I’m sure most of us have heard the phrase “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” over and over again when we were children. Despite being lectured on this alleged truth, many of us skip breakfast anyway. Whether it is a lack of appetite in the morning, or simply not having enough time to make it to work or class, breakfast is a part of the day that often gets ignored. While some people claim skipping breakfast can have negative consequences on a person’s health, others argue that this phenomena has been over hyped. So, how important is breakfast really?
One of the main arguments for eating breakfast in the morning is that it will fulfill one’s satiety. This is argued to prevent a person from consuming more calories later in the day. I have heard people argue that people who skip breakfast tend to splurge during lunch time and consume excess calories. Intuitively this makes sense, however, intuition is not always correct. Studies show that people who skip breakfast might eat more calories during lunch. However, they don’t consume enough during their lunch meals to cause any significant weight gain compared to those who do eat breakfast.
Despite the facts mentioned above, eating a meal in the morning does have its benefits. For example, it has been observed that breakfast eaters tend to be healthier, are less overweight, and have smaller chances of chronic diseases. However, it should be noted that correlation does not always signify causation. It could be that breakfast eaters simply tend to have healthier habits than those who don’t. For example, it has been observed that breakfast eaters tend to smoke less, drink less, and eat more fiber and mineral rich foods . Ultimately, it seems that their overal habits are just more health oriented.
Eating a meal in the morning has its benefits though, which can be backed up scientifically. In the morning, the stress hormone cortisol is at its peak. Cortisol puts the body into a catabolic state which is concerning, especially for athletes. Eating a meal that is filled with healthy carbohydrates and proteins can reverse this process which is essential for muscle health and repair. Athletes are not the only ones who reap the benefit of eating breakfast. People who eat in the morning tend to have higher energy levels, and it can even give you a mental edge. So if you want to perform better in the gym, or at school, think twice before you skip that morning meal.