Breakfasts to fuel your bike session

Jan 15, 2019
Natia Van Heerden
All things food and triathlon. I am a qualified professional chef and an professional triathlete. Cooking easy, healthy food and fueling my journey one dish at a time.

To bike well, one has to eat well.


Early morning sessions are always tough, but focussing on a good breakfast will definitely get you through the session without bonking! I am referring to high-intensity sessions like 30second VO2 max intervals, or 1minute intervals, long IRONMAN or 70.3 race-specific intervals. These sessions shouldn’t be done on an empty stomach because you just won’t hit the numbers and you’ll end up feeling useless, hopeless and negative.


So, here are my tips on what to eat before a morning session:


1. Plan ahead. Preparing your breakfast the night before makes for one less thing to worry about the next morning. Overnight oats is a great breakfast and so versatile. Add fruit juice, or almond milk, or any other milk of your choice really. Spice it up with cinnamon, honey, and cocoa. And add toppings like toasted nuts and seeds, fresh fruit and plain yogurt.
2. A smoothie goes a long way. But I like to add substance to my smoothies, like raw oats, peanut butter, frozen berries, full cream greek yogurt, chia seeds, frozen banana, and coconut water. This will definitely provide you with plenty of energy to take on your session without you feeling overly full.
3. Oatmeal. Yes, an old favorite. It’s still pretty quick to make and you can jazz it up as well. Peanut butter and cocoa powder is a favorite in our home. But, anything goes; stewed fruit with toasted coconut in winter is particularly delicious.
4. Granola. As long as there’s not a huge amount of simple sugar in your granola, you should be good to go. Or you can follow one of my previous posts of my super quick homemade granola. I enjoy adding a sliced banana or apple.
5. A toastie. A quick slice of good quality bread with avocado is a combination of complex carbohydrates and healthy fats which will keep you fuller for longer. Peanut butter and honey is pretty good too.

It’s important to eat within 20 minutes of completing your workout for your body to absorb the nutrients and recover optimally.


Try to add a combination of protein, healthy fats and carbohydrates to your ‘second breakfast’ or even lunch. Eggs, cheese, good quality bread, avocado, beans, and pulses are good examples of this.


Written by

Natia Van Heerden