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Health and Wellbeing

12 Jun 2012

Why eating the right breakfast is crucial for optimising fat loss and changing the way you look, especially before you workout in the morning

The first thing you put in your mouth in the morning – provided it is food –establishes how your brain will function for the day. Research shows that skipping breakfast in the morning will produce poorer cognitive function and a delayed reaction time compared with eating breakfast. But it goes beyond simply eating something, and all food is not the same!

The content of the food you eat directly influences the production of neurotransmitters, which are the chemical messengers that dictate both your cognitive and physical function.

For example, if you start your day with the politically correct high-carb cereal, orange juice and a banana, you will trigger a large insulin response and a quick increase in blood sugar levels.

This elevates serotonin but, because high-carb foods are high glycemic and are swiftly digested, they will be quickly used as energy or put into storage as fat, leading to a drop in energy levels. The elevated serotonin will impact your energy levels and make you feel groggy and it’s very difficult to reverse the poor brain function and lack of drive that you get with a high-carb, low-protein breakfast.

The scientific evidence goes on and on about the value of pre-workout protein. Breakfast suggestions include a meal of salmon, an egg, cooked beans, or even nut butter and an apple or protein fortified whole-fat yogurt and berries. Yes, apple contains fructose and there are concerns about the insulin response of milk proteins, but solid food is better than a shake because it will help you maintain peak energy and focus for the duration of a hard workout.

If you are stuck for time, a high energy hydrolysed protein shake, with fast-acting carbohydrate source, such as Vitargo S2 by Genr8 or Gatorade/Powerade is your best option for a worst-case scenario.

Additional breakfast solutions are roast beef slice, salmon, sardines, or turkey and add them to a handful of nuts. Leafy greens or low-glycemic fruits such as berries are an excellent replacement for nuts if you are allergic.

If you normally train before work and don’t eat anything, start small and plan ahead. Prepare your breakfast in advance (the night before) to ensure you have everything ready and can get out the door quickly. Start with just a few bites the first day and take it from there.
EAT. Your body will thank you for it.

Serotonin is a chemical messenger that is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses. Release of serotonin, causes the other nerves to fire and continue the message throughout the central nervous system.

Tweet Jordan @jordy_chenery

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