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12. 3. 2012.

Importance of breakfast

Of all nutrition mistakes, breakfast avoidance is the biggest one athlete can make.

Most often excuses:
“ I don’t have time.”
“ I am not hungry in the morning.”
“ I don’t like food that is eaten in the morning.”
“ I am on diet.”

It is scientifically proved that breakfast avoidance leads to higher degree of  irritability, and energy miss for training in the afternoon.

If you are not hungry for breakfast, you have probably eaten too much food in the evening. If you eat chips at 2 o’clock in the middle of the night while watching TV, it is more than obvious that you are influenting to morning apettit, weight gaining and create non-adequate nutrition if you change quality meals with sweets.

Creative fast breakfast

If you don’t have time for fast breakfast, here are few advices how to turn some handy stuff into your breakfast:
  • Yoghurt – Make sure that your refrigerator is full of it, mix it with cornflakes.
  • Banana – eat one big banana and drink huge glass of low-fat milk.
  • Frappe – mix juice, fruit and yoghurt or powder milk in your juicer.
  • Peanuts and raisins – move them to small plastic bags and place them in the pocket.
  • Integral cookies – might be eaten with jam.
  • Rolls – put a non-fat cheese over it and eat with fruit juice.
  • Graham biscuits – perfect with low-fat milk and peanut- butter.
  • Integral bun – fill it with non-fat cheese, tuna…

 Recovery breakfast is extremely important in the situations where sportsmen trains two times per day. Unfortunately, too big number of athletes are not hungry for breakfast after the first training. These athletes mostly eat weak for breakfast, in fear that their lunch will collapse their performance on the afternoon training. And they finish without energy, with very low performance on the afternoon training.
In this situation it is recommended to eat between 10:00 and 11:00. During the day juices and fresh drinks can be drunk. It is guarantee that these athlete will have more energy for evening or afternoon training.

If you are on diet, skipping breakfast is also a huge mistake. Those who make this mistake often have a lot more problems with fat than these who eat breakfast. Remember that breakfast cannot gain weight. If you skip it, you have a bigger probability to gain bulk and weight; because you will have to compensate lost calories over night. If you plan to skip any meal, skip dinner.
Eating during day enables you to have more energy for calories burning. In one of researches with subjects that needed 2000 calories per day to keep their weight(Halberg, 1983); subjects that ate their calories in the morning lost their weight, and subjects that ate in the evening – four of them gained weight, two of them lost less weight than the group that ate only breakfast. Difference was approximately 1.3kg. Breakfast is important to those who wish to lose their weight. It is very important to eat over day and keep diet at night, if you want to lose your weight.

An example for 500 calories breakfast
(which suits nutrition of 1500 calories per day)
Breakfast type
Approximate calories
Home breakfast
1 glass of orange juice
60g of cereals
1 glass of non-fat milk
1 small banana
Outside breakfast in a hurry
Bun, big
Vanilla yoghurt
Nontraditional breakfast
2 pieces of pizza(remains from dinner)
Sweet attack for breakfast( this should be proper to other meals during the day)
Donut with chocolate
Coffee with sugar 
2 biscuits

Advices for high quality breakfast

What is so good in cereals?
  • Quick and easy for preparation – anybody can prepare cereals very easy without cooking and creating mess in the kitchen
  • Practical – it can be put in the locker, sports bag or work desk. Mix with water, milk, yoghurt or juice – and breakfast is over. Even the hand of dry cereals without anything is better than nothing.
  • Rich with carbohydrates – carbohydrates give energy to your muscles. Normal carbohydrate meal is for example cereals with fruit juice and milk and banana.
  • Rich with fibers – when you eat brans you will stop the appear of constipation, health problem that blocks high sports performance, and you also have ingredients that keep your health and prevent from cancer.
  • Rich with iron – If you choose good cereals, you will easily increase iron intake and decrease possibility of anemia appearance. Orange juice or some other vitamin C source along with cereals will increase iron apsorption from cereals.
  • Rich with calcium – cereals are rich with calcium when are eaten with milk or yoghurt. Especially females and girls have use from this type of food because it leads to bone strengthening and protects from osteoporosis.
  • Have low amounts of fat and cholesterol – cereals are healthier for heart than standard bread with butter, bun with cheese or eggs with ham.
  • Multifunctional – instead of eating same food over and over, you can mix cereals with different types of food and taste. Various additions can be: raisins, bananas, apple juice, vanilla extract…

More about cereals

All cereals are good for breakfast. However, some kinds offer bigger nutrition value than others. Here are some advices for good choice:
1)      Choose the cereals rich with iron. Iron is very important for active people because it is part of erythrocytes that transfer oxygen from lungs to the muscles. If you are anemic, you will be easily tired during training. Cereals rich with iron will help you increase its amount, especially if you eat very little or don’t eat red meat at all(that is when they are the best source). Natural iron from cereals absorbs weakly, so you can help yourself if you drink orange juice with cereals or eat fruit that is rich with vitamin C(orange, grapefruit, strawberries, melons).
2)      Chose cereals rich with fibers. These cereals give a lot more fibers than the most of fruit and vegetables. Here are any types of brans of any cereals.
3)      Chose wholemeal grains. “Wholemeal” means that the product is not sugar added. For example, choco lino has 45% of sugar, it is more sweet than cereal. To gain calories of sugar per plate, just multiply sugar grams with 4 calories per gram. However, small amounts of sugar can be helpful.
4)      Chose low-fat cereals. Fats are bigger danger for health than sugars, because they are connected with weight gaining, heart illnesses and cancer.
5)      Chose cereals with low amount of salt(natrium).

There are other various things that can be eaten for breakfast, but just make sure to remember that ANY breakfast is better than nothing; and NATURAL, RICH WITH CARBOHYDRATES is THE BEST for athletes.

"Sports nutrition", Nancy Clark

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