7 Bulking Breakfast Ideas (With Calorie Breakdowns)


7 Bulking Breakfast Ideas - With Calorie Breakdowns.jpg

You’ve dedicated the next few months to bulking up and have already established a solid fitness routine.

You know that filling up on a well-rounded breakfast is one of the most important things you can do when trying to pack on the lean pounds.

As a nutrition expert who loves breakfast (and number crunching), it was my pleasure to whip up my top 7 favorite bulking breakfast ideas to get your morning started on the right foot. All with calorie and macro breakdowns to help meet your personal nutritional needs.

So, if you’re serious about adding slabs of steel to your physique, let’s get cookin’ with some healthy, nutritious, and delicious breakfasts for bulking.


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7 Best Bulking Breakfast Ideas

The best bulking breakfasts are the ones that contain a solid amount of calories and a balance of macronutrients:

  • Protein: essential for building and preserving muscle mass. Very important while bulking.

  • Carbohydrate: the body’s primary energy source and used to fuel training. 

  • Fat: a great source of energy and necessary for hormones which play a role in muscle building. 

In addition to the main calories and macros, it’s important to sneak in fruits and vegetables since they contain vitamins and minerals which help build and repair muscles.

Check out our complete guide to bulking nutrition.

Here are 7 best bulking breakfast ideas to keep your muscles fueled and your taste buds stimulated:

  • Banana Pancakes

  • Chicken Omelette

  • Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Toast

  • Greek Yogurt with Nuts, and Berries

  • Eggs and Avocado Toast

  • Coconut Coffee Buzz Smoothie

  • Chocolate, PB and Berry Smoothie

I also put together an article on How To Bulk If You Have A Low Appetite. If you fall into that category, I highly recommend checking it out after you get these recipes below.

BANANA PANCAKES


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You may be surprised to see pancakes on this list. Picturing the classic American dinner food doused with sugar laden syrup and butter doesn’t seem so healthy. But we adapted this favorite to be made of whole foods and nutrients that are perfect for bulking.

One star ingredient in this recipe is almond flour. This is a great alternative to wheat flour. It’s lower in carbs and packed with nutrients such as vitamin E which has been shown to help reduce inflammation (helping ease post workout pain).

This recipe also contains plenty of fruit: berries and bananas. Berries are rich in vitamin C which helps improve immunity. This is helpful when you do intense exercise that can temporarily cause immunity to drop. Bananas are an excellent source of potassium, which is another important mineral that helps replenish what gets depleted when you sweat.

Nutrition: 

680 kcal / 50g carbohydrate / 25 g protein / 45 g fat

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil

  • 2 eggs

  • ¼ cup ground almonds (almond flour)

  • 1 banana

  • 1 tsp cinnamon (optional)

  • ½ cup greek yogurt

  • 1 cup berries

Directions:

  • Mash a banana in a bowl. Crack and add eggs and almond flour.

  • Mix well to form the batter.

  • In a frying pan, heat coconut oil on medium-high.

  • Scoop pancake mix one pancake at a time (it should make about 4 pancakes).

  • Fry for 2 – 3 minutes on each side, until golden, then transfer to your serving plate.

  • Top with berries and Greek yogurt or serve these on the side.

Related Article: Bulking After A Long Cut: 8 Tips For A Successful Bulk

CHICKEN OMELETTE


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This protein-packed breakfast is made for strong muscles and bones. Chicken contains all of the essential amino acids (protein building blocks) which help build muscle tissue. If you need more calories, aim for the darker cuts like the thigh.

As a bonus booster, chicken also contains the amino acid tryptophan. This has been linked to higher levels of serotonin. Serotonin is one of those happy feel good chemicals. So you’ll be happy to take on your workout.

Due to its low-carb nature, this is a good recipe if you’re following a diet such as keto. If not, you can feel free to add a slice of whole grain toast to the mix.

Nutrition:

520 kcal / 3 g carbohydrate / 50 g protein / 33 g fat

Ingredients: 

  • 4 eggs

  • Salt and pepper

  • 1 tsp olive oil

  • 3 oz cooked and chopped chicken

  • ¼ cup shredded cheese

  • 1 cup spinach or arugula

Directions: 

  • Crack eggs in a bowl and whisk. Add salt and pepper.

  • Heat the coconut oil in a pan on medium heat and swirl so it coats it.

  • Pour eggs into the pan and bring down to low heat.

  • Using a spatula, pull the egg from the outside edge into the center so its not attaching to the sides.

  • Let cook for a minute or two.

  • Add the pre-cooked chicken, shredded cheese, and chopped spinach to half of the omelet. Cook for about 30 seconds.

  • Fold the other half of the omelet over the top of the filling. Cook for another minute or until the cheese has melted.

