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What Happens To Your Body and Heart When You Skip Breakfast?

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You might have heard the mantra that goes “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”, and realistically there’s a lot of truth to it.

Being the first meal that you consume in the morning, your breakfast is responsible for giving your body the fresh energy and nutrients that it needs to function properly throughout the day.

However, there are a lot of conflicting opinions about whether you should eat breakfast and what sort of breakfast you should eat out there, and some diets are even built around the idea that you should skip breakfast altogether. In this article, I’m going to attempt to explain why this is generally a really bad idea and should probably not be attempted at all.

Heart Disease Risk

If you’re a man in your forties, you need to especially pay attention now. A study reported in the American Heart Association journal named “Circulation” provides the public with some very interesting facts about the side effects that skipping breakfast can have on your cardiovascular health.

The researchers in this study analyzed a huge amount of questionnaire and medical data from male participants aged 45 do 82, and discovered that men who reported to regularly skip breakfast had a 27 percent higher risk of suffering from heart attacks or cardiovascular disease. So if you care about keeping a healthy heart, this is definitely something you should pay attention to and work to prevent it as much as you possibly can – and that means not skipping the most important meal of the day if you really don’t have to.

Energy Levels

When you first wake up, your brain and your body have likely not gotten any sort of nutrition in the last 8 hours (unless you’re a midnight snacker, which I also highly recommend against). All the food you consumed the previous day has long since been digested and turned into fuel for your body, fuel that has likely already been used up by all your bodily functions that keep working even while you’re asleep.

Failing to provide the body with a new energy source in the morning can drastically impair your energy levels throughout the entire day, leaving you sluggish, groggy and less efficient with all your daily tasks. In fact, delaying breakfast by even thirty minutes has shown to impair energy levels at a significant level.

Brain Function

Your body is not the only thing that can suffer from morning malnutrition – the same is true for your brain. Did you know that, despite taking up only 2% of our total body weight, the brain requires 20% of your total energy intake in order to function properly? This is not surprising when you look at the myriad of chemical and electrical reactions that take place in the brain every second of your life, even while you’re asleep. When you’re awake and attempting to pull off a mentally challenging task, these energy requirements go up significantly, and without fresh glucose for the brain to draw upon, you’ll quickly find yourself to be far less focused than if you had a big, balanced breakfast in the morning.

About the Author

Theresa Brawner is a 28-year-old fitness instructor from Boston, MA, who writes articles for in her free time. When she isn’t helping new moms get back in shape, you can find her in the kitchen, working on new recipes.

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