The Weightlifter’s Pre-Gym Breakfast

Mj 618_348_the pre gym breakfast
Photograph by Plamen Petkov

If you’re planning on lifting weights, try a breakfast with a 2:1 mix of carbs to protein, which will boost your energy levels and promote muscle building. Keep intake under 450 calories and 15 grams of fat. The yogurt mix below is just the ticket: In one bowl, you get the protein and carbs your body needs to stimulate muscle growth and offset the cellular damage you’re about to inflict. Greek yogurt is thicker and creamier than regular yogurt, with twice as much protein. “Dairy protein is also rich in the amino acids that reduce muscle damage from lifting,” says Marni Sumbal, a Florida-based sports nutritionist and Ironman athlete. And it contains probiotics – healthy bacteria that boost immune function and thereby can improve training. Flaxseeds are a good source of omega-3 fats, which help protect joints and connective tissue. The ideal digestion time is one hour.

Together in a bowl:
• 1 cup plain, low-fat, Greek-style yogurt
• 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
• 1/3 cup muesli/granola (with 10 g sugar or less per ½-cup serving)
• 2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
(355 calories, 25 g protein, 41 g carbs, 12 g fat) 

Also try:
• 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese with 1/2 cup wild blueberries, and 1 slice whole-wheat toast with 2 tsp natural peanut butter
• 2 scrambled eggs, and 1 cup cooked oatmeal with one diced apple

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