The Importance of Eating Breakfast

For years, it has been touted as the most important meal of the day. Then why are there so many people doing without it?

By skipping breakfast, you run the risk of draining your energy levels for the rest of the day. This includes difficulty concentrating, increased irritability and causing you to be less efficient at work.

The reasons are endless. Early morning athletes have complaints of no time between waking up and making a pre-dawn practice. Others are running out the door to make an early meeting. And some fear that eating before exercise will make them sick. Regardless of why people skip breakfast, there are some easy solutions that can help.

Always Running Late in the Morning

Are you often dashing out the door to get to work or rushing from practice to your 8 a.m. class? More often, tight schedules don't always allow for a leisurely morning meal. Although, there is an easy solution.

Consider packing something the night before and toss it into your gym bag. For morning exercisers, it's important that you replace depleted glycogen stores by eating a breakfast that combines carbohydrates and protein

For example, wrap up a bagel with peanut butter, a banana and a bottle of fruit juice. On the other hand, how about a container of yogurt with granola and some fruit?

Rushing to the office for an early meeting? Keep a stash of instant oatmeal, trail mix or an energy bar in your desk or briefcase. Some grocery stores offer single-serving trail mix packs. They are perfect to keep tucked into a pocket or backpack. This way, it will keep temptations at bay to raid the candy bowl or succumb to the vending machine to make up for blood sugar drops.

Can't Eat Early in the Morning

For some, the lack of appetite could be due to a large meal eaten or extra snacks the previous evening.   On the other hand, an athlete who practices early in the morning may fear gastrointestinal discomfort and then find that their appetite is curbed post-workout. Whatever your reasons, skipping breakfast can affect your eating patterns for the rest of the day (i.e. snacking).

Fueling Before Exercise

If you have a history of stomach discomfort during exercise, consider testing out different foods.  Pre-exercise meals prior to a workout can be very individualized. Therefore, try out different types of food on less intense practice days until you find what works for you. Your best bet is to stick with something higher in carbohydrates so that it is digested quickly. 

The amount that you eat can also vary between people. Some can only consume a few graham crackers while others can handle an entire Denny's Grand Slam breakfast. Again, go with what works for you.

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