To be at your best when it’s time to perform you have to first set the stage. Whether it’s test day or race day, what you eat at breakfast plays a big role in how you’ll perform. So if you’re looking for every advantage, you’ll need a breakfast that includes slow-release carbohydrates, fatty acids, and a high-quality source of plant-based protein.
Fat is smart
Your brain is mostly made of fat and needs a high concentration of healthy fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6’s for memory recall, elasticity, focus, and rapid cognitive processing. There’s a reason why fish is so often called “brain food” because it contains protein and a high concentration of omega-3s. Plant-based eaters can find alternative sources of omega-3’s in; chia seeds, brussel sprouts, hemp seeds, walnuts, flax seeds, seaweed, and algae.
Protein provides the building blocks for brain health. Eating between 15-30 grams of protein at breakfast also helps balance your blood sugar giving you more even energy for an extended period of focus. Excellent plant-based sources of protein include; beans, peas, lentils, tofu, nuts, and seeds.
The right brain-boosting breakfast balances your blood sugar levels so you’re alert but not gittery. Slow-release carbohydrates give your brain the continuous supply of energy it needs for sustained focus. You can find slow-release carbohydrates from many plant-based sources like quinoa and sweet potatoes but my favorite source is oatmeal. Oatmeal has the right amount of slow-release carbohydrates and the soluble fiber in oats makes you feel fuller for longer, letting you focus on the task at hand and not your stomach.
Eat clean in preparation for the big day
Food is not a quick fix so don’t expect to eat poorly all week and perform at your best even if you eat a perfect breakfast. Consistently eating pants like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains support your brain in general, allowing you to access deeper focus when it matters most.
Avoid too much of a good thing
A plant-based diet is terrific but being too full is distracting and can divert energy to digestion and away from the task at hand so avoid overeating on the big day. That little bit of hunger can help you stay alert.
My favorites plant-based breakfasts for enhanced focus
- Quick and easy oatmeal: Oatmeal topped with fresh fruits & a spoonful of peanut butter
- Plant power smoothie: plant milk, spinach, frozen blueberries, frozen banana, honey, flax seeds or oil
- Brave - Overnight Breakfast - Mocha Chip: Pre-made packets make prep easy so you can focus on the task at hand. Includes organic rolled oats, coffee, maca, walnuts, organic chia seeds, organic hemp seeds, and 20G of plant-based protein.
Rolanda Bell - Runner, Panama National Team