meal prep and make their mornings as efficient as possible.
In terms of eating a hard-boiled egg before working out, eggs provide you with a hefty amount of protein in a relatively small food — roughly 6 grams per egg, to be exact.
Meanwhile, grapes are a sweet and tart treat that pair well with eggs, offering a great source of carbohydrates for energy.
5. A fruit smoothie
Sometimes the best way to get your daily serving of fruits and veggies is with a fruit smoothie.
Smoothies are great for before hitting the gym, as they are easy to digest while still being packed with flavor and nutritional value. You can use organic fruit powders to craft your smoothies, as well as protein powders or Greek yogurt for extra protein.
6. A cup of Greek yogurt
Greek yogurt is creamy, delicious, and a fantastic choice for breakfast before working out.
A standard serving of Greek yogurt — around a 3/4 cup — can contain between 15 to 20 grams of protein and 5 to 10 grams of carbs. Adding fresh fruits, grains, or nuts to your yogurt can help boost the carbs and make your yogurt more satiating.
Foods to Avoid Before a Workout
Before working out, you should try to avoid foods that are hard to digest or disruptive to the digestive system. This may include:
- Spicy foods
- Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, cabbage)
- Foods high in fat
- Processed foods
- Too much sugar
Eating a filling and nutritious breakfast before working out is essential.
With the breakfast ideas above, you can easily whip up a healthy morning meal that provides your body with the fuel it needs for a successful workout.
I’m a nutritionist and a passionate freelance writer. I use my knowledge and experience to write about trending nutrition topics and develop a healthy and joyous relationship with food and the body. My tips help to make healthier lifestyle choices.