For most of us, mornings can be quite chaotic and stressful while we’re getting ready for work. It can be a challenge to find the time and have the energy to prepare a nutritious breakfast.
Large prospective studies have shown that breakfast consumption and lower risk for obesity and weight gain are connected. That’s why dieticians prescribe not skipping breakfast no matter how busy you can get.
With this in mind, it’s important to prioritize proteins, fiber, and healthy fats in your daily breakfast. Unnecessary sugars can be hidden in most cereals. This can give you a temporary energy boost, but it won’t be good for you in the long run, so you should be wary of it.
This article will discuss the importance of protein for office professionals. We will also talk about simple, high-protein breakfast ideas and recipes that are easy to make. Finally, we will also provide tips for meal-prepping protein-rich breakfasts to grab and go on busy mornings.
Why Protein is Essential for Office Professionals
Usually, protein is associated with bodybuilding and going to the gym. But consuming protein isn’t just exclusive to people who want bigger muscles. Even office professionals should have a healthy dose of protein in their daily diet!
Dieticians recommend taking 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight every day. Hence, if a person weighs 150 pounds, he or she should have a daily protein intake of at least 54 grams.
But what benefits do we get from consuming protein? Why is it an important macronutrient? Here are the things you need to know about having enough protein in your daily diet:
- Keeps You Feeling Full and Reduces Hunger
Protein takes longer for the body to break down compared to carbs or fat. This results in a more gradual rise in blood sugar and sustained energy release. The prolonged digestion keeps you feeling satiated longer after eating.
Studies show that eating 25-30 grams of protein at each meal controls appetite hormones and reduces the desire to snack between meals. This can help office workers avoid mid-morning hunger pangs or trips to the vending machine.
- Enhances Concentration and Focus
Adequate protein intake maintains a steady flow of amino acids to the brain. This is essential for focus, concentration, motivation, and productivity during work hours.
Protein-rich breakfast options stabilize blood sugar, which prevents energy crashes. This results in mental clarity and the ability to stay on-task and engaged all morning.
- Provides Lasting Energy for Physical Activity
For office professionals who exercise before or after work, protein is the key. Consuming 20-40 grams of protein per 30-60 minutes of pre-workout provides one’s muscles with amino acids for performance and recovery.
Post-workout, protein helps rebuild and repair exercise-induced muscle damage. Aim for 15-25 grams of protein within 30 minutes after training. Quick protein breakfasts make it easy to fuel a morning gym session.
- Helps Build and Maintain Muscle Mass
Protein provides amino acids that are the building blocks for preserving or growing muscles, alongside strength training. Maintaining muscles, even during weight loss, keeps one’s metabolism revved for continual fat burning.
This is especially important for office professionals who are sedentary much of the day. Resistance exercise plus sufficient protein intake protects against muscle loss.
- Aids Fat Loss Efforts
Several studies indicate that those who consume higher-protein diets experience greater fat loss compared to those who eat lower-protein diets, even when calories are equal.
One reason is that protein is satiating so you naturally eat less without feeling deprived. Protein also has a higher thermal effect—your body burns more calories digesting protein foods.
- Regulates Blood Sugar Levels and Insulin
Protein slows the absorption of carbohydrates, preventing a spike in blood sugar levels after eating. This results in sustained energy rather than crashes or fatigue after a meal.
Stable blood sugar also allows for a lower insulin release since it’s not needed to quickly clear glucose from the bloodstream. This hormonal regulation provides a person with steady energy to get through the workday.
10 Quick and Easy High-Protein Breakfast Recipes for Work
Now that we know how important consuming protein is in our daily diet, how can we prepare breakfast meals that are high in protein and quick and easy? Here are some recipes that are perfect for employees who are always on the go in the morning:
1. Protein Oatmeal
This recipe is one of the easiest and fastest high-protein breakfast meals you can make. It will give you energy and keep you feeling full all morning, making it a great meal for breakfast.
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 banana, sliced (optional)
- 1 scoop protein powder
- Your favorite toppings
- Add your rolled oats and water in a pot.
- Stir them gently to combine.
- Heat over medium to high heat for 8-10 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when all the liquid has been absorbed. Make sure to stir the oats occasionally.
- Remove the oats from the heat and mix in your preferred protein powder.
