Breakfast is known to be the most important meal of the day. It refuels the supply of glucose to boost energy levels and alertness, while also providing other essential nutrients required for good health.
However, it is also known to be the most skipped. It may be because waking up early to prepare your morning meal is a hard thing to do, or your schedule just doesn’t allow you to squeeze it in. But most health experts would agree that you shouldn’t ignore breakfast no matter what the reason.
Need some more motivation? There’s plenty of research on breakfast that could easily demonstrate why it’s so important. We’ve selected three studies published here on StudyFinds that show how eating breakfast really can make your life better.
More happiness, more success
A survey of 2,000 Americans suggests that your career may benefit from starting the day off with the proper nutrition. The poll, split between 1,000 breakfast eaters and 1,000 who don’t eat breakfast — reveals that those who have a morning meal are more likely to receive a promotion at work. Sixty-five percent of these respondents say they have moved up in a position over the course of their career. In comparison, only 38 percent of respondents who didn’t eat breakfast said the same.
Breakfast eaters also reported slightly higher overall life satisfaction than their non-eating counterparts. Perhaps that’s why this group seems more likely to look on the bright side of things. Seven in 10 breakfast eaters report being optimistic about what the future holds.
The results also suggest that breakfast might better prepare you to face the unknown – or at least help you to feel more prepared.
Eating breakfast lowers chances of developing diabetes
People who wait too long to have their first meal of the day may be at greater risk of diabetes. A study by Northwestern University researchers shows that people who eat breakfast before 8:30 a.m. have lower blood sugar levels and less insulin resistance.
The study uses data from 10,575 adults who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They split participants into three groups depending on their food eating habits: those who only ate during a window of less than ten hours (intermittent fasting), ten to 13 hours, or more than 13 hours per day.
They then created six subgroups based on when people started to eat – before or after 8:30 a.m. Results showed fasting blood sugar levels did not differ much among the different groups. Insulin resistance was higher with shorter eating interval duration, but lower across all groups with an eating start time before 8.30 a.m.
Increases carbs burned during exercise, improves metabolism
Eating breakfast primes the body to burn more carbohydrates during exercise and metabolize food more efficiently after working out.
Twelve healthy adult males for the study were recruited in the study, and served them a breakfast comprised of porridge with milk. After two hours, participants in the test group rode their bikes for one hour, while a control group was given a three-hour rest time.
After examining blood and muscle tests on all participants, results show that eating breakfast increased the rate the body burns carbohydrates during exercise. It also speeds up the digestion and metabolizing of food eaten after the exercise routine.
“This study suggests that, at least after a single bout of exercise, eating breakfast before exercise may ‘prime’ our body, ready for rapid storage of nutrition when we eat meals after exercise,” says study co-author Rob Edinburgh, a PhD student at the University of Bath’s Department of Health.
As for what to eat for breakfast, well that certainly can vary by the person. One study concludes that going big on protein at breakfast is best for people looking to build stronger muscles. Another study finds that having that morning bowl of cereal can benefit memory and heart health. Meanwhile, many Americans actually prefer having traditional breakfast foods at dinner. Whatever you decide, it’s always best to speak with your doctor or a nutritionist before making any radical dietary changes.