Bodybuilders have a unique relationship with breakfast. For most people, the early morning meal could be something simple and quick; like a pastry or a bowl of cereal. When you’re concentrating on building muscle mass, however, you have to be more strategic. Whether you’re bulking or cutting or simply maintaining what you’ve already worked so hard to achieve, breakfast is an important time to give your body what it needs.
You’re waking up a little depleted, so it’s an opportunity to restore some of the nutrients that your body needs to function. Not only do you want your body to function, you want it to be ready for whatever workout you have planned. Whether you start your days with cardio or a lifting routine, you need a good breakfast.
Eating well at breakfast time will not only restore the necessary vitamins, minerals, and other compounds; it will also prepare your body and your mind for the day ahead. You want to start off strong, not saggy. There are dozens of possibilities for a great breakfast. Fruit and yogurt might work best for you if you like something light, or even a power protein shake can get you moving in the right direction. The best way to get everything you need, from protein to fat, is with one of these three choices:
Whole Grain Oatmeal
Oatmeal is filling, nutritious, and can be worked into something really delicious. Fortify it with as much protein as you can, by adding nuts like almonds or walnuts. Add a scoop of whey protein power and make it creamy with some soy milk or almond milk. For flavor, you can add cinnamon or nutmeg. You can also top it with fruit. Berries and bananas will work well, and even a slice of avocado can give you extra protein, omega-3 fats, and carbs for energy. Toss in some peanut butter or some raisins and dried cranberries for a real burst of flavor.
Oatmeal is a well-balanced way to start the day. You’ll get at least 40 grams of protein, plenty of good carbohydrates that will give you energy and stamina, and the right kinds of fat to help your muscle tissues grow and strengthen. If you’re still hungry, eat the oatmeal with a side of whole grain toast. You don’t have to be fancy with the oatmeal you choose, either. Packaged instant oatmeal will work just fine.
Carb Loading with Pancakes
If you’re an athlete waking up on a game day, the best way to prepare for competition is with enough carbs to keep your energy levels elevated. You’re going to need endurance, and you’ll want to access every bit of the strength reserves you have stored away.
Who doesn’t love pancakes? You’ve probably been eating them since you were a kid. If you’re on a cutting cycle and worried about calories and fat, forget the idea of big, buttery cakes dripping with syrup. You can make them healthier by using coconut flour, almond flour, and egg whites in your batter. That’s going to limit the number of calories you’re consuming and keep you from storing too much fat or attracting the wrong kind of extra weight.
Include fruit on your pancakes, and eat them with honey or low sugar syrup. Pancakes do not have to be unhealthy. Make them at home yourself so you can control the ingredients going into your griddle. You’ll be glad you went a little heavy on the carbs when you’re at the gym, burning through your workout.
The other great thing about pancakes is that you can make a big batch and freeze them for later. Grab one for a snack or pick-me-up when you need a little extra energy.
Eggs Any Way You Like Them
Nearly every healthy eating plan you encounter will have eggs on the menu. It’s hard to argue with the value of an egg. They are versatile and can be eaten and prepared in a number of different ways. They’re very low in calories. They’re extremely high in protein. And, they’re full of good fats. It’s a bodybuilder’s dream food.
Your morning eggs can be fixed any way that you want. Scramble them or fry them; boil them the night before and crack them open on your way out the door. You can make an omelet with any of your favorite ingredients; sausage and peppers or tomatoes and spinach. Add some ham and top it with something delicious like salsa or avocado.
Eggs will give your body what it needs to continue building muscle, and they will keep you feeling full and fueled. They have a number of health benefits that are great for everyone, and bodybuilders in particular.
When you’re working hard to build up your body and increase your size and power, what you eat is crucial. It may seem cliché to think that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but when you’re working out as much as a serious athlete or a bodybuilder, it really is important. You have to be smart about how you eat at the beginning of the day.