Breakfast, the most important meal of the day, and never more when you are a runner. Here are five breakfast ideas to fuel your running.

As you know, the food you eat makes a big difference to your performance. These five are delicious and nutritious breakfasts that you should be eating and will enhance your running:

1. Nutty muffin

Iron should be an essential part of every runner’s diet because it helps in the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen around your body. If the optimum amount of oxygen does not get around your body you will end up feeling sluggish and flat. Iron is also important for runners because when sweat causes us to lose this vital mineral. Therefore to prevent energy dips start your day with a nutty muffin, as nuts are an excellent source of iron.

Look for recipes that contain two types of nut, such as an almond and pecan nut muffin, or a walnut muffin made using almond flour. Muffins that contain apricots, pumpkin seeds or prunes are also great if you want to up your intake of iron, as are bran muffins (muffins made using wheat bran). Ideally, try to make these muffins yourself so that you can make them as healthy and nutritious as possible.

2. Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs

A luxurious salmon and scrambled eggs breakfast is one of the best post-run dishes you can eat. Not only is it delicious, the protein hit you get from both the eggs and the salmon helps to repair your muscles after a run.

It also helps you to consume the recommended daily amount of protein. If you are exercising for more than an hour each day, the average daily protein requirements is 1 to 1.2g of protein per kg of body weight; that’s 60 to 72g of protein if you weigh 60kg. On average, 110g of smoked salmon contain approximately 30g of protein, whilst one egg contains 12.5g of protein. So, if you eat smoked salmon and scrambled eggs after your run you’ll be well on your way to fulfilling your body’s protein requirements. If you want to increase the healthiness of this dish, swap your eggs for Omega-3 eggs.    

3. Banana porridge

Okay, we know we’re not going to win any points for originality by including banana porridge on this list, but in terms of nutrition this tried and tested breakfast is hard to beat. One of the main reasons it is such a winning breakfast is because of the amount of carbohydrates it provides. Every cup of oats contains 28g of carbohydrates and every banana contains a whopping 26g of carbohydrates.

In addition to this, oats are a low glycemic index food, which means they provide long-lasting energy.  So, when eaten before you train or race this breakfast provides a huge amount of fuel that will ensure you don’t begin to flag mid-run. Do you need any more reasons why you should be feasting on this first thing? If you do then you’ll be pleased to hear that bananas are also extremely high in potassium (400mg), which is a mineral that gets lost in sweat during exercise.

4. Strawberry smoothie

Glugging down a refreshing smoothie after your run is a fantastically nutritious breakfast for you. Why? Well, strawberries are a great source of vitamin C (one cup of strawberries contains 84mg of vitamin C), which will help you to ward off any unwanted infections by boosting your immune system. 

A study conducted by  the Technical University of Munich found that runners who consumed less than 50 milligrams of vitamin C each day were – wait for this – 250 per cent more likely to suffer from an upper-respiratory-tract infection (or a cold to me and you) than those runners who did consume 50 milligrams of vitamin C each day.

5. Greek yoghurt, rolled oats and chopped cherries

Although simple, this breakfast packs a punch when it comes to nutrition. The Greek yoghurt provides plenty of calcium (approximately one cup contains a third of your recommended daily calcium allowance), which is vital to your bone health and possibly your heart health. It also contains live cultures, which importantly help your digestive tract to function. 

However, in addition to the carbs we get from the oats, a study conducted by researchers from Northumbria University found that cherry juice could reduce muscle damage and aid recovery in rowers. So, adding cherries to this zingy breakfast should also help you to recover quicker after a hard training session.