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Sports Performance Starts With A Healthy Breakfast

Our previous blog focused on the importance of mouth guards in contact sports.   Extremely important information.  Today we are talking about something that is vital to performing well in all sports, not just contact sports–-a healthy breakfast.

We all have heard that the most important meal of the day is breakfast.  It gets your metabolism going after a night of sleep and fasting (that’s where the term “breakfast” comes from—breaking your fast).  For teens and athletes, it’s even more important.  If you want to enhance your sports performance and overall health, including academic performance, start your day by eating a nutritious breakfast.

Start each morning by drinking a full glass of water.  You need to hydrate yourself after sleeping 7-8 hours.  Keep in mind that for teen athletes, the breakfast should be between 500-750 calories and consist of roughly 50% carbohydrates, 25% protein and 25% fat.  Let’s discuss some healthy choices for carbs, proteins and fats.

1.  Healthy Carbs

a. fruit (such as oranges, apples, bananas, berries, pears)

b. veggies (such as peppers, mushrooms, broccoli, shredded carrots, spinach)

c. whole grains (such as oatmeal, whole grain breads, bagels, English muffins, quinoa, rice cakes)

2.  Protein

a. lean animal protein (grass-fed beef, free-range chicken and turkey)

b. eggs

c. yogurt and cheese

d. nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew—these also contain healthy fats)

3.  Healthy fats

a. nuts (almonds, walnuts, Brazil nuts)

b. seeds (sesame, pumpkin, flax seed)

Here are some suggestions and ideas to put in your arsenal.  These are all extremely easy, healthy and fast.  Some mornings you have time to get fancy with preparing breakfast and some mornings you just don’t.  Remember, a balanced breakfast is important EVERY morning, but especially if your child has a test or sporting event.  Sports performance and academic performance are enhanced by starting the day with a healthy breakfast that is not only nutritious but also balanced and tasty.

1.  Oatmeal.  This is high in carbohydrates and fiber.  Don’t make the instant packets because these can have added sugar.  Actually, COOK THE OATS.  It can take as little as 5 minutes.  According to some experts, oatmeal is the #1 complex carb for kids involved in sports.  Add some of these things to make it even healthier and more tasty and filling.

-flax seed, nuts, honey, fresh fruit, Greek yogurt

2.  Eggs.  There are so many ways to prepare eggs:  hard-boiled, poached, scrambled.  You can even make the hard boiled eggs a few days ahead of time to make things extremely simple and fast in the morning.  Does your child like omelettes?  Add veggies (broccoli, mushrooms, peppers), shredded turkey and cheese.  Top with salsa.  YUM!!!  This omelette concoction takes care of your carbs, protein and fat.  A quick breakfast sandwich can be made quite simply.  Put one egg in a small microwavable bowl.  Cook about 3 minutes.  Put the egg on a whole grain English muffin with a slice of turkey and cheese.

3.  Smoothie.  Like the omelette, a smoothie is a “one-stop-meal”.  Blend greens (spinach, kale, collard greens), fresh or frozen fruit, milk (either almond, rice, soy or oat), and some type of protein powder.  Delicious!!  Be sure to use whole fruit as opposed to fruit juice.  The whole fruit contains less sugar and more fiber and antioxidants.

4.  On-the-Run Breakfast.  Need to take your nutritious breakfast out the door with you?  Here are a few ideas for those days when you just don’t have time to sit at the kitchen table to eat your healthy breakfast.

-Homemade Trail Mix containing nuts, seeds, dried fruit.  Eat this with a piece of string cheese.

-Apple rings spread with nut butter (almond butter is delicious with apples)

-A container of Greek yogurt with nuts, seeds, and fresh fruit stirred in

-Whole grain rice cakes, spread with nut butter, banana or apple and sprinkled with cinnamon.  This is low in calories, so you will probably want to add some rolled up turkey or cheese.


Whether you are a seasoned athlete, a student athlete or someone that wants to be healthy and alert, start your morning off with a healthy breakfast.  It can be fancy and require preparation, planning and lots of pans and dishes, or it can be simple and quick, but still nutritious and tasty.

Check out for other suggestions on healthy eating.

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