Breaking the fast

Read these 5 tips on why breakfast is such an important meal for your training.


Thinking about food when you’re training means your head will not be in the boat or on the rowing machine! It’s a case of being knowledgeable and aware of your food choices and being mindful of the type of training that is planned.

Why have breakfast?

  1. To break the overnight fast (break-fast) and provide fuel in the form of carbohydrates to replenish the liver’s glycogen stores. This liver glycogen has been used up overnight by the brain, so there’s not a lot left!
  2. Top up your muscle glycogen stores if you haven’t had enough carbohydrate-rich foods despite training hard the day before.
  3. To provide carbohydrates in an amount informed by the type of intended morning training. An aerobic-based outing of around 60 minutes, where you can still say a sentence at the end, would require fewer carbohydrates than training that includes 2 x 20 minutes rowing at around race pace. Having more carbohydrates available for this session would be an advantage. The range suitable for a pre-training breakfast could be in the region of 0.5-1.5g carbohydrates per kilo of bodyweight. So, make sure there is some carbohydrate on your plate before training and add a bit more if the intensity of the training is going to be hard!
  4. To provide a range of nutrients and fluids, which are both an important part of the overall diet for the day. As well as providing carbohydrates, fat and protein, food potentially supplies vitamins and minerals, in addition to fibre for our gut bacteria and phytonutrients which influence a whole range of health functions. Breakfast can therefore be a nutrient-rich vehicle that really sets a rower up for the morning and beyond.
  5. To prevent hunger during the training session.
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