Breakfast should be rich with nutrients to set you up for the morning and beyond. Jacqueline Birtwisle suggests three easy options
Thinking about food when you’re training means your head will not be in the boat or on the rowing machine!
These three simple breakfasts can all be adapted to different energy and nutritional requirements by mixing and matching choices.
Don’t get bogged down with the numbers as they’re only approximate and are simply to illustrate how your choices can influence the overall make-up of the breakfast. It’s a case of being knowledgeable and aware of your food choices and being mindful of the type of training that is planned.
Why have breakfast?
1. To break the overnight fast (breakfast) and provide fuel in the form of carbohydrates to replenish the liver’s glycogen stores. This liver glycogen has been used up overnight by the brain, so there’s not a lot left!
2. To top up your muscle glycogen stores if you haven’t had enough carbohydrate-rich foods, despite training hard the day before.
Make sure there is some carbohydrate on your plate before training and add a bit more if the intensity of the training is going to be hard
3. To provide carbohydrates in an amount informed by the type of intended morning training.
An aerobic-based outing of around 60 minutes, where you can still say a sentence at the end, would require fewer carbohydrates than training that includes 2 x 20 minutes rowing at around race pace. Having more carbohydrates available for this session would be an advantage.
The range suitable for a pre-training breakfast could be in the region of 0.5-1.5g carbohydrates per kilo of body weight. So, make sure there is some carbohydrate on your plate before training and add a bit more if the intensity of the training is going to be hard!
4. To provide a range of nutrients and fluids, which are both an important part of the overall diet for the day.
As well as providing carbohydrates, fat and protein, food potentially supplies vitamins and minerals, in addition to fibre for our gut bacteria and phytonutrients which influence a whole range of health functions. Breakfast can therefore be a nutrient-rich vehicle that really sets a rower up for the morning and beyond.
5. To prevent hunger during the training session.
If you have more time, then an egg will add extra protein too
1 – Toast
Toast gives you plenty of different options, depending on your training requirements.
More carbs needed? Then have jam or honey rather than nut butter.
Need more protein? Just add a glass of milk or milky coffee. If you have more time, then an egg will add extra protein too.
|Breakfast option 1#||Energy|
|3 slices of thick wholemeal toast||314||55||14||4||10|
|1 slice with peanut butter||109||1||5||10||1|
|2 slices with jam||42||11||<1||0||0|
|1 tsp of butter or margarine||67||<1||<1||7||0|
2 – Banana smoothie with malt loaf
- 1 medium banana
- 125g of live (with ‘good bacteria’) low-fat fruit yoghurt
- 1 tablespoon of skimmed milk powder
- 200ml of milk (skimmed or semi)
- Seed or spice boost (optional): 1 teaspoon of ground flaxseed or a pinch of ground mixed spice, cinnamon or nutmeg
How to make it
Blend all ingredients until smooth. Place in a glass and enjoy with some malt loaf – with or without a low-fat spread or peanut butter.
|Low-fat fruit yoghurt||98||16||5||1||<1|
|Skimmed milk powder||56||8||6||<1||0|
|1 tsp of flaxseed||15||<1||1||1.5||1|
|2 slices of malt loaf||207||42||6||1.5||3|
|1 tsp of peanut butter||91||1||4||8||1|
3 – Cereal
Shredded wheat with hot milk topped with raisins and a chopped banana is a great lower-energy option which still contains plenty of nutrients to see you through the morning.
|2 shredded wheat biscuits||147||29||5||1||5.5|
|200ml of semi-skimmed milk||92||9||7||3.5||0|
|1 dessert spoon of raisins||49||13||<1||<1||1|