24 Healthy Breakfasts Fit For Athletes
Ever wondered what athletes eat in the morning? Here's what 24 of the fittest people reppin' Bodybuilding.com eat for breakfast.
Bodybuilding.com's athletes understand what it means to eat a "breakfast of champions." After all, their head-turning, competition-winning physiques aren't the result of some 7-minute abs program or fat-torching sorcery. No, their bodies—inside and outside—are the finely made product of many, many hours of hard work and sound nutrition, starting with a healthy breakfast.
Whether you break your fast first thing in the morning or much later in the day, our athletes agree that a kick-ass first meal should deliver the energy and nutrients you need to tango with your day's to-do list. If you want to train like an athlete, or aspire to look like one, eating like one is a great place to start.
There's a lot to learn from the similarities—and even the differences—of the supercharged breakfast recipes below, so browse the entire list for excellent first-meal ideas. Without further ado, check out the healthy breakfasts our motley team of athletes loves to eat!
Zane Hadzick, Cold Oatmeal
When I wake up in the morning, my first thoughts drift to food. (Don't tell my family!) First, I stumble my way to the kitchen and immediately take a shot of apple cider vinegar mixed with 100 percent pure lemon juice, about a tablespoon of each. I follow that with a full glass of water.
I then indulge in a nice bowl of cold oatmeal—cold, because you make it the night before—which tastes a lot better than it sounds. Soak 1/2 cup of oatmeal in almond milk, egg whites, or even water, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, I mash in a banana and add a heaping scoop of vanilla protein powder. I actually like to add some uncooked oats mixed with cinnamon on top to vary the texture.
Chassidy Smothers, Peanut Butter Oatmeal
All I need is an "upgraded" bowl of oats with a heaping scoop of chocolate protein powder and a tablespoon of almond butter. This chocolate-y, peanut butter goodness delivers great energy before a workout and satisfies my "peanut butter cup" cravings—yum. Plus, I have a large cup of coffee with chocolate protein powder mixed in for a delicious mocha-like drink in the morning!
Shelsea Sanchez, Chocolate Protein Oatmeal
My go-to breakfast is oatmeal and eggs, but if I'm in a hurry I mix Jamie Eason's chocolate protein powder into a serving of oatmeal instead of making eggs. That combo is full of fiber and protein, and perfect for my busy lifestyle!
Boas Henrique Oliveira, Banana Protein Oatmeal
This is my favorite breakfast and I eat it pretty much every day! I start off with a cup of oatmeal. Then I go a little peanut butter crazy with one scoop of peanut butter chocolate MusclePharm Combat powder and mix in a tablespoon of P28 Signature Blend peanut butter as well. You can never have too much peanut butter.
Then I top this with sliced banana and cinnamon for extra flavor (but that's totally optional). I hope you enjoy this as much as I do in the mornings.
Kizzito Ejam, Protein Oatmeal & Grapefruit
My breakfast is pretty much the same every morning. It's usually a 1/2 cup of oatmeal with 30 grams of whey protein—whatever flavor I feel like at the time—and some almond milk mixed together. This, coupled with half a grapefruit, gives me great energy in the morning. Of course, I drink a cup of coffee with my breakfast, as well.
Jerome Ferguson, Berry Oatmeal
I've been bodybuilding for many years. One of the most important lessons I've learned is to start my day with a nutritious breakfast. My breakfast consists of a cup of oatmeal with a teaspoon of brown sugar and a handful of mixed berries—raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, etc. This breakfast gives me energy for hours, plus the berries help with my digestive system. I follow this meal with a 6-ounce grilled chicken breast and a scramble of 10 egg whites and one yolk an hour and a half later.
Hanan Arabatlian, Overnight Oats
The real beauty of making oats overnight is that you can make a big batch in a large container or in individual jars, and be set for at least a couple of days! When I make this, I place 2 cups of rolled oats, 2 cups of milk (of any kind), Chia seeds (to my individual macros), and an apple cut into tiny slivers. Mix all these together and toss it into the fridge overnight.
In the morning, I top a serving with my yogurt of choice (I use almond-based yogurt), walnuts, no-sugar-added dried cherries, strawberries, bananas, or coconut shavings. Basically, any combination of your favorite toppings will work! I change up toppings all the time, but the base stays the same.