SMASHED CHICKPEA AND AVOCADO TOAST


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This a perfect recipe for you plant-based eaters out there or if you’re simply trying to reduce your meat consumption.

Chickpeas are chock full of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. They are rich in B vitamins which help support metabolism and aid in muscle growth. They are an excellent source of plant-based protein. Some studies suggest that the quality of protein they have is better than other legumes (beans and lentils).

Chickpeas contain all the essential amino acids except for methionine. But whole grain toast is rich in it, so it completes the amino acid picture.

Nutrition: 

510 kcal / 65 g carbohydrate / 20 g protein / 20 g fat

Ingredients: 

  • ½ cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • ½ teaspoon olive oil

  • Salt and pepper

  • 2 slices toasted whole wheat bread

  • ½ avocado

  • ½ cup arugula.

Directions: 

  • In a bowl, mash chickpeas, oil, and salt and pepper with a fork.

  • Toast bread.

  • Divide chickpea mash between toast slices, spreading evenly.

  • Slice avocado and serve on toast with chickpea mash.

  • Top with arugula or fresh vegetable of choice.

GREEK YOGURT WITH NUTS, AND BERRIES


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Yogurt provides a great source of protein, bone strengthening calcium, and electrolytes like potassium. It also lends some healthy bacteria, which keep you healthy. Research shows these healthy bugs may even help positively impact muscle mass.

When shopping for yogurt, make sure to get the plain types. The flavored ones are sweetened and can be packed full of sugar.

This one is also great for on the go!

Nutrition: 

645 kcal / 55 g carbohydrate / 35 g protein / 35 g fat

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup nonfat greek yogurt

  • ½ cup nuts

  • 1 Tbsp honey

  • 1 cup berries

Directions: 

  • Serve how you prefer 🙂

EGGS AND AVOCADO TOAST


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Avocado toast is one of the trendiest hipster foods out there today. Add some eggs and it makes for a well-balanced breakfast.

Eggs are considered to be a gold standard of protein. Research suggests that people who consume 18 g of protein from whole eggs versus egg whites have 40 percent greater muscle building after doing resistance training.

Nutrition: 

615 kcal / 40 g carbohydrate / 35 g protein / 35 g fat

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs

  • ½ cup 2% milk

  • 1 tsp coconut oil

  • 2 slices whole grain bread

  • Choice of greens or tomato slices

  • ½ sliced avocado

  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

  • Toast bread as desired.

  • Crack 3 large eggs into a bowl and whisk together with milk, salt and pepper.

  • Heat a pan to medium and add oil.

  • Pour the eggs into pan, and continue to scramble with a wooden spoon until cooked.

  • Slice avocado and serve or smash on top of toast.

  • Add choice of greens or sliced tomato.


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COCONUT COFFEE BUZZ SMOOTHIE


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For those of you who don’t like to eat a big breakfast, this shake can shake up your morning without making you feel too full. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic, caffeine is an erogenic aid, meaning it may help the body perform better during physical activity.

Caffeine stimulates the nervous system, including the muscles. Research is consistent when it comes to the positive effect it has on performance, but not everyone has the same results so listen to your body. It’s also best to have this earlier in the day so the caffeine doesn’t impact your sleep.

If you don’t like coffee, no problem! Switch out the coffee powder for cocoa powder.

Nutrition: 

610 kcal / 65 g carbohydrate / 20 g protein / 35 g fat

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup nuts

  • 4 dried dates

  • 1 cup 2%milk

  • 1 tsp cinnamon

  • 1 Tbsp instant coffee powder

  • 3 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

  • ¼ cups rolled oats

Direction:

  • Add all the ingredients to a blender and mix until smooth.

  • Add ice for extra texture or to make your beverage colder.

  • Serve in a glass or to-go container and enjoy.

CHOCOLATE, PB AND BERRY SMOOTHIE


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Another shake option because drinking calories is one of the easiest ways to get them in. You can add a shake, smoothie, or healthy drink like milk to your existing meals to boost calorie intake.

This delicious smoothie tastes like an ice cream sundae or candy bar but gives you lots of nutrition including healthy fats and calories, antioxidant rich berries, and chocolate — because chocolate, always.

660 kcal / 70 g carbohydrate / 30 g protein / 35 g fat

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cups Greek yogurt, plain (full-fat)

  • 1/2 cup strawberries

  • ¼ cup peanut butter powder

  • ¼ cup peanuts

  • 1 Tbsp raw cocoa powder

  • 1 banana

Directions:

  • Remove stems from strawberries. Peel banana.

