A healthy breakfast can influence the rest of your day in a positive way. Especially for athletes, who consume a lot of energy during sports, breakfast plays a big role in the daily energy level. Therefore, it is important that the first meal of the day is healthy and balanced.

But why is this so important? How much more energy do athletes need? And how does a perfect long-lasting energy breakfast with Verival looks like? In this blog post, you will find the answers to these questions!

Energy supply for athletes – Everything you need to know

A lot of energy sources supply the body with the necessary nutrients to stay healthy. This so-called “energy metabolism” is important for athletes. It can be understood as the production of energy through biochemical processes. In short: the process in the body that converts the food you eat into energy.

When exercising, this process, which is also known as calorie consumption, is boosted. This explains that your calorie requirement increases while exercising.

Hafer Energie Sport
Exercising increases your calorie requirement

Why is long-lasting energy for athletes so important?

During sport activities, the need for energy and nutrients increases. A person’s energy requirement is made up of several values, including the basal metabolic rate and the active metabolic rate.

These basal and active metabolic rate are much higher for athletes, compared to people who do not do sports. As a result, the energy requirement of athletes increases. To make sure that athletes keep enough energy during exercising, steady released long-lasting energy is very important. Easily said: the “better” the metabolism works, the more energy you have.

Thus, sport gets the metabolism going. As already mentioned, people with an active lifestyle should therefore pay attention to a balanced diet that gives them enough energy. Without energy, there is less success.

Fat as energy source

Although some fats are rather harmful to the body when consumed in larger quantities, some other fats can be very healthy and work as a great energy source. The thing you should pay attention on is: which fats do you eat?

In principle, unsaturated fatty acids are considered as healthy fats. This does not mean that saturated fatty acids cannot be healthy when dosed correctly – they also function as messenger substances for our body.

What all fatty acids have in common is their energy value. Although fats are the slowest source of energy, they are the most-energy efficient form of food. Fat is stored as excess energy in the abdomen (omental fat) and under the skin (subcutaneous fat). The body can use those fats when it needs more energy.

Carbohydrates as energy source

Besides fats, carbohydrates are a perfect energy source.

Carbohydrates are starch, sugars and fiber. They increase the level of blood sugar in your body. If you do not regularly supply the body with this energy source, you will feel tired and unfocused. That is why carbohydrates are an important factor in an athlete’s diet.  

We speak of two different carbohydrates: simple and complex. This depends on the size of the molecule.

Examples of simple carbohydratesExamples of complex carbohydrates
FruitsOats
Glucose, Sugar, HoneyNuts
Dairy productsPasta, Rice
SweetsDried fruits

Simple Carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates concern different forms of sugar (i.e., glucose and sucrose). Because of their small format, they can be broken down and absorbed very quickly. Therefore, they are the quickest source of energy.

Complex carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are composed of larger molecules than simple carbohydrates. Therefore, they must be broken down in simple carbohydrates before they can be absorbed through the body.

Complex carbohydrates thus provide energy slower than simple carbohydrates, but still faster than fat or protein. A benefit for athletes is that the body absorbs them slowly, which makes them a perfect provider of long-lasting energy.

Rezept Protein Müsliriegel Mandel-Feige Zutaten

Protein as energy source

Proteins are composed of amino acids which are mainly found in muscle tissue. They are the basic building blocks of all cells. The amino acids cannot be all produced in our bodies, so we need to obtain it from our food.

Because proteins are complex molecules, it takes longer to break them down in the body. Therefore, protein is a good longer-lasting source of energy compared to for example carbohydrates. Examples of protein-rich nutrients that you can add to your breakfast are grains, nuts, seeds, fruit, eggs and dairy products.

BMI for athletes – Calculate your BMI

The BMI (Body Mass Index) is a ratio of body weight and height which helps by giving information whether you are underweight, normal or overweight. It can be a good guideline by giving a first impression of your body condition. Important to keep in mind: The BMI calculator only represents a rough estimate. Especially for athletes, an important thing to keep in mind.

This is why the BMI for athletes is not always accurate

For both strength sports as intensive endurance sport, the significance of the BMI about your health might lose importance. Neither body fat mass nor muscle mass are considered in the BMI calculator. For example: athletes with a high muscle mass, could be misclassified as overweight. So, our tip: do not forget to take this into account!

How much more energy do athletes need?

The number of calories the body needs, is determined by the basal metabolic rate and active metabolic rate. An athlete burns extra calories during sports. Therefore, athletes must eat as much calories as they burn them, to have a right calorie balance. Duration and intensity of the activity are factors which determines the extra energy need.

For athletes who focus on strength training and building up muscles, protein also plays an important role. Bacause protein is the substance that makes up muscle tissue, enough proteins must be available to develop new muscle mass. That is why athletes need more proteins than non-athletes. These proteins must be partially consumed as food, which makes it perfect to add to your breakfast.

