Breakfast is an incredibly important meal; not only does it help your metabolic and energy-producing processes swing into action after a night’s rest, research has also shown that those who eat breakfast experience superior mental performance during the morning, and increased physical performance later in day the time when many of us with 9-5 routines have to train.
But there’s also another dimension to breakfast. Provided it is chosen carefully, a cereal and milk breakfast can actually make an extremely nutritious snack at any time of the day – I regularly eat breakfast for dinner!!!
Even better, very recent research has also shown that cereal and milk can promote recovery after exercise as effectively (in certain cases more effectively) than some ‘sports recovery drinks’!
The perfect breakfast and recovery snack
What the very best breakfast/recovery snack is?
Around 2 to 3 parts of carbohydrate to 1 part of protein will provide plenty of carbohydrate for muscle glycogenrecovery and ample protein for tissue repair and growth.
Carbohydrate should comprise of some quicker-releasing High GI carbs (for an initial rapid rise in blood sugar/energy) combined with slower releasing carbs (to sustain blood sugar/energy). Likewise, the protein should combine some quickly digested proteins (such as whey) with slower digesting proteins (such as casein) to provide a rapid yet sustained rise in circulating amino acid levels.
What Breakfast may do this all?
One of the easiest ways to nail all these requirements in one simple hit is to go for a sugar-free oat-based breakfast or snack – such as museli or granola. This forms a fantastic base for a sustaining and healthy breakfast and a brilliant recovery snack!
The oats in muesli provide the slow and sustained carbohydrate release, while the fruit and honey (add to personal taste) provide some quicker releasing carbs, together with a slug of the fruit sugar fructose, which research shows help promote recovery when combined with glucose.
The protein requirements are met partly by the oats but more specifically by the milk, which provides a near perfect blend of whey and casein proteins. If you’re using this as a post-exercise recovery snack, skimmed milk is ideal as it’s free of the fat that otherwise tends to slow the emptying of your stomach. To add in some extra protein soem people will add a spoon of vanilla protein powder – such as Syntrax Matrix 5.0.
If you are just eating it for breakfast add some fruit such as goji berries, strawberries or blueberries to provide extra healthy antioxidants and fibre, as well as adding sweetness.
Let us know of any other good breakfasts you enjoy that help you start the day or promote recovery!!!