Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day; it’s also the most important.
Sure, recent research suggests that skipping breakfast may not be as bad we used to think, but I’m still a strong advocate for starting the day with a healthy meal, especially if you don’t know how to do fast-state training the right way.
A hearty breakfast lays the foundation for the rest of the day. It fills our bodies with nutrients, regulates appetite, and prevents cravings and overeating later on.
In today’s post, I’m going to share with you my favorite breakfast recipes for runners. These breakfast ideas are simple, tasty, and designed with runners in mind. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite before a long run or a fulfilling post-run meal, there’s something here for you.
But before I do that, let’s first discuss the biggest breakfast nutrition runners make and how to fix them for good.
Curious? Let’s check and see how many mistakes you’re guilty of.
Mistake # 1 Skipping Breakfast
I know. I know.
Skipping breakfast is not inherently a bad thing—especially if you’re doing intermittent fasting the right way. Let’s talk about that another day.
According to a study out of the Harvard School of Public Health, people who miss breakfast tend to make wrong food choices throughout the day.
As a rule of thumb, a good breakfast should be about the same size, calorie-wise, as your lunch or dinner.
To make the most out of it, load up on natural foods (just like some of the examples mentioned below).
Further, make sure it’s a balanced meal— half of your plate should be vegetables and fruits, a quarter protein, and a quarter whole grains.
Also, the caloric content of your breakfast should be within your overall daily calorie target.
For the average runner, that means around 700 calories for breakfast, 800 for lunch, and 700 for dinner, as well as 200 to 300 total for snacks.
Mistake # 2 Eating Junk Food
If your idea of breakfast is a glass of fruit juice, sugary cereal, or doughnuts, you’re heading in the wrong direction.
As previously stated, healthy breakfast sets the foundation of every bite you take for the rest of the day.
But here is the little caveat.
If you’re starting your day with junk food, you’ll compromise your breakfast. Typically, junk foods pack in plenty of sugar and unhealthy fats, which can take a toll on your waistline, energy levels, and overall health levels.
Instead of junk food for breakfast, eat a nutritional meal. Simple carbs—think refined and processed sugars—are the ultimate villain.
Whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean meats, and dairy are smart choices.
Mistake # 3 You’re Not Getting Enough Protein
Protein is an essential macronutrient that not only provides fuel for your body but also helps curb food cravings.
It is also the backbone of the recovery and repair process.
Although the answer to how much protein you should consume depends on your fitness goals, training intensity, activity levels, and personal preferences, as a general rule, aim to get 100 to 120 grams of protein a day.
That puts it at around 30 to 35 grams of protein—roughly four ounces of chicken—at each meal.
For a protein-rich meal, you don’t have to feast on a big breakfast of eggs and steak to consume enough protein.
Best sources include cottage cheese, eggs, nut butter, Greek yogurt, etc.
Here are a few ideas:
- A vegetable omelet with whole-grain bread
- Whole grain toast with nut butter
- Eggs, cheese, and a piece of fruit.
- Oatmeal with Greek yogurt
- Chia seeds pudding
Mistake # 4 You’re Shunning Fats
Fats are not created equal. And casting all types as the ultimate villain is like tossing the holy water with the baby still in it.
Healthy sources of fats, just like carbohydrates and protein, are an integral part of a well-balanced diet. These maintain thermoregulation, cardiac function, regulate hormone production, producing sex hormones, aiding in the absorption of certain vitamins, etc.
Fatty foods also make you feel satisfied for longer, which, just like protein, can help you curb food cravings for the rest of the day.
As a rule of thumb, include a healthy fat item in the most important meal of the day.
Good sources of healthy fats include:
- Olive and coconut oil,
- Nut butter,
- Fatty fish,
- Flax seeds,
- Nuts, and
- Full-fat yogurt (such as Greek yogurt).
Mistake # 5 Drinking Fruit Juice
Many health-conscious folks turn to juicing as a way of getting more vitamins and minerals.
Not completely true. Juicing could actually be as bad as eating junk food.
For instance, one whole medium-sized orange contains roughly 62 calories, but it takes three to make a 16-ounce glass of juice.
You probably would not consume three oranges in a sitting, but it’s not hard to slosh in 200 calories worth of juice.
The healthy thing to do is to toss the calorie-laden drink and have a glass of water. You can make your own natural juice. Of course, without sugar in any form.
Or opt for whole fruits instead of juices. Eat the orange itself.
Natural foods offer you all the nutrients of the juice along with stomach-filling and hunger-fighting fiber that can help you tame cravings.
