Teeing Off with Breakfast

Breakfast…the most important meal of the day?  Yes!  After a good night of sleep, your body has depleted its liver glycogen levels (carbohydrate stores) and thus is “hungry” for energy.  If you fail to supply the body with food, it will begin to function in a catabolic or “breakdown” state which is not the goal, especially for athletes. 

The goal of breakfast is to set a solid nutrition base for the rest of the day.  Carbohydrate provides the body with energy, but you need more than that to get you going.  Adding a lean protein and healthy fat to breakfast prevents a “carb-crash” mid-morning by slowing digestion and thus giving you energy for a longer period of time.  When protein and fat are present at a meal the blood sugar curve is more balanced. 

Those who eat poorly at breakfast typically find themselves tired throughout the day, starving at night and tend to crave less healthy foods.  So whether you are at home, in a hotel or in the player’s dining area on the PGA Tour, here is a breakfast checklist to follow…

Make sure your breakfast consists of…

  • Complex Carbohydrates: oatmeal, whole grain cereal, wheat bread/bagel/English muffin
  • Protein: eggs/egg whites, lean ham, turkey sausage/bacon, whey protein powder, 2% cheese
  • Healthy fat: peanut or almond butter, nuts, flaxseed or flaxseed mill
  • Choose a low-fat (skim, 1% or 2%) dairy product such as milk or yogurt as both provide carbohydrate and protein in addition to a variety of vitamins and minerals
  • Aim to get a fruit into your breakfast (1 serving = ½ banana, 1 medium fruit, ½ cup chopped fruit)
  • Limit your intake of fried foods, greasy potatoes, extra gravies/sauces, & sugary pastries/muffins

Drink a bottle of water to start hydrating your body

Quick & Healthy Breakfast Choices
• ½ cup (dry) oatmeal w/ 1 scoop whey protein powder & 1 Tbs. peanut butter, 8-12 oz low-fat milk
• 100% whole wheat English muffin toasted w/ 3 oz lean ham, 1 slice 2% cheese, 1 banana, 8-12 oz low-fat milk
• 100% whole wheat bagel w/ 2 Tablespoons peanut butter, 1scoop whey protein powder in 8 oz low-fat milk
• 2 pieces 100% whole wheat toast w/ 2 Tablespoons peanut butter, 2% string cheese, 1 yogurt
• 250 calorie energy bar, 1 fruit, small hand full nuts, 12 oz low-fat milk
• 1 pack Kashi pumpkin flax granola bars, 2% string cheese, small handful nuts, 12 oz low-fat milk
• 1 yogurt w/1 cup whole grain cereal mixed in, 1 slice whole wheat  toast w/1 slice melted 2% cheese, 1 banana

Eating Breakfast at a Restaurant or Player’s Eating Area
• Egg white omelet w/veggies, ham, sprinkle cheese, 1 cup cooked oatmeal , 8 oz low-fat milk
• Egg white omelet w/veggies, ham, sprinkle cheese, 1 slice whole wheat bread w/ 1 packet peanut butter, 1 banana
• 2 scrambled eggs, 2 slices lean ham, whole wheat English muffin w/1 packet jelly, 1 cup berries
• 2 scrambled eggs, 3 slices turkey bacon, 2 slices whole wheat toast w/ 1 packet peanut butter, 1 yogurt
• 3 slices ham, 1 toasted whole wheat bagel w/ 1 packet cream cheese, 8 oz low-fat milk, 1 cup berries
• Whole wheat breakfast sandwich/bagel w/egg, cheese & ham, 1 yogurt w/ ½ cup berries, 8 oz low-fat milk

So if your goal is to have energy throughout your golf game, maintain driving strength through the 18th hole and stay mentally focused, you better set your alarm early and make time for breakfast. 

Remember…if you want your body to perform at its highest potential, you have to fuel it with good nutrition.  Put gas in the tank and the car will drive where you want it to go…


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