Breakfast of champions - what to eat for breakfast during training, rest days & sportive day

 

We've all had those days where you just can't seem to find the energy for training. But have you thought that maybe it's something to do with what you're eating? Or not eating?

 

Training breakfast

Nutrition can make a huge difference to your training and racing. You might think it's just a case of making sure you eat right on race day, but if you're not training well because you're not eating well, then you won't race well either. If you start your day properly fuelled you're sure to notice the difference in your training.

Your nutrition priority here is making sure you have enough energy. Carbohydrates are your main energy sources and are vitally important for endurance sports. Carbohydrates come in two main types. They can contain fast release energy, like sports drinks, gels and other sugary foods, and give you a quick hit of energy; or they can contain slow release energy, like pasta and cereals, which give you a steady supply of energy through the day. Start your day with a slow release carbohydrate like porridge, toast or bagels to make sure you have the energy to train.

And make use of those long training rides to practice your competition breakfast. You don't want to find out half way through the event that your breakfast doesn't agree with you!

 

Below are a few examples of a good training day breakfasts

Example 1

1 average bowl (60g) muesli – 220 Kcal- 40g carbs - 6g protein – 5g fat

2 tbsp (80g) low-fat yogurt – 34 Kcal – 5g carb – 6g protein

200ml skimmed milk – 66 Kcal – 10g carbs – 7g proten

1 glass (150ml) orange juice – 54 kcal – 13g carbs – 1g protein

Example 2

2 slices wholegrain toast – 174 Kcal – 34g carbs – 7g protein – 2g fat

2 tsp (10g) olive oil spread – 57 Kcal – 6g fat

2 heaped tsp (30g) honey – 86 Kcal – 23g carbs

1 carton (150g) low-fat fruit yogurt – 135 kcal – 27g carbs – 6g protein – 1g fat

Example 3

1 cup (60g) porridge oats – 241 Kcal – 44g carbs – 7g protein – 5g fat

300ml skimmed milk – 99 Kcal – 15g carbs – 10g protein

1 tbsp (30g) raisins – 82 Kcal – 21g carbs – 1g protein

1 glass (200ml) orange juice – 72 Kcal – 18g carbs – 1g protein

Example 4

1 glass (150ml) orange juice – 53 Kcal – 13g carbs – 1g protein

2 slices (80g) wholegrain toast – 174 Kcal – 34g carbs – 7g protein – 2g fat

2 tsp (10g) olive oil spread – 57 Kcal – 6g fat

2 scrambled or poached eggs – 160 Kcal – 14g protein – 12g fat

Example 5

3 shredded wheat (70g) – 228 Kcal - 48g carbs – 7g protein – 2g fat

200ml skimmed milk – 66 Kcal – 10g carbs – 7g protein

2 tbsp (60g) raisins – 163 Kcal – 42g carbs – 1g protein

1 glass (150ml) orange juice – 54 Kcal – 13g carbs – 1g protein

 

Rest day breakfast

Essentially what you eat on rest days should help your recovery so you're ready for your next training day. You are likely to need a smaller portion and less carbohydrate for breakfast than you'd have on a training day, as you're using less energy. You should also add more protein to your breakfast - this will help repair your muscles from the damage they get during training, allowing them to grow back stronger. Good protein sources include eggs, fish, milk and yogurt.

Example 1

1 glass (150ml) orange juice – 53 Kcal – 13g carbs – 1g protein

2 scrambled or poached eggs – 160 Kcal – 14g protein – 12g fat

Mackerel, grilled 1 fillet – 359 Kcal – 31g protein

Example 2

2 slices wholegrain toast – 174 Kcal – 34g carbs – 7g protein – 2g fat

2 tsp (10g) olive oil spread – 57 Kcal – 6g fat

Baked beans (205g) – 166 Kcal – 10g protein

2 scrambled or poached eggs – 160 Kcal – 14g protein – 12g fat

1 glass water (200ml)

 

 

Event day breakfast

The aim of breakfast on a event day is to have slow-releasing energy foods or drinks, which you can top up during the race with fast-releasing energy sources. About 2 to 4 hours before the event have a breakfast packed with slow release carbohydrates. You might find low fibre foods work best for you if you’re prone to gastrointestinal problems. In that case choose white bread or low fibre cereals such as cornflakes rather than porridge. If you find it difficult to eat on race day because of nerves, try drinking your breakfast instead of eating it and have a smoothie instead of food.

In the 2 to 4 hours before the event you also want to drink 5 to 10 ml of water per kilogram of your body weight. So, if you were 70kg and your event started at 10am, you'd need to drink 350 to 700ml between 6am and 8am. You're trying to make sure your urine is a pale yellow colour as this means you're well-hydrated. Although it may seem early to start hydrating, it means you have enough time to go to the toilet before the race starts.

Again, training days are perfect opportunities to practice your race day nutrition and find out what works well for you. You'll also feel more confident going into the sportive if you know you have tried and tested your race day breakfast.

 

Below are a few examples of a good Event day breakfasts

 

Example 1

1 average bowl (60g) muesli – 220 Kcal- 40g carbs - 6g protein – 5g fat

2 tbsp (80g) low-fat yogurt – 34 Kcal – 5g carb – 6g protein

200ml skimmed milk – 66 Kcal – 10g carbs – 7g proten

1 glass (150ml) orange juice – 54 kcal – 13g carbs – 1g protein

1 slice (40g) wholegrain toast – 87 Kcal – 17g carbs – 4g protein – 1g fat

1 heaped tsp (7g) olive oil spread – 40 Kcal – 4g Fat

Example 2

4 slices wholegrain toast – 347 Kcal – 67g carbs – 14g protein – 4g fat

4 tsp (20g) Olive oil spread – 114 Kcal – 13g fat

4 heaped tsp (60g) honey – 173 Kcal – 46g carbs –

1 carton (150g) low-fat fruit yogurt – 135 Kcal – 27g carbs – 6g protein – 1g fat

Example 3

1 ½ cups (100g) porridge oats – 401 Kcal – 73g carbs – 12g protein – 9g fat

500ml skimmed milk 165 Kcal – 25g carbs – 16g protein – 1g fat

2 tbsp (60g) raisins – 163 Kcal – 42g carbs – 1g protein

1 glass (200ml) orange juice – 72 Kcal – 18g carbs – 1g protein

Example 4

1 glass (150ml) orange juice – 54 Kcal – 13g carbs – 1g protein

3 slices (120g) wholegrain toast – 260 Kcal – 50g carbs – 11g protein – 3g fat

3 tsp (15g) olive oil spread – 85 Kcal – 9g fat

2 scrambled or poached eggs – 160 Kcal – 14g protein – 12g fat

Example 5

4 shredded wheat (100g) – 325 Kcal – 68g carbs – 11g protein – 3g fat

300ml skimmed milk – 99Kcal – 15g carbs – 10g protein

2 tbsp (60g) raisins – 163 Kcal – 42g carbs – 1g protein

1 glass (150ml) orange juice – 54 Kcal – 13g carbs – 1g protein

 

These are just some general tips for helping you to perform, but we're all individual and will respond slightly differently to food and drink. If you want to be the best you can, it's worth having your diet analysed in a nutrition consultation to get a nutrition plan that's personalised to you, your race and food preferences, and to help you meet your individual goals.

 

 if you would like a personalised nutrition plan