Having a protein breakfast can be very useful for athletes, vegans, and vegetarians who do not consume animal proteins. But how much protein to eat for breakfast and how to reach the proper quota? Here are some examples and protein-rich breakfast menus. The protein breakfast is one of the most complex issues to be dealt with in the food sector for various reasons. Regardless of the type of lifestyle followed, whether you eat omnivorous or vegan, the average population tends to have a diet too low in protein.
Proteins are the building blocks of the muscle structure of the human body: it is thanks to their synthesis and protein turnover that muscle mass is built (if adequately stimulated thanks to physical exercise) or poorly maintained over time. Without an adequate protein intake, it is easy to lose muscle mass, both when you are on a diet and trying to lose weight (the body first sacrifices the structures that require energy – that is, the muscles -) and as you age, for a simple process of relative natural degradation, at the age. But remember that it is thanks to the muscles that our metabolism burns and consumes, thanks to the powers that bones are preserved from fractures and osteoporosis.
Losing muscle mass is deleterious both to maintain good body composition and for health purposes and maintain an active lifestyle. To avoid losing pieces on the street, it would be correct to carefully evaluate the amount of protein taken during the day and integrate them where necessary, possibly increasing the amount in what is the most “offending” meal of all: breakfast. Eating protein for breakfast also helps keep insulin at bay and stay full longer, so you don’t feel hungry after a couple of hours.
Protein Breakfast: Why Is It Important?
At breakfast, the demand for protein is exceptionally high: the body comes from the natural nocturnal “fast” and needs fuel. However, it is a meal that is often skipped or otherwise is anything but protein. When overseas, it is customary to consume proteins for breakfast (using both animal sources, such as eggs and bacon, and vegetables, such as beans and tempeh ). The “typical breakfast” includes coffee cappuccino or fruit juice with croissants. The moral of the story is? Carbohydrates and fats, nothing more.
We have just seen that the protein breakfast is essential, but how do you realize how much protein you have? It’s elementary. Make sure you are getting at least 1.2g per kg of body weight of protein per day. Those missing include them in your breakfast without going beyond 30 / 40g of proteins to optimize their synthesis. Let’s remember that we are talking about net proteins, not food weight. To make 30g of protein, you will need approximately 180g of tofu, 130 / 140g of beans (weighed raw), etc.
To be sure of each food’s net amount of protein, we recommend that you consult the nutritional table on the label or refer to the official ones provided. Sportsmen, especially those who practice sports at a competitive level, should ensure much higher protein quotas, staying around a range that goes from 1.5 to 2g / kg of body weight of protein per day.
Protein-Rich Breakfast: What You Can’t Miss
Inserting proteins at breakfast is not complex. There are many foods with which it is possible to play for the creation of protein meals (or even a high-protein breakfast); let’s see them briefly together.
The cereals that contain higher percentages of high biological value proteins are quinoa and amaranth. They can also be used by those with celiac disease and are suitable for preparing porridge and protein snacks, which we will discuss shortly. Quinoa has 13g of net protein per 100g of product, 13.6. Followed by oats (12.6 / 100g) and buckwheat (12.4g / 100g) which can be used in grains but are also very easy to find in the floury format, perfect for excellent protein recipes.
Among the best vegetable protein sources, we find legumes and, above all, soy. Soya has about 36g of protein out of 100g, and it is possible to buy it in the form of flour or flakes/extrusions for breakfast, to be dipped in vegetable drinks and yogurt, or to be used to enrich fruit salads or other preparations. Also, of other legumes, such as chickpeas (21g / 100g) or peas (21.7g / 100g), it is possible to find dried and flaked versions to use for a protein and tasty breakfast.
Dried fruit is an excellent source of vegetable protein. It is perfect for creating balanced dishes from a nutritional point of view since it is also very rich in good fats and can represent an excellent way to “integrate” them into your diet. The most protein-rich of all are pine nuts (31g / 100g) and peanuts, with 29g / 100g (although they are not adequately “dried fruit” but legumes; they are indicated as such because they are very similar from a nutritional point of view). Certainly followed by almonds, with their 22g / 100, and pistachios, with 21g of protein per 100g of product.
Vegetable protein powder is a practical help for those who are always in a hurry or cannot easily reach their protein quota for breakfast. They are suitable, needless to specify it, and above all, for athletes (due to their rapid metabolization times, they are perfect for quickly replenishing the muscle after sports). The most common are those of soy, but there are a thousand valid alternatives, ranging from protein blends to hemp protein powder, rice, pea, and much more for those who are intolerant. They contain approximately 80/95 grams of protein for every 100g of powder. The quantity varies according to the type (those sold under the name of “isolated” usually approach the higher range between the two just indicated).
Peanut butter is an actual wild card in the kitchen, thanks to its incredible creaminess. We just mentioned that peanuts are super protein, but the butter extracted from them is too. Better to choose one that contains 100% peanuts (and no other ingredients). The taste will be incredible, and the nutritional values will be identical to fresh peanuts.
Fresh fruit has an insignificant amount of protein but can be very useful in composing a delicious protein breakfast and other ingredients. The exception is a single protein fruit, the avocado, with 5g of protein per 100g of fresh fruit.
some superfoods, such as Spirulina, which is also a powerful detoxifier for the body, contain high quantities of proteins (in the case of Spirulina, about 57 per 100g of product) and, in their powder version, they are excellent to flavor recipes and preparations of all kinds.
Protein Breakfast: Examples Of Perfect Breakfasts
As we have just seen, the ingredients with which it is possible to make a breakfast rich in proteins are very many and are not in short supply, not even those of vegetable origin. So let’s see some examples of protein breakfast and what could be valid combinations:
Protein pancakes can be made by simply mixing a protein meal (such as quinoa or oat) with water, 1: 3. Any leavening agent must be added to the mixture obtained: you can add a teaspoon of dry yeast for cakes or, to make them even more digestible, a pinch of sodium bicarbonate which will be “activated” with a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar apples, poured directly over the powder. A white foam will form, gently incorporated into the mixture without overdoing it.
Vegan protein pancakes can also be enriched with a teaspoon of spirulina algae (which will also give it a pleasant bright green color) and a few tablespoons of soy yogurt as a garnish, and maybe a few pieces of fresh fruit. Total protein? Using 70g of flour (in our case, we chose oat flour), we are talking about 8g. By adding a teaspoon of spirulina algae (+ -10g) to the mix, we increase to 14g of protein, while garnishing with a jar of soy yogurt, we rise to 18g of total protein.
Making excellent protein shakes for breakfast is very simple: a little water or vegetable milk, about thirty grams of protein powder of your choice, and a few pieces of fresh fruit. For an even more summery version, it is possible to enrich everything with a few ice cubes and, why not, a nice spoonful of peanut butter that will make it even more creamy. the perfect solution for those who prefer a smoothie to be consumed by the spoon and not “to drink.”
Total protein in the recipe? Considering a nice glass of 200ml soy milk (about 7g of protein) and 30 grams of soy or rice protein powder (about 23 / 24g of protein), we are at a good 30 grams of protein. If you want to enrich everything with a 15g spoonful of peanut butter, let’s go up to about 35g of protein. Not bad for a post-workout breakfast if you work out in the morning.