How to Make Protein Overnight Oats without Protein Powder

Do you want a quick and easy breakfast that is packed with natural protein sources? I got you! In this blog, I will be sharing the importance of protein, why you should eat breakfast, and three recipes on how to make protein overnight oats without protein powder.

What is Protein?

Protein is one of the three essential macronutrients that provide energy for the body. When an athlete consumes protein, it breaks down into small protein building blocks known as amino acids. The body circulates these amino acids and drops them off at muscle tissue around the body to help build and stimulate muscle tissue.

Many athletes don’t know about the muscle tissues throughout their body besides just in their skeletal muscles (think biceps). There is muscle tissue in their heart, digestive tract, and other vital organs! 

Since athletes have more muscle, they have elevated protein needs! Getting in protein at each meal is essential for proper health and performance. 

Importance of Breakfast

Athletes should consume a well-balanced breakfast rich in protein, complex carbohydrates, anti-inflammatory fats, and micronutrients to ensure proper health and performance. Starting the day with a well-balanced breakfast will help athletes meet their higher energy and protein requirements. Athletes who consistently eat breakfast report the following performance benefits.

Energy Levels

Breakfast helps replenish glycogen, water, and amino acids that our body has burned through during the night. Restoring these nutrients will help quickly start your body’s metabolism and provide energy for the day. 


Proper nutrient consumption and availability have been associated with a positive effect on brain function and decision-making. Fasting and skipping breakfast have shown a negative effect on students working and short-term memory. This affects athletes’ ability to make quick decisions in the classroom and on the field! 

Body Composition

Consuming a breakfast high in protein, complex carbohydrates, fruits/vegetables, and anti-inflammatory fats helps meet energy intake goals and regulates energy balance throughout the day to help athlete meet their body composition goals. 

Strength and Power

Two of the biggest factors affecting an athlete’s power and strength are training stimulus and energy balance in the diet. An athlete needs to consume enough energy and nutrients to stimulate muscle protein synthesis and maintenance. Kicking off the day with a protein-rich breakfast will help muscle tissue build up and maintain throughout the day.


It is well known that low protein diets and low energy intake is correlated with a weakened immune system. Breakfast can ensure you hit your protein and energy goals to prevent getting sick!

Recent studies have even shown the performance benefits of eating breakfast for an afternoon training session. Athletes who ate breakfast before an afternoon training session had better performance and energy levels than teammates who skipped breakfast. 

Reasons why athletes should eat breakfast

How Much Protein Do You Need at Breakfast?

For many athletes, a general recommendation of 20-30g of protein in their breakfast meal is sufficient to ensure muscle protein synthesis and recovery. I will show you how to hit this in your overnight oats without needing protein powder! 

Why Overnight Oats?

Overnight oats are one of the most popular breakfast options for athletes. Especially those athletes who do not have much time in the morning!

A quick and easy non-cook breakfast is perfect for a busy athlete to fuel with before training or to munch on between classes. Overnight oats require minimal preparation, cooking skills, and ingredients. They can be easily whipped up the night before, placed in the fridge, and ready for you to fuel with as soon as you wake up!

Food Ingredients to Increase Protein in Overnight Oats

Here are some of my favorite protein add-ins for you to add to your overnight oats besides protein powder!

  • Cow’s Milk: Contains 8g of protein per cup
  • Chia Seeds: Contain 5g of protein per ⅛ cup
  • Greek Yogurt: Contains 8-10g of protein per 1/2 cup
  • Eggs:* Contain 7g of protein per egg

I love adding eggs on the side for some extra protein. You can add hard-boiled eggs to any of the recipes in this post!

Animal and plant based sources of protein for protein overnight oats without protein powder

3 Protein Overnight Oat Recipes Without Protein Powder To Try

Try one of these yummy overnight oat recipes! For each recipe, mix all ingredients in a mason jar or container. Store in the fridge overnight and enjoy them in the morning on the go or with your favorite toppings!

Vanilla Almond Overnight Oats

Vanilla almond protein overnight oats
  • ½ cup oats: 7g of protein
  • 1 cup of cow’s milk: 8g of protein
  • 2 tbsp almond butter: 7g of protein
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ⅛ tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ ripe banana

Total Protein: 22g 

Strawberry Shortcake Overnight Oats

Strawberry shortcake protein overnight oats
  • ½ cup oats: 7g of protein
  • ½ cup vanilla soy milk: 4g of protein
  • ½ cup vanilla Greek Yogurt: 10g of protein
  • 1 tbsp of chia seeds: 3g of protein
  • ½ cup frozen strawberries

Total Protein: 24g 

Peanut Butter Chocolate Overnight Oats

Peanut butter chocolate protein overnight oats
  • ½ cup oats: 7g of protein
  • 1 cup chocolate soy milk: 8g of protein
  • 2 tbsp of peanut butter: 7g of protein
  • 1 tbsp of chia seeds: 3g of protein
  • ½ – 1 ripe banana

Total Protein: 25g


As an athlete, fueling with breakfast ensures good health and performance throughout the day. Adequate protein intake allows for proper strength in the weight room, desirable body composition, high energy levels, elevated performance on the field, and a healthy immune system.

If you are an athlete who needs a protein-rich breakfast that is easy to make, you will love these overnight oats! All three of these overnight oats recipes contain greater than 20g of protein and are protein powder free!

I help athletes go from being confused and under-fueled to feeling confident and powerful on the field. We offer 1:1 coaching for athletes and active women who are looking for guidance on nutrition and need help staying accountable and learn simple, effective nutrition. Apply today!



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