5 Energy-Boosting Breakfast Tips for Runners

Nutrition tips to help fuel your early morning workouts and beyond


Most of us know that breakfast is widely considered the most important meal of the day. And for runners, it’s even more important! Not only do you need to think about fuel for your day, but also your run. If you’re a morning runner, it can be tricky to think about fuel when you’re rushing out the door with one shoe tied. But, with a little thinking ahead and some quick fuel, getting a nutritious, balanced and energy-boosting breakfast can actually be pretty easy. Below are five important breakfast tips to help fuel your long days and workouts, too.

1. Plan ahead.
Whether you are up at 5 a.m. to run before work, or have just an hour to run on the treadmill before you wake up the kids, planning ahead is one of the best things you can do, especially when it comes to breakfast! 

Many moms do meal prep on Sundays for lunches and dinners during the week, but what about breakfast? Making a big batch of crock pot oatmeal is always a delicious treat. My favorite blog for hot oatmeal recipes is Oh She Glows. The key is to plan ahead so that you aren’t left to grab the quickest thing, like sugary cereals or a donut at your local coffee shop. Sugar will not replenish your energy stores efficiently and it will lead to a sugar crash later on in the day. Treat yourself to a protein packed breakfast to fuel you through your day.

2. Grab a Bar, but only once in a while.
While protein bars aren’t always the ideal breakfast, there are some bars that are filling and nutritious enough for refueling right after you run. GoMacro bars are vegan, full of healthy macronutrients, healthy fats, a balance of some carbs and nothing artificial. Their “Prolonged Power” bar is a combination of almond butter and banana and has 10 grams of protein! Make sure the protein bar you choose has quality protein, low sugar and some carbs too. Protein and carbs will help your muscles recover more quickly! Steer clear of all fruit bars or those with lots of additives. Sugar should be used during exercise or for a quick energy boost, but not a meal replacement. If you have to have a bar for a quick breakfast, make sure it’s one made with mostly whole foods.

Related: The Amazing Health Benefits of Raw Foods (And Why You Should Eat More of Them)

3. Blend up protein shakes and smoothies.
Protein shakes are always a good idea when you’re on the run, but it can still take some time to blend them up. So, what’s the best thing to do? Make a few smoothies at the beginning of the week, measure them out into mason jars and freeze them, then set one in the fridge the night before so it’s all ready for you after your run. Make sure to pack them with ingredients like kale, spinach, berries, almond or coconut milk, greek yogurt, bananas and maybe some peanut butter or almond butter, too. And, if you’re an oatmeal fan, oats also make a great addition to smoothies!

4. Coffee doesn’t count.
While smoothies are a great option if they’re packed with delicious fruits, veggies and protein, steer clear of calorie-packed lattes and frappuccinos. A cup of black coffee in the morning post-run is a good idea, or even a plain latte with your favorite milk, but make sure you don’t just drink your calories! Those delicious espresso drinks can catch up to you. Eating real food is key for optimal energy.

5. Always eat something. 
That’s right; when all else fails, always eat something. It’s better to have something for breakfast than nothing at all. Even if it’s last night’s sweet potatoes, cold pizza or whole wheat pasta, it’s better to have an unconventional breakfast than no breakfast at all. Remember that breakfast helps fuel your engine, gets your metabolism going, and helps you recover faster from your workouts!

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