Monday, 11 March 2013

Breakfast - what to eat!

Following on from my last post exploring the importance of the pre-race breakfast, I was asked to provide some practical examples. 

So here we go!

First off, I'm basing this info on some very typical breakfast foods. Cereals, toast, bagels, etc. The examples are far from exhaustive and there are many other weird and wonderful foods you might eat. Just have a look at the food label to work out the carb content of your food of choice. 

I'll stick with the mundane though, as let's face it, it's more likely than not that you'll be reaching for the tried and tested favourites on race day. 

The idea is this - pick the base of your meal. Toast, a bowl of cereal, etc. Then add a topping of your choice - jam on your toast, honey in your porridge, and so on. Double up if you want to! Raisins and a banana together provide 44g of carbohydrates in a fairly modest amount of food. Finally, add some fluids. Milk on your cereal or as a drink, a glass of juice, or for a big hit of carbs, a milkshake. Mix and match as you choose!

Some examples...

Example 1

The amount of jam used in this example is fairly modest - at ~11g per tablespoon, spread it thickly to increase the  carb count! 

Example 2.

The portion of porridge included in this example is 30g, which is typically the amount found in a single sachet of microwaveable oats. The portion is fairly small, so eating two would be quite manageable for most people. Doubling the amount of oats and milk provides a further 31g of carbs, taking the total to 118g. The amount of honey can also be increased to raise the total carb content of the meal. Bung in a tablespoon of raisins and you've got another 21g of carbs. 

Example 3.

I've double the 'standard' portion of breakfast cereal here, taking it to a 60g serving. Most people would dish themselves up 60g and think it average, so all in all I'd consider this a fairly small breakfast. Add a banana and some juice, and you've got 120g of carbs. 

Example 4.

Again, this is a fairly small breakfast, but it demonstrates how much you can make of liquid carbs if you so wish. The Nutella could be spread more thickly to increase the carb content, and is quite nice with a sliced banana on top. So I'm told... 

So let's work through a couple of case studies.

This is Barbara. She's a runner. She weighs 10 stones (63.5kg). 
It is recommended that Barbara eat 2-4g of carbohydrates per kilogram  of body weight: 
63.5 x 2 = 127g
63.5 x 4 = 254g
Therefore Barbara should aim to eat between 127-254g of carbs at breakfast. On race day, Barbara eats 2 hours before her race.
She might choose:
Two slices of toast (42g) spread with 1 tbsp honey per slice (26g) and a sliced banana (23g). With this she has a large glass (300ml) of pineapple juice (38g). This will provide 129g of carbs. And all in a fairly modest breakfast. 

This is Tom. He is a triathlete. He weighs 14 stones (89kg). 
89 x 2 = 178g
89 x 4 = 356g
Tom should be aiming to eat between 178 - 356g of carbs at his 
pre-race breakfast.
On race day Tom starts breakfast 4 hours before his race. He might choose to eat:
A large bowl of porridge (50g) made with 250ml milk (12g). He adds two tablespoons of raisins (42g) and a large sliced banana (32g). He drizzles over a tablespoon of honey (13g) and has a large glass (300ml) of orange juice (30g). A couple of hours later, Tom eats a bagel (42g) spread with peanut butter (3g) and drinks a 380ml Lucozade (64g) on the way to the race. This provides 288g of carbs.

So there we have it! 

What do you have for breakfast? Leave a comment and let's get some discussion going! 

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