EGGS 'N THINGS
Brooke Dragon, Scrambled Eggs and Turkey Bacon
As a nutrition science major at University of Connecticut, I eat this healthy breakfast every morning to tackle any long day of lectures, workouts, and everything in between. I'll have 1 cup of scrambled egg whites with 2 slices of turkey bacon. (It's not breakfast without bacon.) For carbs, I like to have 1/2 cup of organic rolled oats and a cup of berries at the end of my meal. There's nothing quite like a bowl of fresh berries!
Lindsey Weigand, Mushroom & Swiss Frittata
This asparagus, mushroom, and Swiss frittata is my favorite breakfast! I've adopted it from AllWhite's online recipe database, and like to add raw spinach to the standard recipe. I make it all at once and just reheat a piece every morning to save time. It's scrumptious all week long.
Brandon Johnson, Spinach Egg-White Scramble
I usually work out in the mornings, so I have two breakfasts. The pre-workout breakfast is a simple smoothie made out of bananas, whey protein, and peanut butter. I don't like to eat a big meal or carb-heavy meal before I work out—but I do afterwards!
Once I finish my workout, I dig into my egg-white scramble—usually with spinach, peppers, and perhaps other veggies—with a bowl of oatmeal and half a banana. This easy post-workout meal fills me up and helps me to recover from my morning workout. I don't get fancy or creative. I keep it simple and wholesome.
Alicia Harris, Avocado Egg Sandwich
My go-to healthy breakfast is a scramble that consists of three egg whites and one whole egg placed atop a 100-calorie wheat bagel. I top this with about a quarter of an avocado. This simple breakfast supplies me with enough protein, carbs, and fats to get my day started. Plus, it's very convenient to take anywhere!
Tabitha Klausen, Eggs and Turkey Sausage
Every morning, I put together a scramble consisting of one whole egg and 1/2 cup egg whites, along with two turkey sausages and lots of fruit. I love pineapple, melon, and peaches! Sometimes I will switch it up and make myself a bagel sandwich, using an Udi's gluten-free bagel with two eggs, turkey sausage, and a little cheese. The bagel gives me extra energy.
Nikki Walter, Breakfast "Grand Slam"
My usual breakfast consists of two slices of Ezekiel bread with peanut butter, 1/2 cup of gluten-free oats, five egg whites, and a massive cup of coffee. (I love coffee!) Sometimes I'll add peanut butter or a bit of Walden Farms calorie-free pancake syrup with cinnamon in my oats.
Kathleen Tesori, Egg-White Oatmeal Pancake
I love my egg-white and oatmeal pancake. The recipe is really simple and requires only three ingredients: 2/3 cup of liquid egg whites with 1 whole egg and combine with 1/3 cup of uncooked oats. First add the eggs together in the skillet, sprinkle with oats, and then cook until bottom is browned and can be flipped over.
I make four of these at a time, so I end up using all four stove burners—it's quite amusing to watch. I typically eat one pancake and put the remaining three in the fridge in a Ziploc bag. These egg-white pancakes store well and warm up perfectly in the following days.
I like to top my pancakes with fruit, honey, 100-percent maple syrup, agave nectar, or almond butter. There's really no rhyme or reason to my selection of toppings—just whatever I crave or feel like! If I'm in a hurry, I'll slap on some nut butter and honey, and then fold a pancake in half and eat it like a weird taco in the car.
Brandan Fokken, Egg-White Whey "Pancake"
Without nutrition, I wouldn't be where I am today. I firmly believe smart nutrition is the foundation you build everything else upon. Therefore, it's not a stretch to say that breakfast is my most favorite and important meal of the day!
First, I have 3/4 cup of my personal blend of oatmeal from Myoatmeal.com. If I add anything to it, I'll mix in 1/2 scoop of Beast whey and enough water to make a paste-like consistency.
Alongside the oats, I'll take 1-1/2 cups egg whites, cook the eggs until they are close to being done, and then sprinkle on a quarter scoop of Beast whey. I end up with eggs that are more pancake-y than regular eggs. Simple, but amazing!
Samantha Leete, Blueberry Protein Pancake
This is one of my favorite recipes, bar none. You'll need 4 egg whites, 1 whole egg, 1/2 cup and oatmeal. The base recipe lets you diversify your pancake creations, but I really like blueberry protein pancakes so I'll add about 1/3 cup of blueberries for extra sweetness and a good dose of antioxidants.
I make this almost every morning because it's fast, easy, and tastes even better than regular pancakes. I like to add optional teaspoons of cinnamon, vanilla extract, and baking powder for that nice rise, as well as using sugar-free syrup. These are so delicious, and good for you too! You can also make extra cakes and warm them up when you're in a rush or traveling.