  • Put all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Need more bulking ingredients to bulk up your breakfasts? 16 Healthy Bulking Foods For Hard Gainers (With Meal Plan)

What Breakfasts NOT to Focus On

STORE-BOUGHT SHAKES

Store-bought protein shakes can be convenient, but they aren’t suitable as a breakfast replacement. They don’t contain all the vitamins and nutrients that a balanced meal would contain. Plus there’s more and more research suggesting that when we eat foods in their whole version, the nutrient bioavailability is increased.

Bioavailability is the amount of the nutrient that’s digested and absorbed. In the past, specific nutrients got attention for their impact on human health. But current research suggests that the interplay of nutrients helps them be absorbed much better.

Store bought protein shakes and protein powders have been suggested to have many health risks, such as not knowing if the product claims are correct, possible digestive distress, and being high in sugar and calories. Some of these products may also contain toxins including heavy metals, pesticides, and BPA.

Curious about one of nature’s best post-workout drinks? Is Milk Bad For Bodybuilding? (5 Things To Consider)

BREAKFAST CEREAL

Cereal is a staple breakfast in the United States. But did you know one of the origins of this perfect pairing with milk was actually to curb “pleasures” of life? John Harvey Kellogg, a physician, nutritionist, and creator of the well known Kellog cereal, created bland cereal to curb what he considered to be sins. It can also curb nutrients that support healthy muscle growth.

Refined grains, such as sugary breakfast cereals and white bread, provide calories without much nutrition. Meaning you’ll be able to grow muscle, but not in a healthy way. Plus, many breakfast cereals are even higher in sugar than some cookies, desserts, and sweets!

BAKED GOODS AND PASTRIES

Although a freshly baked treat is lovely to enjoy every once in a while, having it as a habitual bulker food could impact your testosterone.

A Journal of Clinical Endocrinology study showed that eating 75 g of sugar causes a 25% decrease in testosterone levels for up to two hours after eating it. Testosterone is a sex hormone that’s responsible for increased muscle mass. Studies suggest that it does so by increasing muscle protein synthesis, or forming muscles.

Starting the morning with something sugary, especially without any protein with it, can send your blood sugar on a rollercoaster ride. After a night of fasting, your body is ready to refuel in the morning. If you start with a sweet treat, you’ll not only be missing out on essential vitamins and minerals, you’ll also set yourself up for a blood sugar spike, which results in a crash, leaving you feeling tired and craving more.

What To Eat After Fasted Cardio (5 Things To Know)

Macro and Calorie Goal


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Breakfast is just a piece of the bulking pie. In addition to starting the day off right with a well-balanced breakfast, it’s essential to reach a daily total of calories and macros.

CALORIES

When you’re bulking, you should be in a 10% caloric surplus. Meaning you want to eat 10% more than your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). If you’re taking in more calories than you’re expending, you will be in a caloric surplus, which will lead to you gaining muscle and/or fat.

To calculate your TDEE, you can enter your personal information into an online calculator like this one.

PROTEIN

As the base of a muscle support, protein is essential for building and preserving muscle. The recommended amount of protein for most healthy adults trying to bulk is 2-2.5 g per kg bodyweight.

CARBOHYDRATES

Carbohydrates are the muscle’s primary energy source. Carbohydrate needs increase with activity levels. For an individual who’s not very active, it’s best to aim for around 2 g of carbohydrate per kg of bodyweight. For someone with a high-level of activity, such as an athlete or you bulkers, 4-7 g per kg bodyweight is a good goal.

FAT

Fats are often overlooked as a bodybuilding plan. Fat is essential for testosterone production. It can also help increase your total calories since it has more calories per gram, when compared to protein and carbs. Aim for about 0.5-2 g per kg bodyweight.

Related Article: How To Bulk Up Fast: 10 Tips For Maximizing Muscle Growth

Final Thoughts

It’s a common misconception that while bulking you can eat anything you want. This method will certainly help you gain weight, but without considering what you’re putting in your body, you may bulk the dangerous visceral type of fat.

Focus on a good training plan with the right kind of foods such as these bulking breakfasts. Keep in mind that if you’re on a (healthy) path towards gaining muscle, your body needs time to adjust. It takes ongoing hard work and dedication to build muscle. But starting with a healthy breakfast is the best way to start your day.


About The Author


Lisa Booth

Lisa Booth

Lisa is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) with over 15 years of experience in nutrition, fitness, and mental health coaching and education. She studied Foods and Nutrition at San Diego State University and earned a Master of Science in Holistic Nutrition at Hawthorn University.

Having certifications and experience in group exercise, intuitive eating, coaching and psychotherapy, and digestive wellness, she’s enthusiastic about the relationship between the body and mind.

She’s dedicated to helping people understand how to implement healthy habit change, while gaining a deeper understanding of what makes them feel their personal best.