The alarm clock jars you awake with the twang of country music. Then, you stumble into the bathroom like a drunken zombie with anger management problems. After spending an inordinate amount of time in the shower’s warm embrace, you brush your teeth and get dressed just in time to run to your first class. Sound familiar? Seems like an accurate summary of everyone’s morning, right? But something’s missing, and no, it’s not the quasi-religious practice of checking your Facebook first thing in the morning.
It’s breakfast. In the mile-a-minute, jump out of bed, “I’m going study for my differential calculus exam on the way to class” world of college, Tony the Tiger’s favorite meal is often seen more as a luxury than a necessity.
However, Mom’s advice that breakfast is the most important meal of the day wasn’t just a lie to sucker you into eating the last of the stale Raisin Bran that nobody wanted. There is research to back her assessment up.
A study by Harvard researchers found that people who eat breakfast every morning were half as likely to have blood sugar problems, thus putting them at a lower risk for diabetes and high cholesterol. One can only wonder what might have been had Wilford Brimley been privy to this information earlier in his life.
That’s not all, though. The study found that those who eat breakfast every morning were a third less likely to be obese. Yes, this does seem contrary to the belief that shoveling food down one’s porkhole is automatically worse for their weight than not eating. However, the study cited that eating first thing in the morning helps stabilize blood sugar, which in turn regulates appetites.
With regard to which foods are best at breakfast, the researchers suggested whole-grain cereals. They found that people who ate whole-grain cereal were 15 percent less likely to experience blood sugar difficulties than other breakfast lovers.
So, now we have scientific proof that the first meal of the day really is good for us. This begs the question: What constitutes a good breakfast? According to AskDrSears.com, nearly all well-balanced breakfasts include a fruit and carbohydrate portion. Eggs, yogurt and milk are also great ways to get the most from your morning meal. Sadly, the collegiate “power combo” (candy bar/energy drink) didn’t make the cut.
Eating breakfast can also boost your mental performance. Medical News Today cited research showing that eating breakfast stimulates the processes involved in the retrieval of memories and helps in managing complex and challenging information. Breakfast will help improve your grades without any extra studying. It’s like cheating, but without the guilt and shame.
The benefits of breakfast are irrefutable. We’ve all been sitting in class working on an exam when our empty stomachs start to quake like San Francisco in 1906. Then, all of a sudden, seemingly routine mental processes become the equivalent of astrophysics. A multiple choice question about the capital of Canada might as well be an analytical essay on Einstein’s theory of relativity. Think about it; you’ve been there. I know I have.
Grabbing breakfast every morning will make you healthier and a better student. Yet, many students skip it altogether in favor of a few more minutes in bed or an extended shower. Is it really worth it to skip breakfast? It’s up to you.
David Hall is a freshman news-editorial journalism major from Kingwood. His column appears Wednesdays.