Running on empty? A proper breakfast prevents sudden spikes of insulin, aids in muscle and tissue repair, and puts your metabolism into gear. Check out this 30 pre and post workout breakfast ideas for cyclists just like you, because the breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Also, check our selection of these 10 insanely good meals for cyclists.
Pre-Workout Breakfasts for Cyclists
Eating prior to a workout helps to jump-start the breakdown of nutrients that release energy into the bloodstream, and helps you ride for a longer period of time.
1. Sweet Potato Toast
The food of athletes, sweet potatoes offer the complex carbohydrates that refuel the body to optimal perfection. Slice sweet potatoes into large rounds, approximately 4 ¼ inches. Season with a pinch of salt, pepper, and any other spice of your choice. Toast just like regular bread, just spraying the slice with butter, or olive oil, and toasting 2 or 3 times until crisp.
Then, comes the fun part: Spread it with anything you want. Here you have a few ideas:
- Peanut butter
- Cream cheese
- Avocado spread
- Egg salad
2. Sweet Potato Brownies
A mashed, baked sweet potato is mixed with eggs, pure vanilla, coconut oil, and raw honey to make a typical “cake mix.” Add to it almond or coconut flour, powdered cacao, chocolate chips, and cinnamon and bake as regular brownies. Vary by adding:
- Slivered almonds
- Dried cranberries
- Coconut flakes
3. Very Berry Chocolate Smoothie
In a mixer, add blackberries, fresh cherries (if not in season, then strawberries), and raspberries. Add 1 ½ cup of sweet coconut milk, 5-8 cubes of ice, and powdered cacao. Blend and add more ice, or milk, as desired. I can assure you that this is one of the best breakfasts for cyclists.
4. Elvis Toast
That’s correct! The peanut butter/banana sandwich that Elvis made famous could give you an extra push right before your ride. Choose whole grain bread, slice your bananas thin to avoid feeling stuffed, and l just spread your nut butter thin enough to get the sweetness you want, without overdoing it. Nowadays, you can get almond butter and hazelnut spreads that are healthier than Nutella and digest better.
5. DIY Crunch and Munch
Mix crunchy coconut chips, slivered almonds, and dried fruit with raw honey. Make clusters with it, and dry them on parchment paper to absorb moisture. These clusters provide instant flavor and a power-plant of quick energy with zero added sugar and complex carbs that help you make longer rides.
6. Apple Nut Butter Stacks
Slice green apples into rounds measuring an approximately ¼ inch. Spread crunch or smooth nut butter of choice and close the stack with another green apple slice. Refreshing, yet savory and filling, this snack will release carbs and protein in a perfect combination that will harmoniously accompany you on the road.
7. Mexican Tajin Manzana
Slice a red or green apple into segments. Spread raw honey on the skin, then dip in deliciously sweet and sour Tajin powder. This is instant energy power at its best. Tajin is a concentrated powder made from chili powder, lime, and salt combined. It is the ultimate party in your taste buds.
8. Cotija Cheese and Mango Salad
Choose mangoes when they are not too ripe and they still have a sturdy consistency. Peel off the skin, and cut into cubes. The flavor of mangoes at this point is not yet “super sweet” as they normally are. They are a bit on the sour side and betray hints of sweetness and acidity that are balanced by the salty, creamy Cotija Mexican cheese. Drizzle with traditional balsamic vinegar for a perfect combination of flavors.
9. Cheese and Fruit Kebabs
As with all things containing cheese, go for low moisture cheeses that are dryer in nature as your source. Cut into cubes, and use skewers to combine the cheese with fruits such as mango cubes, cherry tomatoes, fresh pineapple, green grapes, and even cubes of avocado. This is a perfect combination of fats, sweetness, and tartness.
10. Full-fat Banana Yogurt Parfait
As we know the banana is one of the best foods for cyclists. Use the full-fat version of yogurt, since the low-fat versions contain added, artificial flavoring and extra sugar that will hurt your stomach. Add to the yogurt chopped bananas, sliced almonds, and just enough granola to get a good crunch. You get sustained energy and not too much fiber that may hurt you later.
11. Cottage Cheese with Nuts and Fruit
Fortunately, they sell the cottage cheese-fruit combos already pre-made. Add a bit of crunch with slivered almonds, granola, or a nut of choice. Try not to eat too much of the dairy stuff prior to riding, and use just enough to fill you up without making you feel “full.”
12. Flash waffles
Rather than using doughy bread, make your own “dough” using ¼ cup of oatmeal, almond milk, and butter. Place mix in a waffle maker, making sure you spray the grill well since this is going to be a grainy concoction. Enjoy a power-packed and portable breakfast you can dip in syrup. Mmm, definitely one of the best breakfast ideas for cyclists.
13. Coco Loco Smoothie
Combine together coconut milk, cocoa powder, and coconut chips into a blender. Add heavy cream if more consistency is needed, or more milk and cocoa powder. Add ice and blend into a smoothie that will make you ride faster than Speedy Gonzalez. A perfect combination of cocoa and the benefits of coconut milk.
