We here at Barbell Nation love our protein.
We are usually in the gym by 6am during the week and after our weightlifting sessions, we need protein to help us recover and build muscle. But, you might be wondering why you need to put down the cereal? What’s the big deal? It’s just cereal. Well, herein lies the problem.
I hear it all the time, ‘whole grains keep me fuller longer. I need them. They have a lot of fiber.’ Yes, they do have fiber, but not near as much as vegetables, not to mention all the starch turns into sugar. That’s right, that bowl of cereal you love to munch on each morning (myself included, Cocoa Krispies are my favorite), is really just a big ‘ol bowl of sugar. Sure, you may feel full after eating them, but what happens to your body when you’ve thrown that bowl in the sink and headed off to work?
The cereal will raise your blood sugar significantly and make you feel good for a short time, and then you crash. (Science side note: if you consume a carbohydrate heavy meal fat burning will be inhibited throughout the day (1).) You know what I’m talking about. By 10am you are ravenous and are looking for anything that will fill you up until lunch. In my own experience, this blood sugar drop leads to a Starbucks run for sugary coffee drinks and pastries or raiding the offices break room for more sugary or carby snacks.
So, what can end this midmorning snack attack?
Add more protein to your breakfast, easy as that. See, protein does not spike your blood sugar as high as a sugary high-carb cereal. Since there is no drastic spike, your blood sugar will stay more constant until your next meal, allowing you to wait until lunch to eat. Another great tactic is to include a healthy serving of fats, which has been shown to have the greatest stabilizing effects of blood sugar and insulin levels (2).
Here are some of our favorite protein packed breakfasts.
Vanilla Protein Powder Berry Smoothie
8 oz of Milk, Almond Milk, Coconut Milk, or Soy Milk (8g of protein for cow’s milk)
1 Banana (you pick your size and ripeness) (1g of protein)
1 Hand full of mixed frozen berries
1 Scoop of the Vanilla protein powder of your choice. (~24g of protein)
Throw everything in a blender and blend until smooth. Throw in ice if you want.
Cheesy Scrambled Eggs with 16oz glass of milk
3 or 4 eggs (6g per egg total 18g and 24g, respectively)
1 to 2 servings of Cheddar Cheese (7g per serving (1/4 cup) )
Salt and pepper to taste
Butter (yes real butter!)
Melt butter (as much or little as you want, if butter really bothers you use olive oil) on medium heat in a pan. When butter is almost melted, add eggs and stir until everything is mixed together. Continue stirring until eggs are nearly cooked. Add salt, pepper, and cheese. Stir until cheese is melted.
Pour a nice glass of milk (16g) and enjoy.
Cheesy Scrambled Eggs and Turkey Sausage.
Follow recipe from above. Add two patties or sausage links of turkey sausage (13g).
Some other ideas:
-Breakfast Sandwich: Eggs, turkey sausage, and cheese on your favorite bread.
-Ham and Cheese Omelet (or try turkey sausage scrambles instead of ham)
-Whey/Soy/Egg Protein Shake: Simply mix one scoop of protein with milk
-Add plain Greek yogurt to any of these meal ideas for an added 14 grams of protein.
These are some of Barbell Nation’s favorite breakfast foods. As you can see, we love our eggs in the morning. Ultimately, the choice is up too you. Try these protein packed breakfasts for one week to see if you can tell a difference.
Lift Strong. Live Radiantly.
Science side notes are provided by your friendly neighborhood Wes.
(1)Sidossis, L. S., & Wolfe, R. R. (1996). Glucose and insulin-induced inhibition of fatty acid oxidation: the glucose-fatty acid cycle reversed. American Journal of Physiology-Endocrinology And Metabolism, 270(4), E733-E738.
(2) Fischer, K., Colombani, P. C., Langhans, W., & Wenk, C. (2001). Cognitive performance and its relationship with postprandial metabolic changes after ingestion of different macronutrients in the morning. British journal of nutrition,85(3), 393-405.