High performance athletes often consume over a thousand calories with each workout. Protein bars and other popular post-workout recovery snacks can help them refuel. But starting each day with a healthy breakfast has an added advantage: U.S. Department of Education studies show that eating breakfast every day cuts the frequency of illness in half and promotes longevity.
For many athletes competing away from home, standard breakfast choices like buttered waffles and maple syrup may taste delicious, but not offer much in the way of muscle building elements or nutritional balance. The fast growing field of sports hotels is encouraging healthy alternatives.
The standard breakfast buffet at the All Time Sports Relais provides a good example of the state of the art breakfast programs. Tasty sources of protein play center – natural yoghurt, lean meat slices, feta cheese, thin provolone cheese slices and hardboiled eggs. The baked items emphasize whole grain nutrition in small baked buns and thinly sliced toast. These provide a good foundation for vegetable based oils and fruit spreads. Fresh fruit, cherry tomatoes and canned pineapple slices appeal to taste buds at the same time that they pack in extra vitamins.
Hydration and high performance sports work well together. The sports nutrition breakfast choices add good taste. Strawberry juice is also a good source of antioxidants with twice the Vitamin C content of orange juice and featured in this breakfast buffet along with the ever popular orange juice and skim milk. Herbal tea helps fatigued muscles to relax and warms the body for cool early morning outdoor exercise.
Why is this article in the business section and not in the health and fitness section? Breakfast is a big business with over six billion consumers worldwide. Breakfast marketing giants Kellogg’s , Hilton, McDonald’s and Orowheat are also sponsors of the U.S. Olympic Team and contribute both food and expertise to the meal programs at the three U.S. Olympic Training Centers. Traditional breakfast products have lots of competition, which usually means low profit margins. Moving up the value added chain to premium sports nutrition breakfast products could become a fast track to better profitability.