Breakfast for Runners

 Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap/

Image courtesy of rakratchada torsap/

We all know “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” You’ve heard the cliche since childhood. However, loads of websites lately are posting new information about  your first meal of the day.

I’ve rounded up some breakfast rules for runners to follow. You’ll need your energy to fuel your early-morning workouts.

Eat when you first wake up. You should try to eat within 30-60 minutes of first waking to keep your metabolism boosted, especially because your body’s starved all night. If you are someone who finds taking in heavier foods in the morning difficult, try smoothies. I prefer green smoothies that are sweeter in flavor. Try the following and mix to your liking:

2 C spinach or kale
2 C fruit, such as bananas, sliced apples or watermelon (or a mixture of the above)
1 C water or coconut water
1 T protein powder

Add in the liquid first into a blender, then add the fruit, then greens and protein to make it blend more easily.

Bananas are a runner’s best food. Potassium is key to runners and bananas are chock full of them. Plus, they are easy on the stomach, so it’s no surprise you find these at the finish line of races and sometimes even at aid stations. They are best at breakfast, providing you your necessary potassium and resistant starch.

Best breakfast to try:
1 C steel cut oats
1 C banana slices
1 t honey

The oats and banana provide resistant starch and burn fat for fuel.

Add in protein. If you run first thing in the morning, sometimes protein sits heavy on your stomach. I recommend trying synthetic protein such as powder into a smoothie to make it easier to digest. If you don’t run in the morning, try out egg whites mixed with spinach for your breakfast. It’ll make you feel fuller longer.


According to the National Weight Control Registry, 78% of those who keep weight off eat a morning meal every day. Your diet makes a difference.