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5 Ways to Eat Breakfast within 30 Minutes of Waking Up

by Kate Davis

Too many athletes make one of the worst fueling mistakes: skipping breakfast. From lack of time to lack of hunger, there is no lack of excuses out there for why breakfast doesn't happen. However, eating breakfast really is important. In fact, eating within 30 minutes of getting up is needed to get your body re-energized and re-hydrated after fasting and dehydrating overnight. You can't drive your car anywhere without gas, so don't ask your body to go anywhere without fuel! For those of you who don't know how to make breakfast happen, here are five ideas, depending on your morning style.

cerealFrom your lunch to your clothing, you set up everything needed before you go to bed the night before. Why not do the same with breakfast? Here are a couple of options.

-Overnight oats: A Pinterest favorite, first grab a mason jar or a good ole Tupperware. Combine 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats (not quick or steel), 1/3 cup nonfat milk or soy milk, 1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup diced fresh fruit of choice, 1 teaspoon sweetener of choice (if desired) and any extras you like such as chia seeds, ground flaxseed, coconut flakes, etc. Mix, place lid on jar and leave in refrigerator overnight. In the morning, grab the container and a spoon and head on out.

-Breakfast at the table: Who says you can't set the table the night before? Here is an easy option: grab a bowl and fill with bran flakes, nut of choice and dried fruit of choice. Set on table. Grab a piece of fruit and set next to bowl. In the morning, all you have to do is add milk or Greek yogurt to your cereal and munch on!

You savor those wee hours of the morning when it's just you, the sun and your breakfast. You like the idea of taking your time and truly enjoying your meal. Here are two great options for you.

-2 eggs scrambled with veggies combined with freshly sliced avocado in a whole-wheat wrap. Pair with fresh berries and a tall glass of nonfat milk or soy milk.

-Steel cut oats mixed with cinnamon, raisins and walnuts. Pair with a small bowl of nonfat Greek yogurt drizzled with honey. Serve with a small glass of 100 percent orange juice,

You don't like to pre-plan. You don't like to get up early. You just like to sleep. You need something as fast as possible. Here are two options.

-Clif Bar + 1 tube of Greek yogurt + 1 piece fruit
-Pre-made packet of fruit and nut trail mix + 2 ounces turkey jerky + 1 piece fruit

The idea of eggs, bagels and juice turns your stomach. If you could, you would eat dinner for every meal. So here are a few options for you:

-3 ounces lean meat + brown rice + veggies all mixed together in a bowl
-1 medium sweet potato + 3 ounces skinless chicken breast + 1 piece fruit

You struggle eating in the morning because it just feels too early. Liquids are your preference. Throw anything in a blender and you will drink it. Here is a great morning smoothie recipe just for you.

Berry Avocado Spinach Smoothie
Makes 3 smoothies

2 cups fresh baby spinach (you won't taste it)
1/2 avocado
1 ripe banana
2 2/3 cups berries (variety)
1 cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt or silken tofu
Optional: 1 inch fresh ginger

Combine all ingredients in blender; enjoy!

Kate is the owner of RDKate Sports Nutrition Consulting, based out of Naperville, Illinois, where she offers expertise in sports nutrition, eating disorders/disordered eating, intuitive eating and weight management for sport. Katie holds a master’s degree in nutrition with an emphasis in exercise physiology. She is both a registered dietitian and one of only 550 RDs in the United States to be board-certified as a specialist in sports dietetics. As a runner, triathlete, snowboarder and rock climber, Katie understands the physical and mental challenges of being a top athlete. Katie has previously consulted with NCAA Division I and Division III, NFL and NBA athletes; she truly brings both her knowledge and experience to the table as sports dietitian. Katie is available for individual consulting, team talks and group seminars. Visit her website at; from there you can navigate to her weekly blog, Eat to Compete, and connect with her on Twitter or Facebook. Contact her directly at

The views expressed in this article are the opinion of the author and not necessarily the practices of USA Triathlon. Before starting any new diet or exercise program, you should check with your physician and/or coach.

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