Breakfast is often referred to as the most important meal of the day, and there’s plenty to suggest that’s true. Alongside helping with weight management, a healthy breakfast can help maintain a nutritionally balanced diet, improve energy levels throughout the day, improve your concentration levels, and it has a strong correlation with long term health.
For those engaging in regular physical activity, particularly those who train early in the morning, a high protein breakfast should form an essential part of your daily routine. A balanced breakfast with plenty of protein will help you recover from your training more effectively, and will help prevent that mid-afternoon crash that morning exercisers know all too well.
The challenge with eating a high protein meal first thing in the morning is that many of the foods we traditionally eat for their protein content can be a little tricky for some people to manage that early in the day. Not many of us will be able to face chicken and rice or steak fajitas before most people have had their first coffee!
The high-protein breakfast staple for bodybuilders and runners has traditionally been eggs, and it’s hard to argue with that approach. They’re easy on the stomach, really simple to prepare and highly flexible – boiled, scrambled, poached, even fried (if you’re bulking), and they’ll work well with most spices and sauces. Eggs are truly the kings of breakfast protein!
Below are a couple of my favourite breakfast egg recipes, which are ideal post-workout and should keep you full for a few hours at least!
Spicy BBQ Breakfast Wrap
- 3 Eggs
- 100ml semi-skimmed milk
- Small handful of Jalapeños
- 1 tbsp BBQ sauce
- 1 Wholegrain wrap
- Add the eggs, milk and Jalapeños together and mix with a fork
- Pop it in the microwave for 3 mins
- Transfer the eggs to the wrap and throw on some sauce
Make Ahead Omelettes
- 3 Eggs
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 1 tbsp water
- 1/8 onion, chopped
- 1/8 red pepper, chopped
- 15g cheddar cheese
- 1 slice smoked bacon
- Start by grilling the bacon, as you’ll need the cooked bacon later
- Combine eggs, water, salt, pepper, onion and red pepper together and mix in a bowl
- In a greased frying pan, slowly add the mixture over a medium heat
- Continually push the cooked sections from the edges towards the centre
- When the eggs are evenly cooked and there’s no surface liquid egg, add the cheese and bacon on top and fold the omelette in half
- Cover the omelette or pop it in some Tupperware, then stick in in the fridge
- To reheat in the morning just microwave it for 90 seconds
We’ve covered this pretty extensively in our protein porridge recipes post, but it’s worth mentioning how good it is as a health breakfast. It’s nutritious, filling, provides a slow burning energy to keep you going throughout the morning, it’s super cheap and it’s pretty tasty!
You can visit our recipes post for some more ideas on incorporating whey protein into your oatmeal, or just have a shake on the side and have some fun with the oats. Honey works well, as do berries and even peanut butter. It’s pretty much a blank canvas for breakfast ideas, so experiment until you find something you like.
Another fairly straightforward high protein breakfast idea that can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge. Protein pancakes are really easy to make, and they go great with tons of toppings and perfect to have with a cup of coffee.
We’ll put out a post in the near future with our favourite protein pancake recipes, but for now here’s a few of our favourites from around the web:
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Pancakes (add a scoop of unflavoured whey)
Protein Yoghurt with Granola
Finally, on those mornings where you just want something light and fresh, protein yoghurt with some granola is perfect. Adding some fresh fruit is also delicious, and this is a really flexible breakfast that you can throw together in about 5 minutes.
- 300g Greek yoghurt
- 2 Scoops strawberry whey protein (any flavour will work, just whatever you feel like)
- 1 serving granola
- Handful of fresh strawberries
- Add the whey protein to the yoghurt and stir it for a minute or two until it’s fully blended
- Top the yoghurt with the granola and the strawberries
Keep It Simple
Getting your day off to the best possible start with a high protein, nutritious breakfast can have a hugely positive impact on your mood, energy levels and ability to perform at a high level throughout the day.
These recipes are all really straightforward and require very few ingredients, so there’s no excuse for not making them regularly! I’m sure we’d all love to spend our mornings baking an egg inside an avocado or whatever tasty looking recipe pops up in your Pinterest feed, but the reality is that most of us are short of time when we wake up. By having a core group of breakfast dishes that you know you enjoy and which are easy to make, you’ll find it much easier to stick to your diet.