25 Jun Why is breakfast so important?
What a common topic of discussion! Breakfast is just that, break the fast, but what really does that mean? Let's cut through the BS of so many opinions and touch on the real science behind breaking the fast. Once you awaken, you're in the beginning of a mini fast, which will initially result in hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) as nearly all glucose stores in the liver and muscles have been depleted. Yeah, so you'll feel fatigued if you don't eat… big deal. It is a big deal in fact.
Metabolic debacle occurs and you change gears to slow your metabolic rate and find alternative sources of glucose. Whether you consume carbohydrates or not, you will ultimately turn protein into glucose because several bodily systems can only run on glucose (your brain is one of them). During prolonged periods of fasting, your brain can use ketones made from fat stores, but it will take a lot longer to reach this point than one nights sleep.
So, now you're fatigued, your metabolism has slowed and worse, your muscle tissue is being broken down to extract the necessary amino acids that can be turned into glucose vie gluconeogenesis. Bummer! But we can use fat for this, right??? To a degree, yes, but the dominant substrate used for gluconeogenesis are amino acids (muscle protein). And we really don't want to lose muscle tissue, which is exactly what happens when we skip breakfast.
So, that's just a glimpse into what changes occur in your metabolism when you skip breakfast. What's a good breakfast to eat, you ask… A great first meal would include enough protein and fat to slow the absorption of whatever carbohydrates you consumed. A nice example is 4 egg whites, 1/2 cup whole oatmeal with 1Tbsp natural peanut butter and a fresh fruit.