13 Easy Breakfast Recipes For Runners To Try
I love a good breakfast. The following recipes will give you what you need to fuel your long runs and refuel after training. And they taste great, too.
Keep in mind that some of the recipes are keto-friendly, so they’re a great addition if you’re already on a low-carb diet.
1. Keto Coffee
As a diehard lover of coffee, I cannot start my day without my cup of joe.
Luckily, the following recipe is something you’re going to love.
Also known as butter coffee, this is way healthier than the standard breakfast. It can provide you with plenty of energy, as well as keeping you satisfied for the whole morning.
If you’re feeling ravenous in the a.m., consider adding a teaspoon of full-fat coconut oil or coconut milk. This also helps you elevate your ketone levels.
Just whatever you do, make sure to opt for the freshest beans you can—most of coffee flavors dissolve after roasting.
- One cup brewed coffee
- One tbsp. extra virgin coconut oil
- Two egg yolks
- Two tbsp. heavy whipping cream
- One tablespoon unsalted grass-fed butter or ghee
- Pinch of cinnamon
- Pinch of vanilla or 3 drops of stevia.
Then follow through as shown in this YouTube tutorial
2. Coffee Java Protein Shake
This shake that pairs caffeine with protein will fire up your energy like nothing else—ideal for days when you’re short on time but long on things to do.
Not only that, but it’ll also satisfy your coffee fix and provide you with enough protein to keep you sated until lunchtime.
It’s all so easy to make. Just toss all ingredients into the blender, blend until smooth, top it with chocolate chips or cacao nibs, then enjoy all the foamy goodness with a straw.
- Protein powder
- Brewed coffee
- Plain yogurt
- Cottage cheese
3. Hard-boiled eggs, Avocado & Tomato
It’s also a fantastic way to increase your electrolyte intake without taking supplements.
And don’t get me started on the eggs (for more on their benefit, check this post).
The following breakfast combines hard-boiled eggs with creamy avocado.
It can be quickly thrown together and served for pretty much any time of the day. Just grab two hard boiled eggs, one avocado, and one tomato, and off you go.
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Salt for taste.
4. Eggs, Bacon, Avocado, and Tomato Salad
Avocados are a nutrition powerhouse.
With over 30 grams of healthy fats and less than two net carbs in a medium-size avocado, this fruit is a must on the list of acceptable foods on a ketogenic diet.
The creamy, alligator fruit is a rich source of prebiotic fiber, potassium, folate, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, zinc, and magnesium—just to name a few.
Personally, avocados are a staple in my eating menu every day. I typically have one or two avocados every day—either as a simple snack with a nip of salt or a part of the complete meal, just like the following recipe.
5. Egg Muffins
When I first came across these healthy muffins, I fall in love with them almost instantly. Talk about love at first bite!
Clocking at around 140 calories and 10 grams of protein, these muffins are way healthier than any coffee shop, junk, pastry. It’s a muffin without all the sugar and junk.
These muffins are simple to make ahead of time and can last up to a week.
Plus, if you’re on the keto diet, these muffins are perfect as they boast the perfect high fat, moderate protein, low carb macro ratios.
For more taste, make sure to layer a bit of cheddar cheese over the top, but each to their own, of course.
- Bell pepper
- Sliced cheddar
- Spring onions
- Cherry tomatoes
- Hot sauce
6. Skillet-Baked Eggs with Chili Oil, Spinach, and Yogurt
One large egg contains five grams of fats, six grams of protein, and less than one gram of carbs, making it an ideal item for a ketogenic lifestyle.
Eggs are also ideal for improving satiety and feelings of fullness.
The following recipe has turned recently into one of my favorite ways to create a delicious breakfast in no time.
- Large eggs
- Greek yogurt
- Fresh lemon juice
- Kosher salt
- Olive oil
- Unsalted butter
- Chopped scallion
- Chopped Leek
- Fresh Spinach
- Chili powder
7. Almond Flour Low Carb Waffles
When you get on the keto diet, you’ll discover that almond flour is a crucial ingredient in many recipes.
Almond flour is a rich source of fats, protein, and fiber; it’s also very low in carbohydrates than conventional wheat and rice flours.
Not only that, but it also has more nutrients, such as iron, niacin, magnesium, potassium, and calcium, making it the best grain-free alternative to regular flour.
For all of these reasons (and some more), almond flour is a staple item for everyone following a ketogenic diet.
I use it to make all types of keto-friendly foods, such as bread, tarts, pancakes, waffles, muffins, cookies, cakes, and more.
