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Power Breakfast

Power Breakfast to a bodybuilder is different, but has the same basic principle: High-octane fuel for a demanding day. Learn how it could help you!

By: Matt Danielsson

"Power Breakfast" is usually something you hear wannabe executives at large corporations talk about. This is a breakfast intended to make them corporate tigers and able to work long and hard every day, showing just how ambitious and serious about their careers they are. Power Breakfast to a bodybuilder is different, but has the same basic principle: High-octane fuel for a demanding day. If you've ever tried having a typical "diet" breakfast of an orange and a small yogurt (like touted in a great many tabloids), know that you'll most likely croak after 5 minutes in the gym.

The Exceptions

There are exceptions to this rule, but most of us need a solid boost of energy to get up to speed in the morning. What's more, we need to get the nutrients required for optimal growth and recuperation in place. Keep in mind that when you wake up, you've probably not had any food for the past 8-12 hours. That means your blood sugar levels are way down, and you're possibly already in a catabolic state. As we know by now, the best way to get out of that miserable situation is to eat - but we have to figure out the best way to go about it, and what works best for you individually. After all, when you're getting glasses, you make sure to get a pair that is individually perfect for you, rather than pick any prescription at random and run with it.

The size of your breakfast should be decided by your body size and overall caloric needs. If you're dieting, the concept of power breakfast might feel kind of ridiculous. However, when you're bulking up and tries to add some muscle to those arms of yours, breakfast is key.

As usual, you have to get certain balance of calorie intake throughout the day (don't forget: smaller snacks 3 hours apart are better than a few big meals), but I say the BIGGEST chunk of calories ingested in the day should be the breakfast, with the SMALLEST being the last two snacks at the end of the day. In other words, exactly the opposite of the established norm of our culture.

So what's a good breakfast, anyway? Frosted flakes, a blueberry muffin, and a Classic Coke? If you intend to take a trip with the blood sugar roller coaster - sure! Hyper like a raccoon on ecstasy by the time you get to work or school, and down in the land of blood sugar blues an hour before lunch. If you prefer a smooth ride, the key word is balance. Protein, carbs, fat (!) and fiber, and plenty of fluid to keep yourself well hydrated.

The fluid also helps digestion. The reason for the fat is that some vitamins are fat soluble (requires fat to get absorbed properly), and that you NEED a certain amount of healthy fat to stay healthy. That means fish oil, flax seed oil, or olive oil or similar, NOT fried bacon.

A good balance to aim for is 25-40% protein, 50-65% carbs, and 10% fat. Fiber is good for digestion, and slows down the overall GI value of the meal. Also keep in mind that complex carbs are better than simple for GI reasons.

Now, I'm not your mother. I know nobody is perfect, and that sometimes you will deviate from the percentage ratios mentioned above, as well as the part about the smallest meals at the end of the day and so forth. Don't worry. I'm just trying to give you a general idea of where you want to be, nutrition wise. Try to get a feel for a good composition, and use the guidelines in figuring out your perfect breakfast. Who knows, perhaps you feel like tossing your cookies at the very thought of oatmeal porridge? My wife sure does, but I grew up with it and appreciates the nutritional values (even though it's a far cry from bacon & eggs!). So, to wrap it up, I would like to give a couple of sample breakfasts, depending on body size. Once again, these are only generic samples - feel free to tailor to your taste and caloric needs.

Big Boy Breakfast

2 cups of oatmeal porridge (2 cups dry) with low-fat milk
8 scrambled egg whites with 1 or 2 yolks.
1 glass of orange juice
2 bananas
2-3 glasses of water
10 grams of fish oil/flax seed oil (capsules strongly recommended!)
1 Vitamin/mineral supplement, plus creatine or whatever you use.

Click Here For A Printable Version Of The Big Boy Breakfast!

Working-His-Way-There Breakfast

2 large tuna sandwiches on rough bread
1 apple
4 hard-boiled eggs
1 glass of orange juice
2-3 glasses of water
8 grams of fish oil/flax seed oil (capsules strongly recommended!)
1 Vitamin/mineral supplement, plus creatine or whatever you use.

Click Here For A Printable Version Of The Working-His-Way-There Breakfast!

Just-Starting-Out Breakfast

2 bowls of low-sugar raisin bran flakes with low-fat milk
1 protein drink (Met Rx, Meso-Tech, or whatever…)
1 fruit
1 glass of apple juice
2-3 glasses of water
5 grams of fish oil/flax seed oil (capsules strongly recommended!)
1 Vitamin/mineral supplement, plus creatine or whatever you use.

Click Here For A Printable Version Of The Just-Starting-Out Breakfast!

Power Breakfast
mattdanielsson@hotmail.com

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