It’s been the long-reigning champion, known as the important meal of the day, but if you’re starting your day with the wrong ingredients, you might be doing breakfast wrong.
We’ll explain the importance of breakfast for balancing your daily energy stores and give you some options for healthy breakfasts that won’t spike your blood sugar and leave you with a massive energy crisis before noon.
How Does Breakfast Support Your Energy?
Unless you’re an avid midnight snacker, you’re probably ending a not-quite-so-intentional intermittent fast of eight to 12 hours once you wake up. Eating breakfast not only “breaks the fast,” as the name implies, but it sets the tone for your energy levels the entire day.
When you’re fasting (intentionally or simply because you’re sleeping), your blood glucose and glycogen levels drop. Your body uses glucose for energy, so restoring those levels when you wake up helps you feel more energized.
Because breakfast is the first opportunity you have to make a healthy food choice, it’s important to choose wisely. Choose a donut and grande mocha frappe, and you’ll feel lethargic by 10:00 a.m. Choose something with more fiber and long-burning fuel, and you’ll feel energized your entire day.
What Are the Best Breakfast Foods for Energy?
You won’t find pastries, donuts, or sugary cereals on our list. Those breakfast options may taste delicious and give you a quick burst of energy that gets you out the door, but they don’t support long-lasting energy and usually leave you feeling tired before you even make it to lunch.
Here, we’ll give you our top nine foods that make up an energy-boosting breakfast and taste good.
Your body uses carbohydrates for fuel, but not all carbs are created equally. Simple carbs, like white sugar and white bread, break down rapidly in the bloodstream, causing a blood sugar spike and crash.
Complex carbohydrates, like oats, break down more slowly, largely due to the fiber content. You’ll get sustained energy that doesn’t leave you feeling drained.
Let’s be clear, packets of sugar-filled oatmeal differ from the complex carbs you’ll get from steel-cut oats or whole rolled oats. That doesn’t mean they still can’t be delicious. Topping them with fresh blueberries and a drizzle of honey can add the perfect amount of sweetness and flavor and increase the antioxidant content.
Short on time? Try making overnight oats, which you can prepare in batches and grab as you’re running out the door. When you choose oats for breakfast, you’ll get sustainable energy and heart health benefits. The perfect combination for someone on a mission to improve their health.
2. Greek Yogurt
Protein is essential to maintaining energy levels and keeping your belly satisfied. While your body first sources most of its energy from glucose, protein is responsible for important functions like hormone balance, cell refueling, and maintaining muscle mass.
Greek yogurt is a good source of protein and healthy fat. Be sure to choose an unsweetened version to avoid added sugar, and top it with raspberries, blueberries, unsweetened granola, and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup to kick up the flavor.
Another benefit of Greek yogurt is that it contains probiotics and calcium, which help support your gut health and bone density. For an incredibly high-protein breakfast, try mixing your favorite flavored protein powder into Greek yogurt for a breakfast bowl some have dubbed “Progurt.”
3. Whole Grain Cereal
Just when you thought cereal was off the menu, we add it to our list of breakfast ideas that will help keep you full and increase your energy levels. There’s a caveat here.
You won’t find Captain Crunch or Fruity Pebbles on this list. Instead, you’ll find whole grains that keep you full and don’t wreak havoc on your blood sugar levels.
The cereal aisle can be problematic. The key to staying successful and picking cereals that contain whole grains? Read the labels. Look for options with whole grains like oats, bran, and wheat.
You’ll also be looking for the least amount of added sugar possible. A good rule of thumb is that if it contains more than nine grams of total sugar per serving, it’s probably best to pick a different one.
4. Egg Whites
We know that the cholesterol and fat contained in an egg yolk isn’t necessarily bad for us — but if you’re looking for ways to cut down on your calories, eating egg whites is a good solution. Egg whites contain protein and flavor and have fewer calories than their yellow yolk shell-mates.
Egg whites can usually be swapped for whole eggs in breakfast recipes that call for them. The whites of eggs help keep you full all day and stabilize your energy.
5. Nut Butter
Part of sustaining your energy each day involves making sure you're getting the macronutrients you need at breakfast, including healthy fats. Nut butters (like peanut butter, almond butter, or cashew butter) are good sources of healthy fat and can help you feel satisfied.
Spread a spoonful of them on whole-grain bread, and you’ve got a tasty breakfast that doesn’t take long to make.
One of nature’s superfoods, bananas contain essential nutrients and minerals (like potassium) your body needs. They also include carbohydrates, fiber, and a little fat, making them a one-stop shop for healthy eating.
Try blending them with a greens powder to make a satisfying shake that hits all your targets: antioxidants, plenty of energy-boostingB vitamins, and a healthy dose of prebiotics and probiotics to keep your body running efficiently.
Berries are another superfood that provide high levels of antioxidants (like vitamin C) and long-burning glucose. Berries are packed with fiber, which balances the breakdown of glucose in the bloodstream. Add them to smoothies, yogurt, toast, and whole grain cereals to add sweetness to your meal without added sugar.
8. Chia Seeds
Seeds contain protein and some fat, and plenty of fiber. They’re also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, like flaxseeds. While they don’t offer much flavor on their own, they add texture and nutrition to shakes, smoothies, yogurt, and granola. Sneaking in a few seeds can help keep you full and help stabilize your energy stores.
They’re the most iconic superfood available. Greens contain fiber, nutrients, vitamins, and plant compounds that help your body thrive. Now, there’s an easy way to add them to your breakfast; no salad required.
Adding a scoop of L’Evate You Vitality Daily Greens to your smoothie, shake, yogurt, or just plain water can elevate your health and help you optimize your energy. You’ll also get our exclusive M-Charge Complex, which targets energy production on the cellular level. Over time, you’ll notice your energy feels more balanced.
For best results, stay consistent — the easiest way to do this is to incorporate Vitality Daily Greens into a beverage you already have on a daily basis. If a morning protein smoothie is your vibe, mix your greens powder into it. If a glass of water first thing in the morning is easy for you to stick with, add your greens powder to that instead. It’s all about finding what works for you.
How Else Can You Support Your Energy in the Morning?
Some of us just aren’t morning people, and that’s okay. Even though you might not spring out of bed before your alarm each morning, there are a few hacks you can use to wake your body and mind.
Spend Time in the Sun
The circadian rhythm is your body’s wake and sleep clock, and it’s governed by light. When the evening approaches and light begins to fade, your body naturally feels tired. The opposite is true in the morning. Throw open the windows or sit on your patio in the sun to help trigger the release of your body’s natural “awake” hormones, like cortisol.
Nothing erases lethargy like movement. Starting your day with a short walk or even light activities around your home (like making your bed or putting away dishes) can help you feel more alert.
Drink a Glass of Water First Thing
In addition to needing glucose after your sleep-time fast, you also need hydration. Kick-start your morning with a full glass of water, and add in a scoop of L’Evate You Vitality Daily Greens to nourish your body, protect your cells, enrich your energy levels, and support your gut health.
Don’t Drink Coffee on an Empty Stomach
Don’t kill the messenger, but coffee could be hurting you more than it is helping you. Drinking coffee as soon as you wake up suppresses your body’s natural cortisol levels, which you need to feel awake and alert.
If you want a cup of coffee, try to wait at least an hour and a half before drinking it to give your body time to raise its natural energy levels.
The Bottom Line
Breakfast sets the mood for the entire day, and it plays a big role in your energy levels. Don’t self-sabotage with less-than-optimal choices. Keep your energy levels maintained and nourish your body. And add a scoop of your favorite L’Evate You Vitality Daily Greens powder to your next beverage for health benefits that keep your body thriving.