A Healthy Start: Best Cereals For Runners
As runners, we know how important it is to get a balanced breakfast. Starting our day out on the right nutritional foot can make all the difference in our running, work ethic, focus, and overall demeanor. But shoveling down any ole mediocre breakfast pastry from a box simply won’t cut it. And sometimes, cereals get a bad rap too. But we’re not talking about the sugary cereals of our childhood. When eaten with milk or yogurt, a bowl of cereal can be an excellent choice for a balanced morning meal because it packs in additional protein, a great source of carbohydrates for energy, and even some fats. Our list of the ten best cereals for runners are the best options for fueling your training and get you started on the right foot each day!
Kashi GoLean Original Cereal
This mix of seven whole grains is also chock full of protein. At 180 calories for a 1 and ¼ cup serving, Kashi GoLean Original has a whopping 12 grams of protein, 8 grams of protein, and 13 grams of fiber! It’s also lower in sugar and sodium compared to other popular protein cereals. This cereal is lightly sweetened with the taste of honey, and pairs well with your favorite flavored cup of Greek yogurt, topped with sliced fruit. Plus, we love this cereal because the high fiber content packs a great crunch, so it does not get overly soggy when mixed with milk.
Special K Protein Plus Cinnamon Brown Sugar Crunch Cereal
This cereal is delicious, and tastes like it definitely could not be a healthy breakfast choice. But it is! At just 110 calories per serving, it has 7 grams of protein (more than double what other similar cereals in this calorie range usually have) and is fortified with vitamins and minerals like Vitamin D and folic acid, which help those of us who’re missing these key nutrients in our diet.
General Cheerios Protein Plus Cereal
The household box of Cheerios you probably grew up with has gotten an upgrade in this protein plus cereal! One serving is 1 and ¼ cup, so you’re definitely free to pour yourself a nice big bowl. It is higher in calories than some other cereals, but that means more staying power to get you through the morning. Plus, they come in yummy flavors like Oats & Honey and Cinnamon Almond that will make you want to get up in the morning eat!
Bear Naked Toasted Almond Cluster Granola
Granola often gets forgotten about as a cereal, but it shouldn’t – especially this Bear Naked granola brand! Bear Naked prides itself on granolas and cereals that are completely GMO free. Unlike some other cereals and granolas, all of Bear Naked’s products have super short ingredient lists – and everything is recognizable! This Toasted Almond Cluster flavor in particular is gluten-free, and at 130 calories per serving, it holds strong when compared with others. It holds up well on its own too, making it a super convenient snack.
Quaker Steel Cut Oatmeal
Chances are you’ve got some oatmeal already sitting in your pantry. It’s a runner favorite! But steel cut definitely reign supreme over instant. They may take a bit longer to make, but they have a heartier, more satisfying texture and hold up better when thickened with your favorite milk. Plus, with lots of fiber and protein, oats keep you fuller for longer (which is extremely important when you’re coupling intense “runger” with a long, busy morning). They’re versatile, and can basically be dressed up any way you like ‘em. And we can’t forget to mention the fabulousness (and convenience) that is overnight oats!
General Mills Total Whole Grain Cereal
This appropriately named cereal has 100% of the vitamins and minerals you need in a satisfying breakfast: Vitamin B12, B6, E, iron, zinc, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid just to name a few. Plus, it has a hefty dose of fiber, some protein, and only 5 grams of sugar – all for only 110 calories. Your runner body will thank you for such a nutritionally-dense meal!
Barbara’s Cinnamon Puffins Cereal
If you haven’t had Puffins, you need to try them ASAP! Each piece of cereal is a big puffed up piece of cinnamon-y whole grain that packs a serious crunch. They’re super satisfying! And extremely tasty. They’re low in calories, low in sugar, but have 5 grams of fiber a 1-cup serving. Plus, they’re a certified non-GMO food. These can be a bit harder to find though – sometimes you can get lucky and find them at your local grocery store, but for the most part, you’ll find them at health stores and online.
Cascadia Farms Hearty Morning Cereal
Like the Bear Naked brand, Cascadia Farms is another GMO-free company with a short list of wholesome ingredients like honey, whole grain oats, and molasses. Unlike some cereals, this Cascadia Farms product truly is hearty, and will keep runners full and satisfied until lunch.
General Mills Wheaties Cereal
The original athlete’s cereal, Wheaties STILL holds its own among hearty, wholesome, and filling cereals after almost 100 years of being sold on shelves. It’s lasted so long for good reason – lightly sweetened and fortified with vitamins and minerals, plus fiber and protein. No matter how or when you choose to eat it, Wheaties is still The Breakfast of Champions!
Fiber One Honey Clusters
We don’t recommend this one in the days leading up to a race, as fiber and running/racing can be a nasty combination… but digestive health is extremely important for runners! A lot of runners experience uncomfortable gastrointestinal issues that plague their training. Not only does it help your gut health, but fiber keeps you fuller for longer. And if the sound of a fiber cereal doesn’t sound appetizing, fear not. These honey clusters are actually mighty tasty!
- The 20 Cereals That Are Actually Healthy (and How to Pick 'Em), Greatist Article, Jun 26, 2017 ,
- Top 10 Healthiest Cereals, LiveStrong Article, Oct 03, 2017 ,