While carbohydrates are often blamed for weight gain, they’re essential to any healthy diet – especially for tennis players. Our bodies use them as energy to keep our brains and muscles functioning optimally on the court. The Mayo Clinic recommends a daily allowance of approximately 225 – 300gs of carbohydrates (based on a 2,000-calorie diet).
Eating a breakfast high in carbs gives your body an early boost, preparing you for morning on-court competition. Because our muscles also need protein (and our mouths appreciate some variety), consider adding protein sources such as eggs or yogurt to complete the meal.
Toast with Jam
Toast is a breakfast staple loaded with carbs; however, choose whole-grain bread instead of white. Whole grain bread has a higher amount of complex carbohydrates, which will provide you with long-lasting energy. Two slices of whole-grain toast contain approximately 220 calories and 36gs of carbs. Plain toast is only appealing if you add some flavor, though. Natural fruit spread adds sweetness for an average of 40 calories and 19gs of carbohydrates per 1 tablespoon serving. The carbohydrates in fruit spread are mostly simple, giving you an immediate energy boost.
Oatmeal is one of my favorite breakfast comfort foods. It’s full of complex carbs to energize you for the day. A 1-cup serving of oatmeal has around 300 calories and 54gs of carbs. Rolled oats cook quickly on the stove or in the microwave. If time is an issue, there are also instant options. For the weight-watcher, there are also organic low-sugar and sugar-free options. And instead of using brown sugar or maple syrup to sweeten your oatmeal, we suggest adding a mashed or sliced ripe banana (ripe bananas have the sweetest flavor). Each medium banana has 105 calories and 27g of carbs.
Pancakes with Berries
Pancakes have a reputation for being unhealthy, but they’re a nourishing breakfast if you make them with whole-wheat flour. One serving is two 4-inch pancakes, and you’ll get about 180 calories and 27g of carbohydrates. Also, you don’t need to use oil when preparing the pancakes, as they shouldn’t stick to a hot skillet. And instead of topping your pancakes with butter or syrup, serve with some mashed berries over the top for sweetness. A 1/2 cup serving of mashed raspberries has 36 calories and 8g of carbs. As an alternative, mix the berries with the pancake batter.
Bran cereal is a healthy, carbohydrate-rich breakfast option that’s super simple to prepare. Each 1-cup serving of dry bran cereal has about 125 calories and 32g of carbs. Add 8 ounces of 1 percent milk for an added 100 calories and 12g of carbs. The milk adds a bonus of 305mg of calcium and 8g of protein. You don’t need to add sugar, as bran has a naturally sweet flavor. If your cereal is lacking in the flavor department, add a pinch of ground cinnamon or nutmeg. Alternatively, stir in a 1/2 cup of fresh blueberries for an extra 42 calories and 11g of carbohydrates.