The Best Breakfasts for Sustained Energy

10th June 2024

Breakfast is often touted as the most important meal of the day, and for active squash players, this holds even more significance. A well-balanced breakfast sets the tone for sustained energy, optimal performance, and overall well-being. This article explores the best breakfast choices for athletes, emphasizing meals that provide sustained energy to fuel their demanding activities throughout the day.

The Importance of a Nutritious Breakfast for Athletes

Athletes require a higher caloric intake and a well-balanced diet to meet the energy demands of their training and competitions. A nutritious breakfast:

  • Kickstarts metabolism.
  • Replenishes glycogen stores.
  • Provides essential nutrients for muscle repair and recovery.
  • Enhances cognitive function and focus.


Key Nutrients for a Sustained Energy Breakfast

For athletes, an ideal breakfast should include a balance of macronutrients—carbohydrates, proteins, and fats—along with essential vitamins and minerals. Here’s why each is crucial:

  • Carbohydrates: Provide the primary source of energy by replenishing glycogen stores depleted during sleep.
  • Proteins: Support muscle repair and growth and help maintain satiety.
  • Fats: Offer a longer-lasting energy source and aid in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: Support overall health, including immune function, bone health, and energy metabolism.

5 of the Best Breakfast Choices for Squash Players:


breakfast1. Oatmeal with Berries and Nuts

Oatmeal is a powerhouse breakfast option for athletes. It provides complex carbohydrates for sustained energy, fiber for digestive health, and is highly versatile. Adding berries offers antioxidants, vitamins, and natural sweetness, while nuts provide healthy fats and proteins.


  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 cups water or milk
  • 1/2 cup mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries)
  • A handful of nuts (almonds, walnuts, or pecans)
  • A drizzle of honey or maple syrup (optional)
  • A pinch of cinnamon


  • Cook the oats in water or milk according to package instructions.
  • Top with berries, nuts, honey, and cinnamon.


  • Sustained Energy: The fiber in oats and healthy fats in nuts help maintain energy levels.
  • Antioxidants: Berries provide essential antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and support recovery.


breakfast2. Greek Yogurt Parfait with Granola and Fresh Fruit

Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein and probiotics, which aid in digestion and gut health. Paired with granola and fresh fruit, it becomes a balanced meal with carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats.


  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup granola
  • 1 cup fresh fruit (banana slices, berries, or chopped apple)
  • A drizzle of honey (optional)
  • A sprinkle of chia seeds or flaxseeds


  • Layer Greek yoghurt, granola, and fresh fruit in a bowl or glass.
  • Top with honey and seeds.


  • High Protein: Greek yoghurt provides a significant protein boost to support muscle repair.
  • Probiotics: Yogurt helps maintain a healthy gut, crucial for nutrient absorption and overall health.
  • Variety: The combination of textures and flavours makes it a satisfying and enjoyable meal.


breakfast3. Avocado Toast with Eggs

Avocado toast has become a staple for athletes due to its simplicity and nutrient density. Avocados provide healthy monounsaturated fats and fiber, while eggs are a rich source of high-quality protein and essential vitamins.


  • 1-2 slices of whole-grain bread
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 2 eggs (poached, scrambled, or boiled)
  • A sprinkle of salt and pepper
  • Optional toppings: cherry tomatoes, spinach, feta cheese, hot sauce


  • Toast the bread to your liking.
  • Mash the avocado and spread it on the toast.
  • Cook the eggs as desired and place them on top of the avocado spread.
  • Season with salt and pepper and add optional toppings.


  • Balanced Nutrients: Combines carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats in one meal.
  • Customizable: Easy to modify with various toppings to keep the meal interesting.


breakfast4. Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie bowls are a great way to pack in a variety of nutrients in a single meal. They are highly customizable and can be tailored to include a balanced mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.


  • 1 cup frozen berries or tropical fruits
  • 1 banana
  • 1/2 cup Greek yoghurt or a protein powder
  • 1/2 cup almond milk or any preferred milk
  • Toppings: granola, chia seeds, sliced fruits, nuts, coconut flakes


  • Blend the frozen berries, banana, Greek yoghurt, and almond milk until smooth.
  • Pour into a bowl and top with granola, chia seeds, sliced fruits, nuts, and coconut flakes.


  • Nutrient-Dense: Provides a variety of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
  • Hydrating: High water content in fruits aids in hydration.


breakfast5. Whole-grain pancakes with Nut Butter and Banana

Whole-grain pancakes offer complex carbohydrates and fibre, which are ideal for sustained energy release. Adding nut butter and banana enhances the meal with proteins, healthy fats, and additional carbohydrates.


  • 1 cup whole-grain pancake mix
  • 1 cup milk or milk substitute
  • 1 egg
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of almond or peanut butter
  • A drizzle of honey or maple syrup (optional)


  • Prepare the pancake mix according to the package instructions.
  • Cook the pancakes on a hot griddle until golden brown.
  • Spread nut butter on each pancake and top with banana slices.
  • Drizzle with honey or syrup if desired.


  • Energy-Packed: The combination of whole grains and banana provides lasting energy.
  • Muscle Support: Nut butter offers protein and healthy fats for muscle recovery.

Practical Tips for Optimizing Breakfast for Athletes

Plan Ahead:

  • Prepare ingredients the night before to streamline your morning routine.
  • Pre-make breakfast items like overnight oats or smoothie packs for quick preparation.


  • Start your day with a glass of water to kickstart hydration.
  • Include hydrating foods like fruits and vegetables in your breakfast.


  • Ensure each breakfast contains a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
  • Avoid overly sugary or processed foods that can lead to energy crashes.

Portion Control:

  • Tailor portion sizes to your individual energy needs and training demands.
  • Listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues.


  • Rotate different breakfast options to prevent monotony and ensure a wide range of nutrients.
  • Experiment with new ingredients and recipes to keep meals exciting.



For active squash players, breakfast is more than just a meal—it’s a strategic component of their training regimen. The right breakfast choices provide the energy, nutrients, and mental focus needed to excel on the court. By incorporating a balanced mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, athletes can ensure sustained energy throughout the day.

Remember, the best breakfasts are those that are nutritious, satisfying, and enjoyable. By planning ahead and paying attention to your body’s needs, you can create breakfasts that not only fuel your performance but also contribute to your overall health and well-being. So, embrace the power of a nutritious breakfast and take your athletic performance to new heights.


Gary Nisbet

B.Sc.(Hons), CSCS, NSCA-CPT, Dip. FTST
SquashSkills Fitness & Performance Director

Sign up to the SquashSkills newsletter

Get world class coaching tips, straight to your inbox!