Paddle Healthy | Breakfast of Champions
What do champion standup paddlers chow down in the morning to keep them fueled through tough workouts, surf contests or races? We wanted to find out, so we asked some of the world's best standup paddlers to fill us in on their morning meal. Compare their answers to your breakfast for some food for thought.
I make homemade granola, so one breakfast is my homemade granola (filled with a variety of nuts, seeds, and sometimes dried fruit) with yogurt, almond milk, and whatever fruit is in season. And, of course, coffee. At home I like black coffee, otherwise I put some milk in it.
My other breakfast is a smoothie. A typical smoothie will have almond milk (or fresh almonds with water), yogurt, fruit, some sort of greens (spinach or kale), chia seeds, flax seeds, fresh ginger, lemon, maca, camu camu, coconut flakes, honey, sometimes coconut water, sometimes acai, with coffee.
On weekends I like to splurge and I go for an egg, potatoes, and bread kind of breakfast.
Breakfast usually consists of a quick milk and cereal with tea. Then, a larger, more legit one around mid-morning, [consisting] of eggs, vegetable stir-fry with toast and peanut butter, and water.
It all depends on what my schedule is for that particular day and when I’m doing something physical. I like to train on an empty stomach, so if I’m doing something in the morning I’ll drink some coffee, wake up, and eat afterwards to replenish what I have just spent.
Depending on what I feel like, this may be a protein-based smoothie or eggs and vegetables, etc. I very much go on what I feel like, rather than eating things I don’t enjoy. Leftovers from the previous night’s dinner have also been known to evaporate in these situations as well.
A smoothie allows the freedom to throw in added fibre and fruit or vegetables without having to ‘eat’ them, so it’s a great way to sneak in important nutrients; it also aids in bumping up your fluid intake for the day. And, if you suck at cooking, it’s pretty hard to mess up a smoothie!
I stick to the basic rule of keeping it simple, eating to replenish and refuel, and trying to include variety and seasonality wherever possible. A lot of athletes are control freaks, which transpires to both their training regimes and diets. Adding some variety to everything including breakfast keeps you from getting stuck in a rut.
My typical breakfast is toast with avocado and tomato, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal (or cereal in general), and coffee.
For breakfast I love Fage plain Greek yogurt with seasonal berries, usually blueberries and mango. I top it off with a mixture of Buckwheat, Chia, Hemp & Flax seed.
My average breakfast carries on lazy days when I don’t want to cook; I usually go out and buy a breakfast burrito.
When I’m eating a little healthier for race season, my on-the-go breakfast is a chocolate peanut butter smoothie. It’s simple and fast, great for on the go:
1 cup of oatmeal
2 tbsp of peanut butter
1 scoop of chocolate protein
Mix it in a blender and that’s it.
When I have time and I'm eating healthy I make a chocolate protein pancake:
1/4 cup oatmeal
1 scoop of chocolate protein
1 tbsp peanut butter
Sometimes I like to actually make pancakes and sometimes I like to eat the dough raw, because who doesn’t like the batter raw?
I start off my day with a coffee. If I go for an early paddle or surf session, I try not to eat too much before. Otherwise, I love to make a nice big açai bowl with cereals, fruits, nuts and açai.
Before a race like Molokai 2 Oahu, I like to keep it simple and just go with a bowl of oats and a Vitargo shake.