Breakfast is a non-negotiable meal especially for bodybuilders who rely on an abundance of calories to get big and maintain their muscle mass.
Well, it’s all in the name…“Break-fast”.
When you sleep you are essentially fasting. But the worst thing that can happen to a bodybuilder is going too long without eating!
So… protein, carbs, and fats need to be consumed first thing in the morning to feed your growing muscles. Eating breakfast tells your body… “Oh, we’re not going to starve today” which stimulates your metabolism and keeps you hungry throughout the day. (1)
But when you don’t eat breakfast, your body believes it has to conserve energy and the hunger signals stop. This suppresses your appetite and all bodybuilders know… a suppressed appetite = no gains! (1)
So, if you’re into intermittent fasting then this information may not be appealing to you. But, if you like a good hearty breakfast then…
Tip: Try our Calories Counting Calculator
Here are 10 simple bodybuilding breakfast ideas to keep the gains flowing…
1- Bacon, Eggs, Hash browns, Avocado, and Berry Platter
This is for the mass monster that needs a lot of calories first thing in the morning…
Eggs are a power food and they contain plenty of healthy nutrients like protein, cholesterol-supporting fats, B6, B12, vitamins A, D, and E, folic acid, iron, and all nine essential amino acids.
B6 is important for brain development and immune function, while B12 is necessary for red blood cell and DNA production plus nerve function. (2, 3)
Vitamin A is essential for vision health and reproduction but it has antioxidants for cell protection against harmful substances. Vitamin E promotes healthy vision, blood and brain health plus it helps to maintain healthy skin and it also has antioxidant properties to protect our cells from disease-causing free radicals. (4, 5, 6, 7)
Then you have folic acid which is essential for fetal development and making new cells in the body. And iron which is crucial for maintaining healthy blood cells. (8, 9)
Eggs also contain choline which is important for brain health and development. (10)
Now, avocados are a powerful superfood and so they should be included in your diet plan if possible. They contain more potassium than a banana, plus they contain lutein for healthy vision, loads of fiber for digestive health and a good amount of healthy, monounsaturated fats. (11)
Then add in some bacon for protein and finish off your plate with hash browns which supply good, slow digesting complex carbs. Berries are great for supplying natural energy and they’re also loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants. (12)
- 3 slices of bacon
- 3 large eggs
- 200 grams of shredded hash browns
- ½ Avocado
- 1/2 cup of mixed berries
Try to use cooking spray rather than oil or butter if possible since this meal already contains plenty of fat.
2- Homemade Mass Gainer Shake
Sometimes it’s easier to just throw everything in a blender and chug it down at your convenience. So, homemade shakes are the perfect option because you know exactly what ingredients you’re adding to it (No fake ingredients and unholy amounts of sugar).
Most weight gainer shakes on the market are loaded with sugar (Super unhealthy) and bad carb sources which spike blood sugar, combined with low-quality protein.
…Make no mistake though, these shakes will put on size fast but you’ll be messing with your health and the quality of ingredients will only hurt your progress.
Now, there are many ways to make a homemade shake but just make sure you have your choice of protein powder on hand with the following basic ingredients…
- Water or choice of milk (Cow, Almond, Soy, etc.)
- 2 scoops of protein powder
- 5 tablespoons of any nut butter (Peanut, Almond, Cashew, etc.)
- ½ cup of quick oats
Pour the liquid in small amounts and blend it in increments, adding more until you reach the desired consistency.
Protein: 20-60g (Varies by protein powder)
3- Rice Cakes W/ Almond Butter and a Banana (Vegan-Friendly)
Simple and easy is always preferred for the convenience factor. When you’re running out the door or have limited time, spread a few tablespoons of almond butter on a rice cake and top it off with banana slices for a delicious and nutritious, on-the-go breakfast.
The rice cakes are made from brown rice which is a great source of complex carbs. And almond butter supplies healthy unsaturated fats plus they lower bad (LDL) cholesterol while containing Vitamins E, potassium, magnesium, and calcium. (13)
Then, the addition of a banana provides a great source of potassium for heart health and water balance since it’s an electrolyte. (14, 15)
- 2-3 rice cakes
- 3 tablespoons of almond butter
- 1 large banana sliced
Carbs: 56g (31g simple sugars/carbs from banana)
4- Protein Yogurt Pudding (Vegan-Friendly)
This is a simple high protein breakfast and you only need two ingredients to make it happen! Yogurt and protein.
Now, this is more of a snack option rather than a meal but it’s lightning fast to prepare and can provide you with a lot of calories and muscle-building protein…
Plus, yogurt has plenty of good probiotics which are important for creating and restoring healthy gut bacteria. But, you can also use almond yogurt or a dairy-free yogurt for a vegan-friendly option with plant-based protein powder. (16)
- ¾ cup yogurt
- Protein powder (Mix for the desired texture)
Start with a small protein to yogurt ratio and slowly increase the amount of either to reach the desired texture and flavor.
Protein: 20 – 35g (Varies by protein powder)
5- Boiled Eggs and Protein Oatmeal
There’s nothing more traditional than eggs and oatmeal for a bodybuilder breakfast.
