Is Breakfast Really That Important?

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Whether you’re someone who loves or hates eating in the morning, breakfast is an important meal with particular requirements to set your body up for the day ahead. These requirements can vary person to person, but over all our bodies need certain foods first thing after sleeping.

Whether you’re sleeping 4 hours or 10, your body is fasting while you are sleeping. This means that in order to keep you alive and keep all processes functioning normally, your body must slowly breakdown and released stored sugars (energy) throughout the duration of your sleep.

This means that when you forgo breakfast for whatever length of time, you are extending a fasting state. Once your body uses all of it’s stored energy, it will turn to your muscles. Literally “eating” them in order to release the sugar stored within to continue trying to function at a normal rate.

If you’re someone who values fitness, especially gaining or maintaining muscle mass, this is not an ideal state for you to be in. Only in vary particular situations will your body turn to fat and break it down for stored energy. Muscle comes first.

Our livers store about 75-100g worth of carbohydrates, i.e. sugar or energy. Our blood stream stores about 20g of carbohydrates. While we are fasting, blood sugar goes first, then our liver releases it’s stores into the blood stream until that storage is also gone. The amount of sugar stored in your muscles depends on your food intake, your fitness level, and more importantly your genetics.

How do you use this information? Well, you eat carbohydrates in your breakfast. You replenish the amount of sugar lost during your fast from your blood stream, your liver, and any removed from your muscles. You do this by consuming a combination of simple (fast digesting) and complex (slow digesting) carbohydrates.

Examples of this are oatmeal (not the instant kind) with fruit or honey, a fibrous toast with a nut butter and honey or fruit, adding sweet potatoes and white potatoes to your eggs.

Adding these carbohydrate sources with sources of protein (always!) and fat dependent upon whether you are working out before or after breakfast.

Consuming breakfast is one of the main factors that contributes to fatigue or burnout later in the day. As in, if you don’t consume breakfast OR don’t consume the ideal amounts of carbohydrates, your mid-afternoon bonk can be very real!

Next week this topic will continue to address how to eat breakfast either before working out, after working out, or if you are not working out at all or until later that day.

Any questions particular to you, email!

Your C5 Nutrition Coach,