Student athletes lead particularly busy and rigorous lives. Anyone lacking personal experience with the student-athlete lifestyle might underestimate just how disciplined and dedicated they need to be in order to excel both academically and in their sport of choice.
Many student athletes wake up early for training or morning classes followed by afternoon practice then homework, and many travel on the weekends during game season.
Meal planning is especially important for student athletes. Their tight schedules combined with the need to be properly fueled and ready to perform physically means that food and nutrition are a top concern.
Given the need to participate in morning classes, breakfast can be one of the most challenging meals of the day for student athletes. Here are five nutrition-packed breakfasts perfect for student athletes that can be prepared the night before or thrown together quickly on school mornings.
- Overnight oats. Overnight oatmeal or chia seed pudding is filling, nutritious and easy to make in mason jars or grab-and-go containers. To prepare the night before a school morning, pour equal parts oats (or seeds) and milk into a container and add your favorite toppings—such as fruit, nuts, brown sugar, or nut butter. By morning you’ll have a delicious breakfast ready to go.
- Quiche muffins. These crustless mini quiche provide all the nutrition of an egg scramble without the mess. They can also be made in large batches and stored in the fridge for an easy breakfast or snack option. To make, grease a muffin tin and add beaten eggs, a splash of milk and your favorite cheeses and vegetables. Bake at 400 degrees for about 17 minutes or until the muffin tops are golden brown.
- Fruit and nut butter. This breakfast combo couldn’t be any faster or easier. Grab a packet of nut butter as well as an apple, banana or pre-made fruit bowl and you’ve got a morning meal packed with vitamins, protein and healthy fats.
- Yogurt cups. Low-sugar, high fat yogurt is healthy, filling and versatile. Prep various toppings—such as granola, nuts, and fruit—ahead of time so they can be quickly added to a yogurt cup for a fast meal on a busy morning.
- Avocado. Yes, that’s right. Avocados aren’t just a taco add-on. They have more potassium than bananas and also contain a high amount of fiber and healthy fat, which means they provide consistent energy throughout the morning, as opposed to high-carb breakfast options that lead to sugar crashes later in the day. Sprinkle an avocado with salt, pepper, salsa and some cheese or nutritional yeast to give it extra flavor and scoop it right out of the shell.