Power Breakfast Time
It is often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day
There are some great breakfasts to start the day, plus a few lousy ones. I considered including the phrase ‘Cereal Killers’ at this point!
My favourite breakfast is the Power Breakfast which we have in our house at least five days per week, after having been awake for a couple of hours and done my morning cardio. This has helped me to both build muscle and lose fat, and I can’t see me changing it anytime soon.
Here are the details:
There are four key principles behind the Power Breakfast
1. Portion size
Big enough to provide sufficient amounts of nutrients both long-term for the day ahead and shorter-term for the next 2.5 to 3 hours before the snack that forms the next meal.
2. Macronutrient ratio
Compared to most people’s breakfasts, the Power Breakfast has a higher protein amount and lower carb content. The number of calories from protein slightly exceed those from carbs, which sets me up well to meet my overall day’s target of calories from both of these.
3. Minimise sugar
We need some carbs but not the fast-absorbing ones that are going to cause insulin to do its stuff in a big way, thereby turning off all fat-burning. But some fast carbs from a natural source would be helpful to start the day.
4. Quality ingredients
Everything as natural as possible with the minimum of processing involved.
Step 1 – add the oats
The first step is to add a small amount of very hot (not boiling) water to a bowl containing 60g of rolled oats. That may be more oats than you’re used to, and with less water than you’d expect, as more liquid is coming later.
These are simple, basic rolled oats, with nothing added by the supplier.
The oats are a medium-speed digested carbohydrate and this amount provides 33g of carb with virtually no sugar – a key benefit of oats.
There are small amounts of incomplete protein and fat here, but it’s really the energy-giving slow-digesting carbs we’re after from the oats.
Step 2 – make the shake
While the oats are cooling, make a whey protein shake with 56g of product in around a half-litre of cold water. There are many suppliers of Whey Protein and you may already have your favourite supplier and flavours.
My preference is from a company for which I am an Ambassador, True Performance Nutrition, a product very high content of milk-derived whey and few other ingredients. But that’s not blind loyalty – it was a favourite first before I became an Ambassador. For the sake of balance I should say there are other good products too.
The 56g serving is two scoops and provides 47g of quality protein, including 10g of BCAAs and 11g of L-Glutamine, both vital elements in your daily protein input and big contributors to building and maintaining muscle. There are also small amounts of carbs – 4g, including a tiny 1.3g of sugar – and 3.6g of fats, but it’s the protein that counts here.
Step 3 – nuts & berries
Add a few nuts to the top of the oats. Keep it to around 10g in total – I use hazelnuts and a few flakes of almonds.
There’s around 6g of fats here, as well as small amounts of the other two macros. There are some good vitamins and minerals in here too.
Next to be added are a few berries – typically about 15g of each of blueberries and raspberries, sometimes blackberries too.
All amongst the lowest on the glycaemic index of any fruit. And this is where the small amount of fast-acting carbs, the sugar, comes from plus there’s some useful micronutrients including vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Step 4 – mix the two together
Then add some of the protein shake to the bowl and give it a stir. The amount depends on how liquid you like your oats, but for me it’s usually about a quarter of the prepared shake. (This is where the flavour of the shake is important, as it turns the taste of the oats into the flavour of the shake. It’s always a chocolate-based flavour that gets my vote, I like my oats chocolatey!)
The remainder of the shake stays in the glass and is a drink to be consumed alongside the oats.
This is needed to get the full amount of protein in for the meal and is a great alternative to sugar-heavy orange juice as your breakfast drink.
The final element is a sprinkling of ground cinnamon over the top, a spice that acts as a thermogenic to raise the metabolism and help burn fat, and adds a slight contrasting taste on the tongue.
This meal (including the drink) provides around 525 calories, of which 240 are from the 56g of protein, 170 from the 42g of carbs (including less than 4g of sugar) and 130 from the 15g of fats. That’s around 43% of calories from protein, 33% from carbs and 24% from fat.
A perfect breakfast for all day energy and for others who like more protein and less carbs than most!
For the numbers fans, here’s the rounded breakdown of the Power Breakfast, the oats and drink combined:
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