While it remains to be debated which meal is the most important of the day, there is no debating the fact
that breakfast is essential for athletes who are looking to perform at their peak. Breakfast not only provides
your body with the energy and essential nutrients it needs for muscle building, maintenance and repair, but
the morning meal has also been shown to help improve academic performance, focus and attentiveness
throughout the day. Eating breakfast may also provide health benefits such as a reduced risk of obesity and
a reduced risk of nutritional deficiencies.
Emerging research is beginning to point to the importance of evenly distributing protein intake throughout
the day, with the goal of 20-30 grams of protein at each meal. And while this probably isn’t as difficult for
most of us at lunch and dinner, perhaps it’s a bit more challenging to meet this goal at breakfast.
Including dairy foods as part of your morning meal is an easy way to ensure you’re getting adequate
protein and other essential nutrients your body needs. Did you know that just 8 ounces of milk provides
thirteen essential nutrients, including calcium? Not only that, it also includes eight grams of high-quality
Try some of these breakfast ideas below, each designed to meet the goal of 20-30 grams of protein…they’re
sure to help you start your day right.
1. Yogurt Breakfast Bowl served with a Latte – 1 cup plain Greek yogurt + ¼ cup slivered almonds
+ ¼ cup granola + berries + a drizzle of honey; serve with a small latte made with 8 ounces of milk
2. Scrambled Eggs, Fresh Fruit and Chocolate Milk – 2 eggs, scrambled + ¼ cup shredded
mozzarella cheese + handful of grapes + 1 glass of chocolate milk
3. Power Smoothie – combine ½ cup cottage cheese + 1 cup of chocolate milk + 1 banana + 1
tablespoon peanut butter in a blender and blend until smooth
4. Breakfast Burrito – 1 whole grain tortilla + 2 scrambled eggs, + ¼ cup diced Canadian bacon +
diced veggies of your choice (peppers, onions, or tomatoes) + ¼ shredded cheese. Roll it up and
5. Breakfast Sandwich and Milk – 2 slices of Canadian bacon + 1 egg (cooked in a cup in the
microwave) + 1 slice of cheddar cheese + 1 bagel, toasted + 1 glass of milk
6. Oatmeal “Plus” – ½ cup of oats prepared with 1 cup of milk + 1 tablespoon unflavored whey
protein powder + 1 teaspoon of brown sugar + 1 teaspoon of cinnamon + ¼ cup of raisins + ¼ cup
diced walnuts + 1 tablespoon chia seeds

Not sure what foods have the most protein? Check out this Athlete’s Guide to Protein.

Athletes can train harder and perform better with proper nutrition. Learn how to eat well on game days for
peak athletic performance.

Learn more about chocolate milk as an exercise recovery beverage.

Sara Rose Foreman
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN), SNS
Dairy MAX