Calorie calculator for athletes

For athletes, knowing your calorie needs is important to improve performance and to achieve optimal training results. Calorie requirements depend on several factors such as gender, height, age, sleep, body composition and for athletes important: physical activity during the day.

The more physical movement, the higher the calorie requirement. Therefore, the calorie requirement differs from day to day, but is a good tool to help achieving your goals.

Curious about your calorie requirements?

These foods are optimal for long-term energy supply

By having a healthy breakfast, you can provide your body with energy for a long time. This is especially important for athletes in endurance sports as cycling, rowing, mountain biking and (trail) running.

For both endurance sports as strength sports, your breakfast should include (complex) carbohydrates, protein and fat in the form of nutrients to optimize your energy level:

Energy sourceNutrientsBenefit
Complex carbohydratesOats, wholegrain cerealsProviding long-lasting energy
ProteinNuts, seeds, yoghurt, milkBuilding/recovering of muscles
FatOil, avocado, nutsGood for teeth, bones, cell walls, balanced cholesterol level, blood pressure

High-Protein Granola

The best way to prepare your body for the physical effort ahead is to start your day with products from the Verival Sport range.

A great product in this range is our high-protein Granola, which gives you the perfect supply of protein-rich nutrients. Both our Lower Carb Sport Granola Raspberry-Almond Coconut and Grain Free Sport Granola with Nuts, Seeds & Coconut are precisely tailored to the needs of people who do a lot of physical exercise.

The combination of different high-quality nutrients gives you a crispy power boost for high-performance days and guarantees a long energy supply!

Sport-Muesli

Besides Sport Granola, our Verival sport range consist of Sport Muesli with a lot of complex carbohydrates, which are particularly important for endurance sports and muscle building.

Furthermore, we have two grain free mueslis which both perfectly fit in a low-carb diet. They have a higher protein content and give you a saturated feeling on a long-term basis.

Porridge: the perfect warm-up for long-lasting energy

The perfect warm-up in the morning is porridge. In contrast to cold breakfast, the body must spend less energy on digesting warm breakfast. Warm breakfast can be absorbed better and faster. This relieves your organism, strengthens your immune system and boosts your metabolism.

Thanks to the complex carbohydrates in porridge, a long-lasting energy supply is guaranteed and therefore helps you to achieve personal goals.

Oats – the healthy superfood for athletes

The secret ingredient in porridge, which makes it so healthy are oat flakes. When it comes to real superfood, oats are the perfect nutrients. But why is this exactly?

Oats contain important long-lasting energy sources in form of nutrients as plant-based protein, vitamins, minerals, and fibre. The fibre in oats swells up in your stomach, which ensures a saturated feeling for a long time. You are therefore perfect prepared for an optimal energy-level during exercising.

Furthermore, the small oat flakes are beneficial because of their high protein content. The grains are one of the most protein-rich plant-based foods and are therefore perfect for athletes to build and strengthen muscles.

Why are oats perfect nutrients?
Oats are a healthy complex carbohydrate source

Sport Porridge from Verival: the optimal energy supplier

To sum up: porridge is the ideal breakfast before exercising. One more benefit of porridge is that it can be prepared and combined in many ways.

Verival sport porridge: all nutrients in one bowl!

Our Verival sport porridge, features a mix of bananas, dates, linseeds, maca powder, sunflower, pumpkin seed protein powder refined with cocoa. Because of the high proportion of protein and fibre, it gives you a lot of strength and long-lasting energy. Try our gluten-free sport porridge and become a (sport) porridge fan!

Muesli Bites: a healthy recipe for athletes

Do you need some inspiration for a delicious small snack before exercising? Check this Muesli Bites recipe out here!

Müsli-Bites Rezept
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Muesli Bites

Ideal as a small snack before sports or your workout
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Breakfast, Snack
Keyword: Banana, cinnamon, Granola, nuts, oats, sport, wholegrain

Ingredients

Instructions

  • First preheat the oven to 180 °C convection oven and line one or two baking trays with baking paper.
  • Finely mash the banana with a fork so that there are no pieces left. Of course, you can also use a hand blender.
  • Mix the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
  • Warm the honey a little with the coconut oil and add to the dry ingredients with the mashed bananas.
  • Mix everything together until smooth and place small mounds on the baking trays using 2 teaspoons.
  • Flatten the mounds with a moistened teaspoon or your fingers and bake in the preheated oven for approx. 10 minutes.
  • Then turn the muesli bites over and bake again for 7-10 minutes until golden brown.
  1. Carbohydrates, Proteins, and Fats. MSD MANUAL. Published August 2019. Accessed July 30, 2021. https://www.msdmanuals.com/home/disorders-of-nutrition/overview-of-nutrition/carbohydrates-proteins-and-fats

Nico

Sportwissenschafter

Ich bin studierter Sportwissenschafter und angehender Journalist. Neben meiner Faszination für Sport und das Schreiben blättere ich gerne durch die Fachbücher der Ernährungswissenschaft. Sport und Ernährung gehen für mich Hand in Hand, wenn es um einen gesunden Lebensstil geht.