Jamie Eason, "Lean Body" Smoothie
As a mom of an infant, I usually have to get something in me quickly. My "Lean Body" smoothie fits the bill. It's a simple recipe that calls for 1 cup of organic almond milk, 1 scoop of Jamie Eason Lean Body vanilla protein, and 1 scoop of Barlean's Superfruit Greens. It tastes amazing and fills me up until I can have something heartier—usually after my little man goes down for an early morning nap around 10.
Michelle Hanson, Joe Cross Mean Green Juice
I believe a healthy and nutritious breakfast is definitely a must! Every day, I've been having two eggs sunny side up—and yes, I keep the yolks for essential nutrients like selenium, and B vitamins—cooked in coconut oil. I eat two slices of Ezekiel bread, two slices of avocado, and a glass of Joe Cross Mean Green juice, which is basically a juice blend of 2 green apples, 4 celery stalks, 1 lemon, 1 cucumber, some kale leaves, and a bit of ginger. Try it—you'll feel so energized!
Rachael Labender, VEGA Green Smoothie
My appetite and energy levels vary day to day, but I still make sure to have some sort of food in the mornings, depending on how I feel and my morning workout. My breakfast ranges between an easy parfait with Greek yogurt and organic granola to an egg-white scramble, time permitting. Otherwise, I default to a green smoothie. My green smoothie consists of VEGA Sport Performance vanilla protein, 1/2 a lemon, handful of frozen mixed berries, 1/2 cup almond milk, spinach, 1 tablespoon of flax seeds, ice, and a bit of Stevia to my desired level of sweetness.
Oh, and of course, I always have a cup of coffee (or two!) to give me the best results and a ton of energy. Let me know what you think of the smoothie.
Rachel Flint, Spinach Chocolate Smoothie
My mornings are very busy, so breakfast has to be quick and easy. My go-to has been this protein smoothie. Take 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1 banana, 2 scoops of Jamie Eason's chocolate protein powder, spinach, and ice, and blend it all together. Sometimes I'll throw in some extra peanut butter or peanut butter powder, depending on my current goals. It comes out as a thick and delicious treat that keeps me full until my next meal.
Corey St. Clair, Meal Replacement Shake
I need my breakfast quick, easy, tasty, and nutritious, so I start every day with a tasty meal replacement shake that gives me plenty of fuel. I simply throw 1 serving of MET-Rx Meal Replacement, 1 serving Cellucor Alpha Amino, 1 serving Amazing Grass Green Superfood, 1 banana, ice, and water all in a blender. I might modify the recipe slightly depending on the type of training I'm doing or if I have an event coming up.
Sara Solomon, Amino Popsicles
As an intermittent faster, I skip breakfast and train fasted upon waking. Instead of eating, I consume a scoop of BSN AminoX (grape is my favorite) 10-15 minutes before my morning 20-minute high-intensity interval resistance training session, during the workout, and again afterwards. I continue to drink a scoop every two hours until I break my fast.
To mix things up, I like to turn my aminos from a standard shake into a refreshing popsicle. It's so easy to make: 1 scoop of BSN AminoX and 8 ounces of water are you need. Pour this mixture into a popsicle mold and freeze. Try it out and fall in love!
Rachelle Dejean, Peanut Butter Peekaboo
I make it a point to eat a balanced breakfast that includes carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. I'm also a big fan of making my meals more interesting, so these "peanut butter peekaboo's" are something I came up with that's tasty and fun to look at. Most importantly, it's easy to make. It uses very simple ingredients, and best of all, these delicious cups of fun keep me energized and pumped for the day.
First, combine 1/3 cup rolled oats, 4 egg whites, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder in a blender. Pour this batter into a muffin tin and bake for 15-20 minutes at 375 degrees F. While it's still warm, scoop out the top half of the muffin and pat in a tablespoon (or however much you'd like) of peanut butter in the center. Replace the top muffin half and then devour!
Abel Albonetti, High-Fat Coffee
I don't normally eat breakfast. Instead, I drink coffee that's been blended with 2 tablespoons of grass-fed butter and 1 tablespoon of medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) oil first thing each morning. It's definitely not your typical cup of coffee, but it incorporates the healthy fats that I use to get my day started.
In my experience, when I eat a normal breakfast that includes carbs, I find that my energy level starts to fade around 11 a.m. After switching to consuming only fats early in the morning (until about 10 a.m.), my energy level is more consistent throughout the day.
This coffee may sound strange at first, but the taste is excellent, and the blending process results in a frothy cup. If you don't usually like the bitter taste of coffee, this recipe is for you!