For as long as we can remember parents, grandparents, and doctors have been telling us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We rarely questioned this and for good reason, no one wants to incur the wrath of their elders, and we generally tend to trust our doctors. But recent studies have shown that the whole breakfast situation might not be as simple as we were led to believe.
Generally, researchers agree that this is somewhat age dependent. Studies have shown that the best time to eat for children is in the morning. Eating early increases cognitive performance and productivity. This is especially true for children and teenagers that are younger than 18. For older people, the time when we eat our first meal is more personal preference than anything else. Usually people tend to organize their meal around other daily tasks.
Some people are not hungry when they wake up while others are starving. The people that are not hungry in the morning sometimes even exhibit nausea if they consume even a few bites of food in the morning. These people tend to have their last meals of the day relatively late. This is similar for people who do not partake in strenuous physical activity in the morning. Almost all of us have grown up with the three meal a day regimen. But basic logic sense tells us that if you eat a big meal in the evening, chances are you may not be hungry the following morning. Our bodies are not that complicated and as long as they have fuel in them, hunger stays under control. Exercising in the morning is better on an empty stomach as well. Consuming food after a morning workout makes much more sense because of the bodies need to replenish its energy.
But which way of eating is empirically better? Is it better to eat or skip breakfast? Do you need one meal or five? Scientists are still debating this. What has been proven that there is not much benefit for our cognitive functions when eating early. For people with various health issues, on the other hand, the idea of missing breakfast does not sound particularly smart. Other people can pretty much eat when they feel like it, or when they start feeling hungry.
And the myth that there is food that is better for you during breakfast than at other times has also been proven to be untrue. In most Asian countries, the variety of food eaten during the day is much more important than to eat specific food at specific hours of the day. So that traditional American breakfast that consist of cereal, eggs, and/or pancakes might actually be bad for you. Scientists think that people just need to stick to a varied diet and not worry about the small things. A balanced diet is healthy and necessary in order to improve a person’s quality of life.
One thing that scientists agree on is that hydrating in the morning is really important and beneficial. So hydrating needs to be done immediately after waking up. Breakfast is optional, hydrating is not. Deciding to wait until lunch to eat you first meal might even be beneficial if you are trying to lose weight.