Breakfast, sweet or savory, is a fundamental meal not only for athletes. Professor Michelangelo Giampietro illustrates the ideal menus for those who play sports
It is now known that breakfast is one of the three most important meals of the day: it helps reactivate our body after a prolonged night fast and provides the body with the energy it needs to restart. For those who practice sports in the morning, consuming the right foods upon waking up is even more important: but what should an athlete's breakfast be like?
In general, breakfast is for all sportsmen – high-level athletes or simple amateur practitioners – a fundamental meal, since – especially in the perspective of having to face the psycho-physical commitments of the early morning hours (training or competition ) – it is necessary to guarantee the body a sufficient supply of energy obtained through the right food choices.
But breakfast not only favors sports performance: cross-sectional studies show that it is associated with better cardio-metabolic parameters and better cognitive performance (Document prepared by the Italian Society of Human Nutrition (SINU) and by the Italian Society of Food Sciences (SISA ), 2018). Excellent news for 9 out of 10 Italians (88%) who, according to a research by the Doxa / Unionfood Observatory, do not give up on the first meal of the morning.
On the occasion of the Tokyo Olympics, "Io Comincio Bene" – the Unione Italiana Food campaign that has been promoting the value of this meal in Italy for several years – with the advice of sports nutrition expert, Professor Michelangelo Giampietro, reaffirms the importance through a vademecum of guidelines dedicated to the breakfast of the professional and amateur athlete
The ideal breakfast
As pointed out by prof. Michelangelo Giampietro: “The sportsman's breakfast, as well as that of the general population, should be as complete as possible. As for liquids, in addition to water, all drinks – from tea, fruit juice, centrifuged, milk, coffee, barley – are fine.
To obtain good hydration it is important to take a generous amount of fluids (2-2.5 liters per day), to be sipped and not to be concentrated in large quantities a few times during the day. Drinks can be either hot or cold, depending on taste and seasonal temperatures. In addition, fresh fruit and yogurt for breakfast also provide good amounts of fluids. As for the solid component, however, it must be varied, meeting everyone's tastes ".
So, what is best to bring to the table for the athlete in the morning? The typical sweet "Italian" breakfast is an excellent solution, being able to alternate drinks such as barley, coffee, tea, milk, yogurt, juices, fruit juices, but also cereal-based products (bread, biscuits, rusks, wholemeal or non-whole grain flakes, muesli, low-fat packaged or homemade baked desserts), spreads and desserts and fresh seasonal fruit.
If, on the other hand, you opt for a savory breakfast, green light for the right mix of cold cuts (defatted raw ham or bresaola or turkey breast), eggs and low-fat cheeses or ricotta, not forgetting the correct weekly consumption frequencies, but without giving up seasonal fruit or fruit juice, a glass of milk or, alternatively, a yogurt with cereals.
For both menus, milk is a drink not to be underestimated. Being mainly made of water, it is a precious source of liquids, able to hydrate the body very well, not only for those who play sports. Milk also contains sugars and proteins, even in the skimmed version, which mutually help each other to promote such important anabolic processes, especially in the immediate post-workout / competition.
- 5 ideas for a healthy and balanced breakfast
- Breakfast, because you don't have to skip it. The nutritionist's advice
- Breakfast during pregnancy: menus and myths about nutrition
- Breakfast: this is why it is important to drink milk in the morning
- Diet with yogurt: benefits, recipes and menu of the week
Tag: Nutrition Sports Diets