Breakfast Might Be the Secret to Building More Muscle


When it comes to breakfast, most experts agree that incorporating plenty of protein is key for maintaining energy and satiety. But consuming a breakfast high in protein might help your efforts to build a healthy physique, too. “Starting the day with protein will help you have fewer cravings for sweets and carbohydrates throughout the day, and also help you build muscle mass,” explains nutritionist Mariana Pérez Trejo Soltwedel.

As we all know, the benefits of building or maintaining muscle mass go way beyond the aesthetic: muscle mass is essential for helping our bodies to work efficiently. “Simply put, metabolism is the amount of energy—that is, calories—that your body burns to maintain vital functions,” the Venezuelan fitness coach, author, and influencer Sascha Barboza explains. “Our bodies spend more energy digesting and assimilating proteins than carbohydrates or fats, and the macronutrients also help preserve lean muscle mass, which is important for maintaining an efficient metabolic rate.”

Of course, staying well hydrated, getting enough sleep, and regular exercise are also important tools for maintaining a healthy metabolism—but the importance of getting the right amount of dietary protein shouldn’t be overlooked. Protein – whether derived from meat, poultry, eggs, dairy or plants – is also essential for tissue repair, healthy aging, hormone balance, and muscle regeneration. Protein can even help balance blood glucose.

So if you’re in the habit of skipping breakfast, consider whipping up a morning meal that’s high in protein, instead. Studies have found that, compared to eating a carb-focused breakfast (sorry, bagels!), or going without eating altogether, a breakfast high in protein “beneficially alters key physiologic (energy-driven) and non-physiologic (reward-driven) signals that control food intake regulation”, and results in the consumption of fewer high-fat snacks. “The data suggests that the daily addition of breakfast – particularly one rich in protein – appears to be an appropriate strategy to improve satiety and improve diet quality.”

Having a breakfast high in protein may be increasingly important as we get older. One study that analyzed data from multiple studies on protein consumption at breakfast revealed “potential benefits in increasing muscle mass” in middle-aged women and men, as well as elderly populations. “Consuming high amounts of protein at breakfast, or more protein in the morning than in the evening, was associated with an increase in the skeletal muscle index and lean body mass,” the analysis found.

With that in mind, here’s Barboza’s simple recipe for high-protein waffles using plant-based protein powder.

How to make protein waffles

Ingredients (to serve 4)

  1. 1 banana, cut into pieces
  2. ⅓ cup almond flour
  3. 2 eggs and 3 egg whites, combined
  4. 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
  6. ½ tsp baking powder
  7. Sweetener, to taste
  8. 1 scoop coconut protein





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