Many of our morning routines are not as glamorous as we’d like them to be. Half the time, mornings consist of stumbling out of bed, maybe a quick cup of coffee, and grabbing the first eatable thing for breakfast — if we even think about breakfast.
You’ve probably heard your whole life that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but why is this? Is it really as necessary as the scientists and our parents have told us?
The truth is that what we consume in the morning and how much we consume is extremely important. So, let’s discuss why our morning breakfast routines affect our health and energy throughout the day.
How Important is a Breakfast Routine?
Eating breakfast helps wake up your body. Even though you’re already “awake” in the morning (although we might struggle to feel awake), your metabolism is technically still asleep. Breakfast helps recharge your energy levels, gets your metabolism going, and resupplies your body with glucose to keep you alert and focused.
Glucose is what gives you energy throughout the day. At night, your body further breaks down the glucose your body consumed during the day, and it’s released. When you wake up in the morning, you’ve gone several hours without eating, meaning that the glucose in your system from the day before is being used to “power” your body. Therefore, you need another dose of glucose in the morning to make your body function as it should.
Here are some suggestions for how to get into a healthy morning routine:
Eat or Drink Something (Even if You Aren’t a “Morning” Person)
Some people do not like to eat first thing in the morning. This is understandable, so we suggest eating or drinking something in the morning with nutritional value, even if it’s something small.
Drinking morning coffee for instance, is better than nothing! Some studies show that drinking black coffee is linked to a lower risk of developing heart failure. Adding cream and sugar could reverse the natural benefits of black coffee, but adding a natural protein powder such as beef collagen powder can help add the needed nutrients in your morning joe that you’d otherwise miss if you didn’t eat breakfast.
If you’re not sure what to eat or drink, here are a few suggestions:
- Naturally sweetened yogurt
- Green tea
- Black coffee
Don’t Overeat in the Morning
While it’s important to eat and drink something in the morning, it’s not a good idea to overeat or consume foods and beverages that are unhealthy.
Here are some foods and beverages that are not ideal for your mornings:
- Juice — It’s high in sugar, and many times the sugars are artificial.
- Bacon & Sausage — Even though many of us love a good “hearty” breakfast, these meats are typically very greasy and are high in fat content.
- Too much bread — Bread is not necessarily a bad thing unless you are looking to have a gluten-free diet; however, too much bread in the morning can actually make you more sleepy due to its heaviness.
- Fried foods — Anything fried will not provide you with much nutritional value, and you have a greater risk of gaining clogged arteries. You definitely don’t want to have something that heavy on your stomach early in the morning.
Want to hear a secret or two about eating breakfast?
- Eating a healthy breakfast helps control your weight. Yes, that’s right! Skipping breakfast does not really help you lose weight, but eating something in the morning helps reduce cravings, fills you up so that you’re not as hungry later in the day, and keeps your glucose at a balanced level.
- Breakfast can help reduce your risk of sickness. Believe it or not, food has more of an effect on your health than you might think. If you eat something in the morning, your mood is naturally boosted, which also affects your immune system. You will also have a lesser chance of getting cardiovascular disease as well as type 2 diabetes.
Developing a good breakfast routine is an important part of our overall health. The better you treat your body in the morning, the more reward you’ll get over the years.
We all love our food and our drinks, so let’s choose the best for our bodies and give them the nutrients in the morning they crave!
Fallon Chan is a food and lifestyle photographer and blogger.