How to eat breakfast like the pros

By August 2, 2016Bike

Cyclists look to emulate the professionals in every way, from the bicycles we ride down to how high our socks should be. And why not? These guys and gals are the toughest, hardest and fastest individuals of our world. So why not copy the professionals on eating habits?

As an athlete, your body is an efficient machine created to intake fuel and output performance. We recently spoke with the cycling world’s most up and coming athletes in a way to better understand the mystery of the athlete’s “perfect breakfast.” These athletes hail from all over the United States and all favor different eating philosophies, ranging from gluten-free, vegan and just plain healthy. The following looks to debunk the traditional pile of pasta and no fun before the big races.

Zachary Kovalcik (Black Lodge Cycling)

Cycling discipline: Track, road

Any specific dietary restrictions? Vegan, for the animals!

Breakfast choice: Oats, peanut butter, banana, almond milk (coconut blend). Every day. If I have enough money, I add Chia, flax and blueberries. Of course always coffee. Black.

Defend your breakfast choice:

It’s cheap, filling and a good mix of carbs, protein and fat to get the training or racing day started right. The Chia and flax provide good omegas and micronutrients. And the blueberries are antioxidants but also just the tastiest berries. Coffee is just necessary.

“There’s no machine known that is more efficient than a human on a bicycle. Bowl of oatmeal, 30 miles — you can’t come close to that.” -Bill Nye.

Cassandra Maximenko (Van Dessel / Atom Composites / ISM Saddles) Road-(Stan’s NoTubes p/b Velo Classic Cycling Women’s Racing Team)

Cycling discipline: Cyclocross, road

Any specific dietary restrictions? Gluten-free

Breakfast choice: Vanilla cinnamon overnight oats

The recipe:

  • ½ cup gluten-free old fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp cinnamon, pinch of salt
  • 1 scoop Xymogen Vanilla Fit Food Vegan Complete protein powder
  • 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  • 1 Tbsp unsweetened dried coconut shreds
  • 1 cup unsweetened coconut almond milk
  • Optional add-ins: raisins, dried cranberries or other dried fruit, chopped walnuts, ground flax or hemp seeds.

Defend your breakfast choice:

It’s so travel-friendly! I pre-pack baggies of the dry ingredients for easy travel. When I arrive at my destination, I dump the dry ingredients into a bowl and add the milk. Let it sit overnight in the fridge or in a cooler with some ice if you don’t have a fridge. In the morning there’s no need to cook it, just enjoy it as is and top with any fresh fruit you might have on hand. It’s filling and the variations are endless. Around the holidays, I’ll add pumpkin, nutmeg, ginger and clove spices; it tastes just like pumpkin pie in a bowl! I love a pre-race breakfast that leaves you satisfied and fueled up for the day ahead, so the combination of the oats and protein powder really do the trick.

Brooks Deese (Cyclus Sports-Pro Development Team)

Cycling discipline: Road

Any specific dietary restrictions? None

Breakfast choice: Muesli with almond milk, honey and fruit

Defend your breakfast choice:

Delicious, nutritious, simple and cheap. What more could a bike racer ask for? Muesli is basically just dry oats with some dried fruit or nuts. The trick is to prepare it the night before the race. First, add mueseli to your bowl and then your choice of milk (I prefer almond). Then the bowl goes in the fridge. In the morning, your breakfast is already made for you! Add some blueberries and honey, make your coffee and consume your perfect race day breakfast.

Ben Frederick (Beyond CX-Ritchey)

Cycling discipline: Cyclocross

Any specific dietary restrictions? Plant-based (vegan)

Breakfast choice: Banana cereal (5-6 very ripe bananas, splash of almond milk and topped with a sprinkle of Bobs Red Mill Natural Granola and cinnamon)

Defend your breakfast choice: Great whole food breakfast to start the day off right. Lots of carbs to give me the fuel for whatever workout I have that day. It’s a nice, sweet change from the standard oatmeal or even the savory oats I make. I love bananas because they are full of fiber, carbs, phytonutrients and life!

Arley Kemmerer (Level 11 Racing/Swiftwick)

Cycling discipline: Cyclocross

Any specific dietary restrictions? No red meat

Breakfast choice: Egg and cheese sandwich with greens, avocado, ketchup, salt and pepper.

Defend your breakfast choice: I eat this same thing basically every day of the week. It is quick to make, portable, filling, has the right balance of protein, carbs and fats, and just tastes pretty darn good! For early morning departures, I can cook up two eggs and throw the whole sandwich together in a few minutes, pack it up and eat it when my stomach is ready for food once we’re on the road. It hasn’t failed me yet!

What is YOUR breakfast of choice? Does it look like the pros?

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