Marathon Training Nutrition Breakfast
Tip #18

“Who is up for breakfast?” is the common battle cry after a grueling long run. In marathon training nutrition breakfast can be an important part of recovery after a long run or race. However, the choices you make at the breakfast table can be either fuel “follow-up” or fuel “foul-up”.

Henry David Thoreau (1817 - 1862) once said, ”Things do not change; we change.”

Is it time to change your food choices at breakfast? Here are a few common breakfasts (often chosen under peer pressure and in the heat of the moment). Check out these great ways to power up and lighten up at the same time.

  • Breakfast A: Three egg ham and cheese omelet with two slices of buttered white toast with jelly, hash browns, a cup of orange juice and coffee with cream.

  • Nutrition:
    1323 calories
    140 gms carb
    43 gms protein
    66 gms fat
    2766 mg sodium.

  • Powered Up and Lightened Up Breakfast A: Same size omelet, but made with egg substitute plus cheese and peppers; sliced Canadian Bacon on the side ,lightly buttered whole wheat toast with jelly, fresh berries instead of the hash browns, a cup of orange juice, a coffee with less creamer.

  • Nutrition:
    780 calories (a savings of over 500 calories)
    95 gms carb (still plenty for recovery)
    36 gms protein (still quite adequate)
    31 gms fat (cut in half, especially the artery-clogging saturated fat)
    More Vitamin C and E, along with ample B vitamins, same amount of iron
    1815 mg sodium (quite a bit less and still plenty for replacing sodium lost in sweat)

  • Breakfast B: Frosted Cinnamon Bun with a cup of whole milk

  • Nutrition:
    460 calories
    58 gms carb
    12 gms protein
    20 gms fat
    1.1 mg iron
    425 mg potassium
    383 mg sodium

  • Powered Up and Lightened Up Breakfast B: Large Whole Wheat Cinnamon Raisin Bagel with Reduced Fat Cream Cheese and a cup of Non-fat Milk

  • Nutrition:
    340 calories (120 less calories x 18 weeks can add up!)
    51 gms carb (minimal change in total carbs, but triple the fiber)
    17 gms protein (power-up)
    9 gms fat (absolute lighten-up)
    same B vitamins and calcium
    2.4 gms iron (double)
    661 mg Potassium and 600 mg sodium (both increased and needed for recovery)

  • Breakfast C: 4 medium pancakes with 4 medium slices of bacon, ½ cup syrup, 1 cup whole milk and coffee with cream

  • Nutrition:
    1189 calories
    193 gms carb
    30 gms protein
    <33 gms fat
    1810 mg sodium

  • Powered Up and Lightened Up Breakfast C: 3 medium pancakes with 2 ounces lean ham on the side, ¼ cup syrup, ½ cup fresh cantelope, a cup nonfat milk and coffee with less cream

  • Nutrition:
    696 calories (a savings on nearly 500 calories)
    125 gms carb (less but adequate for recovery)
    26 gms protein (similar)
    10 gms fat (one third less fat for a happy heart)
    similar iron and potassium
    1513 mg sodium (less but still a lot of sodium if you’re looking to replace your losses)

    Yes, in marathon training nutrition breakfast can change you by refueling you after a long run. However, marathon training nutrition breakfast can also change your weight and risk for heart disease. Foods don’t change and restaurant menus don’t change, so the change for the better is up to you!

    Learn more about carbs, protein, fat, and sodium in everyday sports nutrition.

    Marathon Training Nutrition Breakfast Tip of the Day:Think ahead (because it’s hard to think straight after running a gazillion miles): look up the nutrition info in restaurant menus online during the week or have a health-minded person order for you. Another idea is to save your money and make a great breakfast at home! In the end, power up with lean protein and whole foods and lighten up by cutting the fat and portions.

    Click here for a fun high-carb breakfast recipe.

    E-mail me with your questions about marathon training nutrition breakfast choices.

    Check out more marathon nutrition training tips.

    Everyday is your day to succeed!