What you eat after rolling out of bed has the power to banish cravings, turbo-charge energy, and keep your weight in check. That small cup of yogurt can impact your overall health in huge ways: A study in the journal Circulation found that those who regularly skip breakfast are 27 percent more likely to suffer from coronary heart disease compared to their routine breakfast-munching peers.
“Skipping breakfast makes you more likely to overindulge at your next meal or eat midmorning snacks that are high in calories and sugar to ward off hunger until lunch,” says Amari Thomsen, R.D., owner of Eat Chic Chicago.
And if the a.m. is your time to exercise, you especially need to eat breakfast beforehand. When you wake up, blood sugar levels and carb stores are way down, explains sports dietitian Michele Macedonio, R.D. Breakfast before a workout provides what your brain needs to feel alert and what your muscles need to perform at their best-so you feel zippy on the treadmill instead of fatigued and, well, just blah. (Related: What Fit Women Need to Know About Intermittent Fasting)
Don’t reach for just any cereal or oatmeal, though. Different morning routines call for different morning meals. Whether you’re trying to drop 10 pounds or rip through a morning strength class, one of these eight satisfying breakfasts will help you start your day on a high note.
The Best Breakfast-Before-Workout Advice: Don’t Fear Carbs!
Think of carbs in your breakfasts before workouts as energizers rather than a six-pack’s enemy number one. “Carbohydrates are fuel for your muscles,” says Alissa Rumsey, M.S., R.D., C.S.C.S., a registered dietitian and owner of Alissa Rumsey Nutrition and Wellness in New York City. “Without them, your muscles cannot work as hard.” They’re key to keeping your body going when things get tough. A study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism found that eating carbs 15 minutes before exercise helped study participants run 12.8 percent longer than when they had the placebo. (FYI: Here’s how many carbs you should eat per day.)