Put down the breakfast cereal and throw a steak on the barbie! The meat & nuts breakfast has fast become the breakfast of choice for sports nutritionists and athletes the world over. According to renowned strength and conditioning expert Charles Poliquin, “Eating meat and nuts for breakfast is one of the best dietary habits you can use to get leaner, build muscle, and perform better”. What is the science and benefits of the meat and nuts breakfast that has recently taken the fitness industry by storm?
The first meal of the day dictates neurotransmitter production. The high protein found in meat raises both dopamine and acetyl-choline, the two most important neurotransmitters for focus and drive. This is particularly important for keeping you focused on learning new skill sets with sports and exercise.
A high protein breakfast creates a gradual release of energy throughout the day. This slow release of glucose into the blood stream provides a slow, stable increase of energy long into the day. A breakfast high in carbohydrates will give you a quick boost in energy although it’s energetic spike doesn’t last.
Stable Blood Sugar Levels
The good fats found in nuts help stabilise blood sugar levels. The stabilisation of blood sugar levels is important for long lasting energy and also helps to curb cravings, which is a major benefit for those who are looking to shed those extra kilograms of unwanted body fat.
Try these nut alternatives:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sunflower seeds
Another alternative is to ingest an omega 3 supplement.
A Meat & Nuts Breakfast
A meat and nuts breakfast is simply just that. A good lean source of protein (organic is best) be it: fish, steak, homemade burger patties, rissoles, chicken, and a handful of nuts – brazil nuts, macadamia, almonds, pistachio, hazelnuts etc. A handful is all you need as the energy density of nuts is quite high. What we want is the good fats. Get those macros!
Examples of a meat and nuts breakfast:
- Steak with a handful of cashews
- Eggs and avocado
- Chicken breast with a handful of almonds
For a hassle free morning, it’s best to cook up your meat the night before or cook a little bit extra of last night’s protein source that you had for dinner.
Along with the many other benefits a meal high in protein and good fats provide a meat and nuts breakfast will:
- Optimise body composition
- Optimise brain function
- Provide long lasting energy throughout the day
- Curbs cravings
- Improve protein synthesis and tissue repair – Improves recovery post workout