Win the morning, win the day, right?
Nutritional guidelines around the world tell us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But, there is also more science emerging in favour of only eating during certain hours of the day (known as intermittent fasting) which means you might not actually have your first meal until mid-morning.
Whichever way you decide is up to you (and should always be discussed with a health professional), but what we do know is that is that it’s usually better to focus on what you eat, rather than when.
So, whenever you do decide to break the fast – here are some reasons why a high-quality breakfast can level up your day.
1. Sustained energy levels
For those girlies who start their day with just a coffee, have you noticed how that caffeine buzz goes down just as quick and fast as it came up? That’s because, although delicious, coffee doesn’t give us the protein, fibre or carbohydrates we need to have sustained energy throughout the day.
A well-balanced brekky gives our muscles, cells and brain the necessary glucose to work at it’s prime, as well as the nutrients needed to keep our blood sugar levels stable. This means that we can avoid any kind of sugar crash and energy drop before it’s time for our next meal. (When is that, btw? We’re hungry.
2. Better focus, concentration and brain function
Brekky is brain food! A nutritious morning meal gives us essential nutrients (like vitamins, minerals and fibre) which are vital for cognitive function. Studies show that people who regularly eat a balanced breakfast have better memory function, higher concentration levels and are generally more alert throughout the day.
Our brains need a fuel-up in the morning, and we can give it that with a full plate of delicious nutrients to keep them motoring all day long. (And, we know it’s best not to annoy the big boss upstairs, right?)
3. It’s good for our gut
The bigger the diversity of whole foods and plants we eat, the healthier our gut is. And, we know that gut health is crucial for so many things, like our immunity, hormones and mental health (just to name just a few).
Some general gut-loving advice we like to follow is to eat 30 plants a week. It sounds like a lot, but we promise you – it’s actually really achievable. Especially when you’re eating a well-balanced breakfast!
If you’re eating eggs on toast, why not add some kraut, avocado and some fresh herbs on top? Or if you’re knocking back a smoothie, you could add a variety of seeds, nut butters or even some lemon juice (you can find our go-to recipe here). All these additions will not only nourish your gut, but give you a great kick of energy to start your day.
4. Good food for good mood
We’ve mentioned that when you skip breakfast, your blood sugar levels take a hit which impacts your energy. But it also impacts your mood. Ever been hangry before? Yup, feel like that’s one we all know well.
When your blood sugar gets too low, it can trigger a big wave of hormones including cortisol (the stress hormone), as well as adrenaline (the fight-or-flight hormone). These guys get released into your blood to raise and rebalance your blood sugar, but sometimes they can knock your mood around a little. Plus, with low energy, we’re not as well equipped to control our responses, so we can come off a little moodier and irritable than we usually are.
5. Rebuild, repair and refuel
Now, let’s talk protein! Protein helps to repair and rebuild your muscles, enhance satiety and provides lasting energy for the day ahead – and getting a good hit in the morning is a great thing we can do for our bodies.
General advice says we should aim for 20-30 grams of protein to kickstart the day. Our favourite ingredients to help us hit that are:
- Greek yoghurt (17g per ¾ cup serving)
- Eggs (12g per 2 egg serving)
- Chia seeds (17g per 100g serving)
- Cottage cheese (12g per ¾ cup serving)
- Smoked salmon (16g per 85g serving)
- Protein powder (usually 20g per scoop - but check your the powder you’ve got!)
Prioritizing protein not only nourishes our muscles, but ensures we have the stamina to tackle the day. Whether you're an early riser or into intermittent fasting, put protein on your priority list every morning and notice the difference.
Speaking of tackling the day: need a snack to help you do that? 'Cos we've got it. Check out our brain-boosting, gut-loving, energy-fuelling Super Bites here.