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How to Get More Protein at Breakfast and Why

Eating protein at breakfast offers a range of benefits that can kick-start your day with energy and vitality.
May 13, 2024 | Joy McCarthy

I still love the crunch of eating a piece of toast slathered in almond butter and raw honey, but it can't be stated enough that adding protein at breakfast to that piece of toast offers a huge range of benefits that can get your day off to a joyous start.

Before we get to it, did you know eating protein first on your plate will enhance some of these benefits, especially the first one!

Here are some important benefits of protein at breakfast:

  • Keeps you satisfied: Protein-rich foods can help you feel fuller for longer periods, reducing the likelihood of overeating later in the day. This can prevent unhealthy snacking.
  • Hormonal balance: Many hormones are made from amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. For example, thyroid hormones, insulin and growth hormone all require specific amino acids to be synthesized in the body.
  • Stabilizes your blood sugar level: Combining protein with carbs at breakfast can slow down the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream, helping to prevent rapid spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels. This can contribute to sustained energy levels throughout the morning and keep inflammation in check.
  • Stay strong: Protein provides the building blocks for muscle repair and growth. Starting your day with a protein-rich meal can help maintain muscle mass, especially if you're physically active and super important as you age to maintain muscle mass for longevity.
  • Improved metabolism: Protein has a higher thermic effect compared to carbs and fats, meaning your body burns more calories digesting protein-rich foods. This can slightly boost your metabolism.
  • Your cognition: Protein is necessary for the production of neurotransmitters that regulate mood and cognitive function. Consuming protein at breakfast can support mental clarity and focus throughout the day.
  • Better muscle repair overnight: During sleep, your body goes through a repair and regeneration process (especially your muscles, bones and skin). Protein in the morning provides your body with essential amino acids to aid in muscle repair and recovery from the previous day's activities.

For a nourishing and protein-packed breakfast, here are some delicious options to consider:

Eggs: Eggs are a versatile and nutrient-dense protein source. You can enjoy them boiled, scrambled, poached, or in an omelette or frittata with vegetables for a satisfying breakfast. Choose pasture-raised eggs or certified organic.

Celery Blueberry Smoothie

Protein Smoothies: Blend together protein-rich ingredients like protein powder such as hemp protein (my personal fave!) or hemp hearts , spirulina, nut or seed butter (peanut butter and almond butter have the highest protein), and Greek yogurt for a quick and convenient breakfast option.

Greek Yogurt: If you're not sensitive to dairy Greek yogurt is a fantastic breakfast choice as it's rich in protein and also provides probiotics for gut health. Enjoy it plain or add fruits, nuts, seeds, or a drizzle of honey for extra flavor. Look for grass-fed or certified organic yogurt.

Oatmeal: Make your oatmeal more protein-rich by adding protein powder, hemp hearts, Greek yogurt, or a dollop of nut butter. You can also sprinkle nuts, seeds, or chia seeds on top for extra protein and texture.

Cottage Cheese: If you're not sensitive to dairy cottage cheese is another excellent source of protein. Enjoy it on its own or mix it with fruits, nuts, or seeds for a satisfying breakfast bowl. Look for grass-fed or certified organic.

Chia Seed Pudding: Combine chia seeds with your choice of milk (such as almond, coconut) and let it sit overnight to form a pudding-like consistency. Top it with fruits, nuts, or coconut flakes for added flavor and protein.

chocolate protein loaf

Add Protein to Baked Goods: These protein packed-blondies and this Beet Chocolate Protein Loaf along with a Matcha Collagen Latte are a great way to start your day with protein. Collagen is a great protein to add to smoothies, lattes and hot drinks. It's not a complete source of protein though, so just keep that in mind.

Matcha latte and cookies

Quinoa Breakfast Bowl: Cooked quinoa makes a nutritious base for a protein-packed breakfast bowl. Top it with fruits, nuts, seeds, and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup for sweetness. Try this Superfood Quinoa Bowl recipe.

Protein Pancakes or Waffles: Make homemade pancakes or waffles using protein powder or cottage cheese in the batter. Serve with fresh fruits, nut butter, or a drizzle of pure maple syrup. Try these Baked Apple Cinnamon Pancakes and add some hemp hearts to the batter to up the protein content.

Stacked gingerbread pancakes

These breakfast options provide a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats to keep you energized and satisfied throughout the morning. Let me know which one is your favourite in the comments section below!

Joy xo

Linda Freed   •   May 14, 2024

All great ideas. Thanks for the reminders!

Joy McCarthy   •   May 14, 2024

Leanne   •   May 14, 2024

Hi Joy Love so many of your great recipes etc I make matcha lattes but add 1 cup of filtered water and 1tsp of matcha to aerocinno then pour into mug. Then froth the Elmhurst oat milk and froth that. I do add collagen powder to the first step after the matcha and water are thoroughly mixed. Am I destroying health benefits by doing it this way? Thanks

Joy McCarthy   •   May 15, 2024

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