YOU CAN TWEAK your training plan, invest in the best gear, and push yourself harder than ever. But if you're not eating the right breakfast, you're not getting the most out of your morning workouts—or the rest of the day. Here are five menus designed to get you out the door fast and properly fueled for whatever you have planned.
1. The No-Brainer Breakfast
PERFECT FOR: NON-WORKOUT MORNINGS
Start a rest day right with a meal that includes whole-grain, low-sugar cereal (no more than eight grams of sugar per cup), an antioxidant-rich fruit like berries or cantaloupe, and enough protein to keep you satisfied until lunchtime.
3/4 cup granola with:
6 oz plain low-fat yogurt
1 cup strawberries
530 calories, 20 g protein, 85 g carbohydrate, 12 g fat, 9 g fiber2. Quick-Energy Breakfast
PERFECT FOR: BEFORE A CARDIO WORKOUT
Save the big meal for after your workout. But a light meal before cardio training can provide the energy you need to go harder. The key: a menu featuring easy-to-digest foods high in both carbs and protein.
2 slices whole-grain toast with:
1 tbsp peanut butter
12 oz skim milk blended with:
1 cup frozen blueberries
460 calories, 23 g protein, 70 g carbohydrates, 10 g fat, 10 g fiber3. Recovery Breakfast
PERFECT FOR: AFTER A CARDIO WORKOUT
Like the no-brainer breakfast above, this one's built around fresh fruits and whole grains, but it's higher in quick-burning carbs, for faster recovery.
1 hard-boiled egg or
1 oz string cheese
1 cup bran cereal with:
1 tbsp raisins
8 oz skim milk
560 calories, 24 g protein, 97 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat, 12 g fiber4. Power Breakfast
PERFECT FOR: BEFORE AND AFTER RESISTANCE WORKOUTS
To maximize muscle building, down 25 to 35 grams of high-quality protein 30 to 60 minutes before you begin resistance training. Repeat this meal after particularly intense resistance workouts. It aids in recovery, too.
4 egg whites, scrambled
1 cup cooked oatmeal with:
1 peach, sliced
8 oz low-fat chocolate milk with:
4 tbsp protein powder
525 calories, 41 g protein, 77 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat, 9 g fiber5. Quick-Fix Breakfast
PERFECT FOR: HURRIED MORNINGS
Eat this portable starter in the car, on the train, or once you get to your desk. It will leave you feeling better than that Danish from the coffee cart.
1) Two corn tortillas or one large whole-wheat tortilla rolled around:
1 egg or 3 egg whites, scrambled
1–2 oz low-fat cheese
1 sweet red or green pepper, diced
1 tomato, diced
400 calories, 31 g protein, 52 g carbohydrates, 8 g fat, 8 g fiber
Apples turning mushy? Lettuce wilting? Store your produce correctly and you'll eat market-fresh for days. Tip: Leave fruits and vegetables unwashed—for up to the maximum times given—then rinse in cold water before eating.
APPLES in a plastic bag: six weeks
APRICOTS in a paper or plastic bag: three days
BLUEBERRIES in original packaging: five days
GRAPES in a perforated plastic bag: one week
MUSHROOMS in a paper bag: one week
ORANGES loose: two weeks
PEACHES in plastic bag: one week
ASPARAGUS in a plastic bag, with stems wrapped in a wet paper towel: three days
BROCCOLI in a perforated plastic bag: five days
CARROTS after removing leafy tops, loose or in a plastic bag: five days
CORN in husks: one week
GRAPEFRUIT loose: eight weeks
LETTUCE in a plastic bag: ten days
SPINACH in a plastic bag: three days
BANANAS let ripen, then refrigerate: two weeks
PEARS OR PLUMS let ripen in a paper bag, then refrigerate in same bag: three days
POTATOES in a cellar or a cool, dark place: one month; at room temperature: one week
TOMATOES at room temperature, out of the sun: five days —M.R.