14. Carrots and hummus
Hummus is a great breakfast option, with lots of protein and slowly release complex carbs. Carrots provide the right amount of complex carbs and flavor to complement the consistency of the hummus. Add to that how fun it is to eat, and you have a winning combination.
15. Whole grain rice cakes with (anything)
Whole grain rice cakes are the perfect, instant carbohydrate. Add peanut butter, hummus, cheese, even scrambled eggs, and you will get a perfect, nutritious crunch that will let you go a long way. Season with cheese crumbles or just spread with a thin layer of unsalted butter.
Post Workout Breakfasts for Cyclists
So, you rode early in the morning and now you are starving. Don’t go on a binge that may undo all the good activity! Focus on healthy fats as your replenishing solution for muscle repair and recovery.
16.Boiled Eggs Ranchero
Boiled eggs are now sold everywhere, from grocery stores to concession stands. Add pizazz to your egg-eating experience by dipping your boiled egg in a mixture of ranch sauce, red hot sauce, and a pinch of pink Himalayan salt. You get healthy fats, protein, flavor, not so many calories, and a whole lot of goodness.
17. Salmon Roll-Ups
Bring the deli to your home. Slices of lox (salmon) can be rolled up into delicious pockets of the usual favorites, such as cream cheese and capers. Add thin-sliced cucumbers, chives, peppers, or any of your favorite foods (even scrambled eggs) and just roll up and eat! These roll-ups are a savory, meaty, tender way to start your morning right before your ride.
18. Avocado Mash
Think “breakfast guacamole.” Mash one slice of a large avocado, or an entire small one, and squirt lime or lemon to preserve the beautiful green freshness. Add to the mash:
- Pink Himalayan salt
- Fresh, ground pepper
- A couple of drops of Tabasco (optional)
19. BLT Lettuce Wrap
Also known as “pocket salads” just think BLT without the bread for a lighter option. Get ahead of iceberg lettuce. Carefully separate each leaf until you take it all out. It will be a huge leaf on which you can spread mayo, add bacon, tomatoes, and then just wrap it like a regular breakfast burrito. It’s a fresh and bulk-free alternative to the takeaway breakfast sandwich.
20. Ham and Cheese Roll-Ups
Take a slice of a tavern or honey ham, your favorite spread, a slice of sharp cheddar cheese, and make delicious rolls to satisfy your most intense cravings. These protein-powered roll-ups are great for pre or post workout. Protein plays a major role in muscle repair and exercise recovery, so this one of many awesome breakfast ideas for cyclists everywhere.
21. Cheese Log Balls
Not just for the holidays! Create your own version of the famous “cheese log” by combining spreadable cheese, chopped nuts, and your favorite seasonings. Roll the ball of cheese on parchment paper to reach desired consistency. Roll the ball on a mix of chopped nuts and then sprinkle with paprika or any other favorite seasoning. Enjoy on the go!
22. Tempeh pinchos
Love tempeh? Cut it into cubes, season to perfection using adobo, and cook it on your mini grill with olive oil. Alternate with fruit or vegetables for the perfect vegan breakfast for champions. Tempeh goes with every flavor, from sweet to salty, to Umami. Dip in soy sauce, or enjoy “as is.”
23. Avocado smoothie
Combine your favorite fruits with a splash or rice milk and a slice of avocado. Combine them all together in a blender, with ice. Add natural sweetener or coconut milk to taste. Adjust the thickness of the smoothie to your favorite consistency and enjoy.
Yes! Sashimi for breakfast. Ask your local grocer to slice yellowfin, tuna, salmon, and other cuts into sashimi slices. Keep well-refrigerated and pull it out after a heavy workout. See how you can make your own safe sashimi at home.
25. Spinach and Egg Omelet with Mushrooms
Staying on the lighter side, this omelet will still give you the protein needed for muscle repair, lots of flavor, and lots of satisfaction. Mix it all together and add other veggies such as peppers, onions, and much more!
26. Avocado Quesadilla
Slice fresh avocados, add Mexican cheese or mozzarella, and put it all together in a tortilla or wrap. Grill the tortilla on the stove, and let it all melt. Add a splash of Tabasco sauce and enjoy your delicious morning.
27. Old Fashioned Eggs and Whole Grain Toast
Why not just go traditional with two eggs, a nice side of toast and a whole lot of dipping. Eggs are the epitome of healthy fats. When combined with a whole grain, you will give your body the nutrients it will need for a speedier recovery. Add some fried tomatoes and have fun with it!
28. Beans on Toast
This traditional British staple is delicious, especially when sprinkled with cheese on top. Never tried it? Check out the proper way of making it and eating it. Protein, fiber, and flavor are combined together for this famous snack.
29. Tomato Soup and Cheese
Whoever said you can’t have soup for breakfast? A hearty tomato soup with cheese fills you up well after a workout, without needing too much food. Loaded with antioxidants and low in fat, this soothing meal will make you start your morning right.
30. Arroz con Leche
This traditional Spanish dish is given at any time of the day to soothe a bellyache. It can be great for breakfast. Boiled, white rice, mixed with your choice of milk and favorite sweetener: fruit, syrup, cinnamon, coconut. It is inexpensive, filling, and quite delicious. I can easily eat at least three servings of the Arroz con leche before my cycling.