Getting up in the wee hours of the morning so that you can hit the gym while everyone else is still sleeping takes discipline and commitment, however, you shouldn’t stop there. If you want to have a productive workout that leads to real results, it’s extremely important that you begin your day by fuelling your body the right way.
A proper breakfast should accomplish three goals:
- Facilitate a slow, gradual rise in blood sugar (not spike it!)
- Fuel your workout and recovery
- Keep you feeling satiated until your next meal
As a general rule of thumb, you should never consume a breakfast comprised solely of carbs. Doing so, while providing a temporary energy boost, will lead to sluggishness and cravings later in the day. Protein, fat and fibre all contribute to dampening the spike in blood sugar (and lessening food cravings) so if you’re going to have carbs for breakfast, at least make sure that they’re accompanied by protein, fat and fibre.
- required for muscle growth and repair
- digested slower than carbohydrates
- initiates a gradual rise in blood sugar levels
- can dampen blood sugar spike from carbs
- quick energy
- triggers a rapid rise in blood sugar
- subsequent energy crash
- energy dense
- digests slower than both protein and carbs
- slows digestion of other nutrients
- stabilizes blood sugar
- helps to sustain energy levels for a longer period of time
Poor Breakfast Choices
- fruit juice
- granola bar
Better Breakfast Choices
- eggs and bacon
- any kind of lean meat with a portion of low glycemic fruits
*low glycemic fruits are high in fibre and digest slower
Best Breakfast Choices
- steak and eggs
- breakfast steak and a handful of nuts
- salmon fillet
- beef protein shake and a handful of nuts (if you’re in a rush, this is your best bet. The beef protein will provide all of the nutrients that a steak otherwise would but will be absorbed easier so you won’t feel like you’re working out on a full stomach)
Now obviously some of these breakfast choices would take some time prepare. You have two choices here: get up early and make breakfast OR do food prep ahead of time so that you that can just reheat and eat. Ideally you’ll want to finish your meal and have at least 45 minutes (preferably closer to an hour or more) before the start of any intense training.
Don’t forget to chew! Digestion begins in the mouth. If your body is unable to break down the foods that you eat, you’ll be missing out on many of the key nutrients that your body so badly needs. You should always chew your food until it is no longer recognizable in its original form.