- Add toppings of your choice.
2. Breakfast Smoothie
Breakfast smoothies are a fast and easy meal in the mornings. They are also an extremely flexible breakfast because you can easily swap out the ingredients so you don’t get bored with the same smoothie every day.
- 1 cup milk of your preference
- 1/2 cup rolled oats
- 1 1/2 teaspoon white sugar (optional)
- 1/2 cup fruits of your choice
- Add your soy milk, oats, and fruits in a clean blender.
- Blend all the ingredients until smooth.
- Add in your sugar and blend again until smooth.
3. Breakfast Sandwich
Breakfast sandwiches are a great option when you’re on the go because you can just slap on the ingredients to create a tasty meal. They are a good choice if you want something crispy and salty for breakfast.
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 1 English muffin
- 2 slices of cheese of your choice
- 2 large eggs
- The meat of your choice (ham, sausage, patty, etc.)
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of pepper
- Slice your English muffin in half and butter each half generously.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
- Toast your muffins on each side, pressing them slightly until golden brown for about 3 minutes.
- Cook your eggs and meat on the side.
- Add your eggs and meat to your English muffin, and top it with the cheese of your choice. We highly recommend American cheese for this.
4. Overnight Chia Pudding
Chia pudding is a good recipe if you want to prepare breakfast the night before. It’s creamy, satisfying, and rich in protein, fiber, and omega 3s.
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1 cup milk of your choice
- 1 tablespoon sweetener of your choice
- 1/2 cup fruits of your choice
- Add your milk and chia seeds in a jar.
- Stir the milk and seeds, and then add in the sweetener of your choice. We highly recommend honey for this.
- Keep stirring until all of the chia seeds have been distributed evenly into the milk. This will prevent the clumping together of seeds once they expand.
- Wait for about 10 minutes, and give it one last stir to break up clumps.
- Cover your mason jar and refrigerate it for at least 2 hours.
5. Whole-Grain Cereal with Greek Yogurt
Cereals aren’t inherently bad for you—you just have to find healthier cereals. Usually, cereals have a lot of unnecessary sugars. Go for healthier options like whole-grain cereals, which are high in protein and fiber.
- 1/2 cup whole-grain cereal
- 1 Greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup fruit toppings of your choice
- Mix your whole-grain cereal and Greek yogurt.
- Add in the fruit toppings of your choice.
6. Vegetable Frittata
This is a healthy breakfast recipe that is rich in fiber and protein. It’s a great recipe if you’re looking for earthy and salty flavors for breakfast.
- 7 large eggs
- 1 small bell pepper
- 1 small zucchini
- 2 green onions
- 4 ounces of broccoli
- 1/4 cup of milk
- 1/3 cup of feta cheese
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to around 450°F.
- In a large bowl, toss all the chopped veggies with a bit of olive oil and a dash of salt and pepper. Roast your veggies until they soften and gain some charred marks. Make sure to reduce the oven heat to 400°F when you put your veggies in.
- Whisk your eggs in a separate bowl. Add in milk, feta, thyme, parsley, salt, and pepper.
- Once your veggies are roasted, mix them with your eggs.
- Add a little olive oil to a cast-iron or oven-safe skillet and heat it.
- Add your egg and vegetable mixture to the pan, and cook it for about 3 minutes.
- Breakfast Burritos
This is a great recipe if you want to prepare your ingredients the night before. You can easily make the salsa in advance to save more time. It’s a fun and delicious meal for breakfast.
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon of salsa
- 1/2 cup of shredded cheese
- 2 wheat tortilla
- Cook your scrambled eggs in a medium-heat skillet.
- Add your black beans, salsa, shredded cheese, and eggs to your wheat tortilla.
- Pan-fry your wrapped breakfast burrito until the tortilla becomes golden brown.
- Loaded Omelet
Cooking omelets is a great way to get rid of ingredients that are about to go stale. You can’t go wrong with adding vegetables to eggs.
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup of vegetables of your choice
- 1/2 cup meat of your choice
- 1/2 cup cheese of your choice
- Saute your vegetables first before you add them to your eggs. Put leafy greens last because they get cooked quickly.
- Cook your meat if they’re not pre-cooked before you add them to your eggs.
- Once everything is pre-cooked, add in your eggs, cheese, and leafy greens.
