It’s the most important meal of the day. We’ve all heard this about our breakfast. But it is even more crucial if you are an athlete heading out for a day jam packed with intense, strenuous workouts.
A densely packed, nutrient rich breakfast can make any athlete reach their fitness goals even faster. Great sports nutrition in the morning is optimal to ensure that your body receives all the necessary raw materials it needs to power through an intense workout AND it will assist in building and repairing muscles afterwards.
Here’s a terrific breakfast that meets many nutritional requirements:
Oatmeal – This slow to digest complex carbohydrate made from whole oats, will deliver a sustained blood sugar release that will support an athlete through his entire workout. This fiber rich food helps to slow digestion and keeps the body’s blood sugar even.
Raisins – Added to the oatmeal or eaten on the side, a box of raisins packs a lot of energy. Loaded with carbohydrates and potassium it is an amazing little helper in our quest for optimal sports nutrition. Potassium maintains our fluid balance and helps to fight dehydration, which helps to fight off muscle cramps. An athlete works hard and pushes himself even harder. This means he’s going to sweat and lose potassium more quickly. A small box of raisins delivers more than 300 milligrams of potassium. So add them to your oatmeal or take them along for the ride. Raisins are a nutritional powerhouse.
Coffee – This one seems to make a lot of athletes happy. But it has been proven to boost endurance and help to ease any aches and pains that are associated with a tough workout. Oh, and about the dehydration issue The American College of Sports Medicine states that caffeine isn’t an issue when it comes to hydration. It also states that…
“Laboratory studies from the 1970’s suggested that caffeine enhanced endurance performance by increasing the release of adrenaline into the blood stimulating the release of free fatty acids from fat tissue and/or skeletal muscle. The working muscles use this extra fat early in exercise, reducing the need to use muscle carbohydrate (glycogen). The “sparing” of muscle glycogen made more available later in exercise to delay fatigue.” http://www.acsm.org/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Search&Template=/Search/SearchDisplay.cfm
Tomato Juice – Alongside that cup of morning coffee, pour yourself a nice tall glass of tomato juice. As an athlete you lose lots of fluids during your workout. That means you lose electrolytes such as sodium and potassium. Instead of a sugary sports drink, one 8 oz. glass will provide 6 ½ times the amount of sodium and 15 times the potassium. Grab a couple of bottles of water for when you are working out and you will be hydrated, healthy and ready to sweat!