Most of us never get to become Wheaties-box-level athletes, but among the competitors who achieve elite status, breakfast is more complicated than milk and cereal. These climbers, ultrarunners, mountain bikers, and CrossFit athletes need hard-working calories to fuel the day’s training, and their hard-won knowledge is here for your benefit. Let’s review the breakfasts of nine high-performing individuals to discover the sustenance of greatness. Here are the breakfasts of champions.
Climber, six-time USA Climbing National Champion
Ultrarunner, 2018 Coastal Challenge Costa Rica Champion
“I prepare breakfast before I go to bed. I have overnight oats. Here’s my favorite recipe: 40g grams oats, 10 grams of chia seeds, 40 grams of berries, a spoonful of peanut butter, a drizzle of honey, [and] splash of almond milk.”
Mountain biker, 2008 and 2012 U.S. Olympian
“My go-to breakfast is hot cereal (either oatmeal or some kind of multigrain porridge) with a scoop of almond butter, raisins, walnuts, and cocoa nibs. I like it because it sticks with me and provides good fuel for a morning ride or run (even if it’s just running after my 1-year-old!).
Gould also sprinkles her oatmeal with a surprising ingredient. “Sea salt! Makes your oatmeal taste so much better, even if you add sweetener, too.”
Mountain biker, 2016 U.S. Olympian
“If I’m doing a big ride, I’ll usually have granola, whole-milk yogurt, and fruit (banana, apple) when I wake up, then go walk the dogs and come back for round two, which would be something like eggs, avocado, and toast.
“Both of those dishes are pretty well-balanced and hearty, plus the prep is easy.”
Ultrarunner, 2014 IAU 100K World Champion
“I have a great breakfast. I alternate between power oatmeal and eggs. The oatmeal is cool; eggs are kinda boring but important. [The oatmeal] has it all: fats, protein, carbs, [and] vitamins/minerals in a complete package. It’s great. The eggs add a good dose of protein to my overall diet.”
1 cup oats
1 handful chocolate chips
1-2 tablespoons Trader Joe’s Super Seed & Ancient Grain Blend
½ cup blueberries
3 tablespoons Flora 7 Sources oil—plant-based omega-3, -6, -9, and EPA/DHA oil
1-2 tablespoons Flora Green Blend
Add milk to taste
Climber, four-time IFSC World Champion
“My go-to breakfast is a bowl of cut-up banana, Greek yogurt, and healthy whole-grain flakes and granola cereal. If it’s a big workout morning, I’ll throw in a poached egg on a whole-wheat, toasted piece of bread. Beverage of choice: almond Americano misto! I feel like it gives me great energy for my morning workouts, and I find it all tastes realhttps://aaptiv.comly good. It’s low-sugar, [it’s] healthy, and [I] can usually put it together anywhere in the world.”
Mountain biker, 2018 Marathon MTB National Champion
“I like to keep it pretty simple. I eat three eggs and toast almost every morning. Sometimes I’ll add a slice of avocado, sometimes it’s a bagel instead of bread, and sometimes jelly, sometimes cream cheese on top. It’s a simple breakfast, but I always use the best ingredients. I grew up with a chicken coop, so I got spoiled early on, and I try to get the freshest eggs I can. We also have a world-famous bakery a quarter mile from our house, so I’ll often spin down there and grab a fresh loaf of bread. Sometimes I’ll get fancy and put my eggs in my bread in the form of French toast! Ha.
“I’m not sure why I’ve stuck with this super-simple breakfast for so long because I definitely get more creative with other meals. I’ve just found it serves me very well regardless of how big training is later in the morning. It never messes with my stomach but has the right mix of fat, carbs, and protein to get me through until lunch.”
Ultrarunner, 2017 Milwaukee Marathon Champion
“I have two eggs (farm-fresh from the backyard), ham (thin-sliced and uncured), [and] a slice of cheese on whole-wheat toast. I top it off with a glass of water and a multivitamin. On race mornings my nerves get the best of my stomach, so I have to have something lighter. I go with two gluten-free Honey Stinger waffles and my multivitamin.”
CrossFit athlete, third at 2016 and 2017 CrossFit Games
“It depends a bit on if I’m competing or not. Most mornings I eat about a cup of oatmeal (uncooked) with half a cup of berries, three eggs and half a cup of egg whites, and coffee.”
Do you have a go-to breakfast like these breakfasts of champions? Share it with us inside the Aaptiv community.