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At Men’s Health, we receive a lot of good questions from readers. How do I banish my man boobs? What’s the best sex position to get my wife pregnant? Should I take supplements?
But the one that we get more than any other: What should I eat for breakfast?
So we decided to definitively answer the question. And to do that, we turned to Men’s Health nutrition advisor Alan Aragon. He’s known as one of the most brilliant nutritionists on the planet, authoring groundbreaking scientific studies and working with everyone from bodybuilders to pro athletes to average dudes.
What’s more, his lifestyle is similar to that of most MH readers—he works hard and trains hard. So he doesn’t offer up any unreasonable fad diets or obscure recipe ingredients—just sound advise that every man can follow.
But when we posed the breakfast question to Aragon, his answer shocked us. He didn’t mention go-to staples like eggs or sausage. He didn’t suggest yogurt or oatmeal or a bowl of fruit.
Instead, he said: “My personal favourite breakfast is a blended mocha shake that consists of cold coffee, a frozen banana, unsweetened cocoa, chocolate protein powder, and walnuts.”
That’s right: a shake with chocolate and coffee.
But it works, says Aragon, who drinks this very meal every morning. That’s because it’s delicious, filling, healthy, nutritious, and packed with protein. Keep reading to find out just how awesome this single breakfast shake really is, and to get the recipe for yourself.
Aragon not only likes java as a liquid base because it tastes good and delivers eye-opening caffeine, but it’s also a nutritional powerhouse. A review in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that coffee can help control your insulin levels, deliver antioxidants, and even ward off cancer.
No surprise this tree fruit is packed full of vitamins and minerals. But it’s also an ideal source of fuel for athletes, says Aragon. “Bananas have a good mix of glucose and fructose, and studies show that’s beneficial for people who train hard.”
A study in Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity found that cocoa has more healthy phenolic compounds and a higher antioxidant capacity than green tea, black tea, or red wine. Those chemical compounds may help prevent cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, says Aragon. “There’s even evidence of cocoa benefitting blood flow and blood pressure.”
“Whey is a no-brainer as a multi-functional protein powerhouse,” says Aragon. Here’s why: It’s one of the most bioavailable protein sources in the universe—meaning your body can easily absorb and use it—and there’s mountains of research supporting its effectiveness for improving and maintaining your muscle mass and strength.
“It also has some lesser-known benefits,” says Aragon. “Those include improving your ability to control your blood sugar and appetite, improving your immune system, and helping keep cancer away.”
“These nuts have the highest omega-3 fatty acid content and antioxidant capacity compared to all other nuts,” says Aragon. Plus, a review in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that walnuts could improve your blood lipid profile and fight inflammation. “A new line of investigation even suggests that walnuts may potentially help maintain brain health as you age,” says Aragon.
What you’ll need:
400ml room-temperature or cold coffee (make this the night before)
1 frozen banana
1.5-2 cups ice
3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
2 scoops chocolate protein powder
1 handful walnuts (as much as you can grab)
How to make it:
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until you hit your desired consistency. If you want a thicker shake, use 2 cups of ice.