A Commuter's Breakfast
National Breakfast Week may have come and gone, but for commuter cyclists breakfast continues to be the most important meal of the day. Whether you cycle twenty minutes to work or an hour and a half, pedal power uses lots of energy. So to ensure you don’t burn out at your computer mid-morning or snack your way to lunch, it’s time to put some real thought into how you start your day.
If you jump straight out of bed and onto your bike chances are not a crumb passes your lips until you get to the office. We’re not about to tell you that you have to get up an hour earlier each day to tuck into a hearty meal (although it may not be a bad idea), but you really should make the time for at least a cereal bar or a quick smoothie before hitting the road, and pack a proper breakfast to enjoy at work once your morning commute is over.
Here are five nutritious and tasty breakfasts to get you started.
A perfect choice both pre- or post-ride, smoothies are rich in calcium and vitamins and incredibly healthy too.
Choose any fruity combination that takes your fancy, although we particularly like this super berry smoothie as it can be made with frozen berries which aren’t only more convenient, they’re cheaper too.
Simply blitz a handful of berries, a few tablespoons of yoghurt and a glass of milk in a blender for a delicious and super speedy breakfast drink.
If you’re enjoying this smoothie post-ride, pair it with a slice of wholemeal toast for some added fibre.
Oat-based breakfasts are proven to keep you fuller longer. Whether you prefer a steaming hot bowl of oatmeal, or a crunchy bowl of granola after your morning commute, you’ll feel instantly re-energised after just a few spoonfuls.
Keep a box of oats at work to make porridge in the office microwave or transport pre-mixed granola and yoghurt in a kilner jar on your bike. Top with a handful of blueberries, a few slices of banana and a sprinkling of almond shavings for something fancier, or keep it simple with a dash of honey and a sprinkling of brown sugar.
Although eggs aren't the easiest dish to make in the workplace, for early birds who breakfast at home they are a fantastic pre-ride food.
Choose between poached, fried, scrambled or an omelette and enjoy with a sprinkling of ground black pepper, a slice or two of ham and a piece of brown bread for a truly energising meal.
Don't worry if this seems like an overly indulgent breakfast for a week day - when you are cycling you will burn off the excess calories in the dish and will pedal so much more powerfully because of the extra fuel inside you.
To keep things well-balanced, pack a piece of fruit in your panniers to eat once you're at your desk.
Fruit salad may not be the breakfast of choice for many cyclists (and rightly so), but for those dedicated few who feast on a nutritious bowl of muesli or a couple of boiled eggs at 6am, a portion of fruit is the perfect second breakfast come 9am once they're at their desks.
Vary the fruits that you eat to get a good mix of vitamins and potassium in your diet and try to avoid eating acidy fruits too often to avoid indigestion.
A mix of banana and apples, or mango and strawberries is both tasty and nutritious. Top with a spoonful of yoghurt to wade off any creeping hunger pangs.
More commonly thought of as a lunchtime food, avocados are fast finding their place on the breakfast table too. They go perfectly with poached eggs, sourdough bread and crispy smoked bacon; but they're also truly delicious on their own.
Avocados may get a bad wrap among dieters due to them being slightly fattening, but they're also incredibly good for you too. They have more potassium than bananas, they're rich in fibre, they're proven to lower cholesterol and they are full of healthy vitamins.
Cut one in half, remove the stone, squeeze the juice of half a lime over it and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper - and, enjoy.
Pre- or post-ride, this is one breakfast you will want to repeat again and again.