When it comes to building muscle mass, breakfast may just be the most important meal of the day. Besides post-workout, breakfast is really the only other time your body craves fuel. In the morning, we especially need good fuel to snap our bodies out of a catabolic state and into a muscle-building one.
1. Berry Good Protein Shake
Dark berries are among the world’s super foods, prized for their rich antioxidant content. They’re also among the lowest of the low-glycemic fruits. This shake is loaded with healthy fats from coconut milk and a good dose of protein from the protein powder.
- 1 or 2 scoops (per directions) of vanilla, low-carb protein powder.
- ½ cup unflavored coconut milk.
- ½ cup blueberries, blackberries or raspberries.
2. Start With Eggs
One single egg contains about 6 grams of high-quality protein — an essential component of building muscle — notes dietitian Diane Welland. Keep things simple and serve eggs scrambled or boiled with some whole-wheat toast. Or make a frittata with cheese and veggies, such as mushrooms, peppers and asparagus. Or whip up eggs Benedict by poaching eggs and serving them on an English muffin with spinach, lean ham and Hollandaise sauce.
3. Breakfast Basics
Experiment with recipes at breakfast, but make sure your meal contains protein and carbohydrate. Ensure that your breakfast fits in with the rest of your day’s nutrition. You need about 20 calories per pound of body weight each day to gain muscle, according to Stoppani, and these calories should be distributed evenly throughout the day. For example, a 150-pound person needs 3,000 calories per day. If you’re eating five meals per day, that means 600 calories at each — so a 600-calorie breakfast is in order.
Quinoa is finally getting the attention it deserves. This seed is a complete protein, containing all of the essential fatty acids, and it’s incredibly versatile. It’s a great substitute for pasta or rice, but it also makes a great hot cereal.
- ¾ cup quinoa, cooked according to directions (Make quinoa at night for dinner and save some for an extra-quick start to this recipe)
- 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¼ cup unflavored coconut or almond milk
- 1 small banana, sliced
5. Protein Pancakes.
With the right mix, pancakes can provide your body with ridiculous amounts of protein and healthy carbs. Just make sure to skip the premade white flour-based mixes. Instead, opt for a high-protein blend such as Mancakes or FlapJacked. FlapJacked delivers 15-17g of protein and 4-7g of fiber per 200-calorie serving. Mancakes packs in 21g of protein, 10g of fiber, and six superfoods per 280-calorie serving.