But we wanted to take it up a notch and make it a little more exciting by mixing your favorite protein powder with the oatmeal for an ultra, high protein breakfast.
The eggs are a very high-quality protein and fat source, so in combination with the oatmeal, there’s really not much more you need…
Now, oatmeal is beneficial to any bodybuilder since it contains the soluble fiber beta-glucan (Eating a lot requires more time in the bathroom) which helps with digestion and smoothe bowel movements. (17)
But oats are also known for lowering the bad (LDL) cholesterol by 7% according to studies, which contributes to a healthy heart. So, oatmeal is a great choice for breakfast and is highly recommended for keeping your health in check. (17)
- 3 boiled eggs
- 1 cup of oatmeal
- 1 scoop of protein powder
Protein: 35-47g (Varies by protein powder)
6- Greek Yogurt W/ Granola and Berries
Greek yogurt is pleasantly high in protein (Twice as much when compared to regular yogurt) and the creamy texture opens up the door for so many possibilities.
Like seriously… you can add anything to yogurt for a tasty treat and it’s at the top of the list for nutritious and convenient, high protein breakfast meal options.
But Greek yogurt also has the same beneficial nutrition, containing probiotics, B-vitamins, Potassium and zinc as well. (18)
Now, granola is usually made from rolled oats, honey, nuts, and puffed rice but the contents vary as there are a lot of options including homemade granola. It’s also very tasty and adds a little fun to the yogurt mix.
So, feel free to use the provided quantities of ingredients for an awesome breakfast meal or make a mixture to your liking.
- 1 cup plain 0% Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup of granola
- Mixed berries (Desired amount chopped)
Carbs: 45g (Grams of sugar increase slightly with added berries)
7- Protein Bar
Most bodybuilders love the idea of having an instant, high protein breakfast which only requires a little unwrapping and, well… protein bars are quite possibly the most stress-free and convenient, high protein option in existence.
Plus, who wouldn’t want to eat a healthy candy bar for breakfast?…
Now, there are so many brands to choose from and you can even make your own with natural ingredients but there are a few good brands that make a quality bar like RX, ONE and Quest.
If you don’t mind some artificial sweeteners, then you won’t have any issues with most protein bars, and the quality options are usually made with mostly healthy ingredients.
So, try a few flavors and stock them up for when you don’t have time to make breakfast because they come in handy!
The nutrition facts will vary between bars and brands but this is general nutritional info for the Quest bar.
8- Cottage Cheese, Berries and Ezekiel Bread
Cottage cheese is an excellent source of low-fat protein which is why it’s a favorite meal/snack choice among bodybuilders.
The convenience is that you don’t have to prepare it and you can buy products which come in the perfect serving size for a breakfast meal. Then add in your favorite berries and Ezekiel toast on the side for an energy-promoting and antioxidant-loaded meal.
Now, many bodybuilders choose Ezekiel bread over regular bread because it’s made from sprouted grains and enriched flour like white or wheat bread. Ezekiel bread also has less gluten than white bread; it contains no sugar, provides more protein, and has a lot more healthy nutrients. (19, 20)
- 1 cup low fat cottage cheese
- 2 slices of Ezekiel bread
- ¼ cup of mixed berries
9- Protein Pancakes (Vegan-Friendly)
This is a great vegan breakfast for the bodybuilders who prefer a plant-based diet. And who doesn’t love pancakes?
Now, these may not be the super-fluffy Hungry Jack pancakes you dream about but they are a healthy alternative and they do taste pretty darn good…
But, this is a recipe which you can throw together based on your ideal pancake consistency, so feel free to experiment.
- 1 medium or large banana
- 1 scoop protein powder
- Almond milk (Add to your desired texture)
- Oats (Add to your desired texture)
Eyeball the ingredients, blend them together until a thick semi-thick texture, and cook on the stovetop.
10- Green Protein Smoothie
This is an incredibly tasty and healthy, high protein green treat that is very simple to make. You only have to toss the ingredients in your blender and it’s ready to drink!
Now, the shake consists of fruits, berries, and seeds so it doesn’t get any better (If you’re really health conscious like the rest of us)…
And as mentioned previously, bananas are loaded with potassium for heart health. Then you have spinach which contains high amounts of vitamin K, C, iron, and calcium for bone health. And dates are a great natural sweetener, plus they’re loaded with antioxidants which have shown to reduce inflammation. (21, 22, 23, 24)
Hemp and chia seeds are a fun addition to any shake plus they supply a great source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids. The three essential fatty acids (ALA, EPA, and DHA) we need to get through food sources are very important for cell function, heart health, possible cancer prevention, hormone production and many other functions of the body. (25, 26, 27)
So, it should be quite apparent by now that this shake will provide your muscles with plenty of muscle-inducing nutrients and it’s the perfect bodybuilding breakfast!
- 2 frozen bananas
- 1 cup spinach
- 2-4 pitted dates
- 1 scoop vanilla protein powder of choice
- 1 cup Almond or any non-dairy milk
- 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
Blend all ingredients until smooth.
Protein: 15.5 g
Fat: 3 g
Carbs: 38.5 g
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