These almond flour waffles recipe is also low-carb, paleo, loaded with protein, gluten-free, and so delicious.
Plus, they are so easy to make.
Just mix up the ingredients in a blender, then cook them in a Belgian waffle maker.
- Eggs Whites
- Whole eggs
- Almond flour
- Coconut flour
- Baking soda
- Coconut butter, to top.
8. Creamed Coconut Milk with Nuts and Berries
Looking for a simple and quick low carb dessert?
Then try this dairy-free dish with berries and coconut flavor.
This breakfast/ dessert is a delicious mixture of fruits, coconut flakes, and nuts that will satisfy your taste buds like nothing else.
For more flavor, top it up with strawberries and a tad bit of dark chocolate, and you have yourself a decadent but healthy dessert.
- Whole vanilla pod
- Full fat coconut milk
- Berries of your choice
- Fresh mint leaves
9. Salmon Stuffed Avocado
As you can tell, I really love using avocados for easy to make meals. The following recipe is another example.
And if you happen to love salmon, then you’re in it for a treat.
Salmon is filling, delicious, super healthy, and goes really well with avocado.
In fact, the fish is packed with protein, amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins B12, and D, etc.
Stuffed salmon avocado is easy to make. Simply mix up some salmon salad then stuff it into a halved avocado.
It’s also a quick lunch and a very light dinner.
Although you need canned salmon unsalted for this recipe, I strongly recommend opting for wild-caught salmon from sustainable sources, when possible.
- Black pepper
- Chili flakes
- Fresh dill
10. Eggs & Vegetables, Fried in Coconut Oil
Before getting on the keto path, I’d have never considered cooking eggs in coconut oil, but I give it a try, and I was quite surprised—pleasantly surprised.
Coconut oil has a plethora of unique properties that make it one of the world’s healthiest fats.
More importantly, coconut oil is an excellent source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which is a form of saturated fatty acid that many health benefits, ranging from better weight management to improved brain function.
This is what I had for breakfast two days ago, and I’m seriously considering making a regular part of my weekly breakfast schedule (yes, I have a schedule!).
This keto-friendly breakfast is high fat, high protein, low sodium, and low sugar.
- Whole eggs
- Coconut oil
- Mixed vegetables (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, etc.).
- Spices or paprika
11. New Take on Eggs & Bacon
What I really love about the keto diet is that I get to eat lots of eggs and fatty meats as much as I’d like to.
In fact, eggs and bacon are a staple for many people on the keto diet, so I figured I’d add this recipe here to help you make eggs and bacon more exciting.
This is especially the case if you’re looking to increase your total fat intake while keeping your macros does.
Just make sure not to overcook the eggs—that’s the tricky part—and be sure to add more richness to them, when needed. Also, the bacon must be high quality, too.
- Full fat cream cheese
12. Flourless Egg & Cottage Cheese Muffins
Cheese is both satisfying and nutritious on so many levels.
Most types of cheese are high in fat but low in carbs, making them the perfect food for providing your body with plenty of energy on the ketogenic diet.
For instance, 100 grams of cheddar cheese (my favorite) contains 33 grams of fat, 24 grams of protein, and less than 2 grams of net carbs!
These muffins can also be baked ahead of time –making them ideal for people leading hectic schedules.
Plus, these are way healthier of an alternative to the high-carb junk breakfast sandwiches most people consume daily.
- Cottage cheese
- Parmesan cheese
- Almond flour
- Yeast flakes
- Hemp seeds
The recipe is the easiest of them all as it requires no ingredients, no prep time, nothing at all.
It also costs you nothing.
What’s the secret? Skip breakfast altogether.
Skipping breakfast is an intermittent fasting method —the act of deliberately omitting meals—is that can help you regulate blood sugar levels, and jumpstart your fat loss efforts. Highly recommended.
I did this for the last week, and I felt just fine—of course, I already have tried intermittent fasting protocols in the past many, many times. Plus, I’m used to running in a fasted state. Be careful if this is your first time trying to exercise on an empty stomach.
So, toss aside the conventional advice that “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” and that “skipping breakfast slows down metabolism,” and give intermittent fasting a try—at least for a couple of times per week.
There you have it. The above breakfast recipes for runners are pretty awesome (except for the last one, maybe). If you are going to have breakfast as a runner, at least, make sure to have the right one. Don’t eat junk food for breakfast. Ain’t good.
Please feel free to leave your comments and questions in the section below.
In the meantime, thank you for dropping by.
Keep training strong.