Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of the Day

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. Okay but why? And is it really? Breakfast is definitely my favorite meal of the day, but why is it so important to make sure to eat that meal? Are there specific foods we should be sticking to during breakfast or can we eat whatever our little hearts desire? I think that it has to deal with the timing of the day and how it works into our metabolisms. I assume there are more health benefits other than boosting your metabolism for why it is so important. According to CalorieKing eating breakfast can boost brain activity.

Allison Aubrey says that food is the most “basic fuel” we can give to our brains. Food has glucose in it and our brains just can’t work correctly without that. Not getting enough glucose can effect our visual system and it makes it harder to comprehend things which then effects the memory and makes it harder to remember things. Remembering things and understanding what you are learning is important to anyones’ education because to preform well on tests, you have remember and intake the information you are being taught.

Aubrey outlined a study in her article that was done with 4,000 elementary students that measured the effects breakfast had on their academic success (where she got this study from could not be determined, she did not credit anyone). What was measured was short term memory and verbal fluency. For short term memory, the kids were to read a series of digits and then they recorded how many they repeated back correctly. To test verbal skills, the kids were told to rattle off as many animals they could in 60 seconds. The results of the study were that the kids who ate breakfast preformed a lot better than those who chose not to eat.

The Iowa Breakfast studies measured the effectiveness of eating breakfast on mental efficiency. The subjects diets were controlled completely during all meals. The subjects would go through a cafeteria line and take whatever food they wanted and how much they wanted and the dietitians would record what they are eating. This happened for about two or three weeks so they could get into a regular routine. This was how the dietitians figured out how to control all meals for all the subjects. There were six different breakfast plans they tested. 1. Cereal and Milk with 751 calories 2. Bacon, egg and milk with 751 calories 3. Heavy breakfast pattern with 1201 calories 4. Light breakfast with 307 calories 5. Low protein breakfast with 765 calories 6. Animal and plant protein with 750 calories. The subjects in each breakfast type were as follows 1. 25 school boys 2. Six college women 3. Ten college women 4. Eleven college men 5. Ten college men 6. Eight older men.

Each group was given a test that satisfied their new dietary habits or stresses. This was to efficiently measure their physiological changes due to the new breakfast. 1. Simple reaction time 2. Choice reaction time 3. Neuromuscular tremor magnitude 4. Maximum grip strength 5. Grip strength endurance 6. Maximum work rate. The results from the tests ended up rejecting the null hypothesis that not eating breakfast was fine.

Concluding from this experiment, it is important to eat breakfast because it will boost your brain power and will make the tasks you do during the day more efficient because you are more stimulated and ready for whatever you are doing. Eating a balanced diet will make your brain activity even more efficient because you are getting al your basic nutrients and glucose that you need to perform well at any task. I guess my next question is what is the best breakfast someone should be eating for optimal success.

7 thoughts on “Breakfast: The Most Important Meal of the Day

  1. Pingback: 1st Period finished|Break time|육아 전반전 종료 - My Brown Eyed Notes

  2. Katherine Alexandra Bartkowski Post author

    Stephen – That does make sense that you should be eating something healthy in the morning to get your day going, and continue being healthy all day for the right energy. I wonder if there is something specific that people should be eating, such as a certain amount of fruits or protein to get the most out of your breakfast.

  3. Jack Landau

    Completely agree with the post above me. Loading up on carbs will force your digestive system to operate abnormally quickly, thus, lowering your energy levels. Recommend eggs (protein) and fruit. Nutrition is key as it fuels brain activity. Personally, I have realized that I have difficulty concentrating when I overeat or under eat; balance is key. I also found repetition to decrease cognitive function. I now try to mix it up, sometimes having a protein shake versus eggs, and following a diverse meal plan. Lastly, hydration has been incredibly important for me in terms of concentration. Dehydration forces me to immediately lose concentration, motivation and interest. Subsequently, I always hydrate before cognitively functioning.

  4. Josefine Satzke

    I’m someone who rarely eats breakfast but gets lectured about how breakfast is the most important meal of the day constantly. I never really thought it affects my productivity, because i see no change in my work ethic when I eat breakfast and when I don’t. However after reading this I’m reconsidering my own theories, I understand that the brain needs fuel to function properly, but I would like to see what the “best” breakfast would be. I would rather not eat breakfast than be on a sugar rush and crash from a bowl of cinnamon toast crunch. I think this article could help us both find the best foods to improve brain functionality/productivity

  5. Shunyi Yu

    This study is very detailed and I think it’s a good experiment, not only indicates that food is the most “basic fuel” we can give to our brains, but also the Iowa Breakfast studies measured the effectiveness of eating breakfast on mental efficiency. We all know that breakfast is the most important, and through the article we know that according to “CalorieKing” eating breakfast can boost brain activity. Breakfasts provides nutrients and energy, and it can also maintain healthy weight. According to John Hopkins Bloomberge School of Public Health, for breakfast we should eat, “Pick 2-3 foods, including at least one from each of the following food groups:
    -bread and grain (i.e.cereal, toast, muffin)
    -milk and milk product (i.e. low-fat yogurt, low-fat milk)
    -fruit or vegetable group (i.e bananas, apples, carrots)”
    So we should rethink about what we eat for breakfast, not only fulfill our hunger, but also think about nutrients.

  6. Briana Michelle Wright

    The study on the elementary school kids has a lot of outside variables to me, one being they are children and simply not know that many animals off the top of their head and what if you simply have a poor memory, I know I do whether I eat breakfast or not. I also did a blog on poor food and its relevance to ptrformance and I want to know if what you eat specifically has an affect on your “brain power” or is it food in general?

  7. Stephen B Caruso

    I have also done a post on the same topic. After my research i found the same conclusions as you. The brain needs fuel to power it throughout the day, and the better the earlier. In this case your breakfast is the fuel. There is not particularly one “best breakfast” but obviously something healthy such as fruit or eggs is more beneficial over pancakes or waffles covered in maple syrup. First of all those options are healthier so your body benefits other than just fueling the brain. They contain less fat and sugars making your body healthier off in the long run. Plus many times after eating a “heavy” breakfast such as waffles or pancakes people will feel sluggish due to its heavy consistency. This will still fuel the brain but may cause the person to become more lazy and less active, which is the opposite of what is expected. So I would suggest sticking to a healthy breakfast, switching up now and then.

Comments are closed.