- Breakfast Quinoa
Quinoa is a flexible breakfast meal because it can be either sweet or savory. It’s a fast and easy high-protein breakfast meal that you can put together in a few minutes.
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon raisins
- 1 tablespoon nuts
- Thoroughly rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer for 2 minutes. Make sure to check out for any discolored pieces or pebbles.
- Cook your quinoa in milk with cinnamon over medium heat. Make sure to stir frequently.
- Reduce the heat to low and cook for 20-25 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally.
- Once the liquid is absorbed and the quinoa is tender, take out your quinoa and add in your raisins and nuts.
- Top this with Greek yogurt or berries.
- Cottage Cheese Bowl
Cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein at a very affordable price. It’s extremely versatile because it can be paired with meat, vegetables, and even fruits and nuts.
- 1/2 cup cottage cheese
- 1/2 cup fruits of your choice
- 1/4 cup chopped nuts of your choice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- Add all of the ingredients in a bowl or a container. You can store this in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
7 Tips for Preparing Quick Protein Breakfast Recipes Before Work
There are many easy and nutritious recipes that you can find online. Here are a few things that you need to consider when deciding to eat healthier. After all, having healthy morning meals for work is important if you want to perform at your best.
- Have Your Ingredients Ready
Sometimes, it can be demotivating to prepare meals in advance when you’re missing some ingredients. It would help if you have a list of ingredients that you need when you go grocery shopping.
Also, consider how you store ingredients because some ingredients last longer if stored correctly. For example, lemons can last for 3 months if you store them in a jar of water and place them in your refrigerator.
Here are some high-protein ingredients that you should always keep handy:
- Greek Yogurt
- Nut Butter
- Protein Powder
- Schedule Your Preparation Time
Take advantage of weekends when preparing meals in advance. There are tons of recipes that can stay fresh when stored properly in the fridge.
One of the easiest high-protein and high-fiber recipes to make on a weekend is overnight oats. They can be stored in the fridge for 5 days if you don’t add any other ingredients to them. You can just add fruits and yogurt before you consume them.
- Keep it as Simple as Possible
When you’re a full-time employee, you may not have the luxury of time, so make sure you keep things simple. Complicated healthy recipes can take a while to prepare, so it’s better to keep things simple.
- Maximize Shortcuts
There are tons of pre-prepped or pre-cooked ingredients in the market—you just have to find them. You can use healthy and easy-to-cook ingredients like pre-cooked turkey, sausages, pre-cut veggies, and frozen fruits. Using ingredients like these will significantly reduce prep time.
- Portion Your Meals
Part of eating healthy is making sure you’re eating the right amount of food. After all, anything in excess is bad. You can utilize plastic containers to portion out your meals so you can just pull them out from the fridge and heat them in the microwave.
- Invest in High-Quality Appliances
Invest in time-saving appliances such as slow cookers. Slow cookers are designed to run for long periods, so as long as you follow the guidelines on how to use them, it should be safe to leave them on.
Another appliance that you should invest in is an air fryer. You can leave food cooking in an air fryer while you prepare for work and voila, you have instant fried food.
- Have Instant Healthy Options.
Just because it’s instant food doesn’t mean it can’t be healthy. You should stock on protein bars, protein shakes, smoothies, and other healthy, grab-and-go options for when you really need to get to work fast.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I don’t like typical breakfast foods?
The key is getting protein in. Feel free to think outside breakfast norms. Try leftovers, soups, salads, or sandwiches made with nutrient-dense, whole-food ingredients.
Is it okay to skip breakfast sometimes?
It’s better to have a quick, high-protein breakfast than skip it. But if you really can’t stomach food early in the day, at least have a snack like yogurt or hard-boiled eggs within an hour of waking.
What if I exercise in the mornings before work?
Focus on easily digestible carbs pre-workout, like a banana or toast. After exercise, be sure to refuel with protein plus complex carbs within 30 minutes to support muscle recovery. Greek yogurt with berries or a smoothie are good options.
Power Up Your Day with Protein
A protein-packed breakfast prepares your mind and body for peak performance during busy work hours. Follow the quick recipes, meal prep tips, and planning strategies in this article to make your mornings easier. Soon, you’ll have the routine down to help you feel energized, focused, and satisfied all morning.