Simply ask any early morning runner: What you consume for breakfast makes or breaks the miles in front of you. Eat too much fiber and you will wind up running for the closest public restroom; avoid the carbs and you will be struggling to get the energy to check off your last couple of kilometers. Fortunately, sports cardiologist and marathon runner John Higgins, has the most essential meal of the day dialed in. So we asked him if he would share the very best breakfasts for athletes (whether you are smashing your mile record or striving to reach that 26.2).
No matter if you opt for your pre-run breakfast to be savory or sweet, Dr. Higgins has a meal in mind for you. Just make certain to stay true to age-old running wisdom and not attempt anything new the day of the race. Here are a sports cardiologist’s go-to early morning foods for fueling up either before or after your morning miles.
1. The Power Smoothie
Dr. Higgins’ preferred smoothie includes almonds, oranges, raspberries, kiwi, strawberries, bananas, and natural honey yogurt for a berry-packed blend. Higgins enjoys this smoothie because berries are loaded with antioxidants, which enhance vascular function. Also, the bananas offer potassium and fiber, and the nuts boost nitric oxide (which has been found to lower cholesterol).
If you would like to make this smoothie yourself, mix one cup of honey yogurt with a little handful of almonds, one small banana, and the other fruits noted above. If you like a thinner texture, add one cup of unsweetened almond milk. This makes two servings.
2. Protein Omelet
So you are craving a hearty plate of eggs? Choose an omelet filled with your preferred protein and veggies of choice—Dr. Higgins likes his with ham—and do not forget your toast. “Eggs and ham are terrific sources of protein,” says Dr. Higgins, who eats his with a large glass of orange juice to add some heart-healthy vitamin C.
3. The Cereal Option With the Works
When Dr. Higgins is in a rush, he selects an easy bowl of Raisin Bran cereal with cut up bananas, green grapes, strawberries, and strawberry yogurt. The Raisin Bran has the carbs and sugar you need to sustain your run, while the berries and green grapes have antioxidants that will assist in your body’s recovering stage later.
4. Yogurt and Berry Pancakes
There are myriad methods to make pancakes, however Dr. Higgins tops his flapjacks with natural honey, cashews, bananas, vanilla yogurt, strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries. The pancakes and honey supply the sugar and carbs needed to energize your miles, while the yogurt and cashews provide added protein, and all the berries supply those much-needed antioxidants to support your recovery post-run.
If you do not already have a fav flapjack mix, try this simple banana pancake recipe:
Author: Blake Ambrose