Top College News Subscribe to the Newsletter

Skipping Breakfast Affects Energy

Published: Friday, January 30, 2004

Updated: Sunday, August 10, 2008 00:08


Lack of concentration in a classroom setting even with eight hours of sleep from the night before may just be telling your body something; next time, eat breakfast. Breakfast has often been called "the most important meal of the day," but with the busy schedules of most students, it often becomes the most neglected.

"I usually don't have time to eat breakfast because I wake up too late and have to go straight to class," junior speech communication major Haki Muhammad said. Neglecting to eat breakfast can be detrimental to an individual's health. Goulda Downer, doctor, president and CEO of Metroplex Health and Nutrition Services located in Washington, DC, says that it's important to think of breakfast as a fuel for your body. "Just like a car needs fuel to run so does the body...The brain needs glucose to function and while you sleep there is a lower level of glucose."

Studies have shown that breakfast replenishes the blood glucose levels that have become depleted during the night. Breakfast also improves strength and endurance throughout the day. By eating a healthy breakfast one gains and maintains strength and endurance thus improving not only physical but cognitive performance as well.

"Teens that eat breakfast have higher test scores, better concentration and mental performance than those who do not," Goulda said. "Interestingly enough, when you do not eat breakfast, your body acts like there is no food available and goes into the mode of starvation," Goulda said. This offers some explanation as to why students feel droggy and sluggish throughout the day after skipping breakfast. It is almost unheard of to stop for a bite when racing to get ready on time for that early class.

"I rarely get the chance to eat breakfast in the morning. During the day my body feels very weak until I get something to eat at lunchtime," junior psychology major Jessica Henry said.

Katherine Tallmadge, nutritionist and author of Diet Simply, said, "Eating breakfast improves your nutritional intake for the whole day."

Despite their hectic schedules, a few students still take the time to make health conscious decisions and understand the importance of that morning meal. "I eat breakfast on a daily basis and it keeps me energized throughout the day," said Monet King, sophomore advertising major. King added, "If the body does not receive the proper amount of nutrients needed, fatigue and irritability may be the consequences."

Some claim to refrain from eating breakfast for diet purposes or in order to lose those few extra pounds. Goulda disagrees. " Skipping breakfast is equivalent to gaining weight. It seems that when you don't eat breakfast, as a result you are hungrier later and end up eating more food."

Skipping breakfast also slows down your metabolism. In the morning the body's metabolism is most efficient which means that the calories which are consumed in the morning are burned at a faster rate. By choosing low fat meals for breakfast one will gain the energy needed while keeping the weight off.

While some people skip breakfast due to weight issues, the number one reason why many college students do not eat is because of the lack of time or lack of funds. However, there are plenty of ways that a college student can eat an inexpensive yet healthy breakfast.

"I don't think there is anything less than oatmeal," Tallmadge said. "A peanut butter sandwich with whole grain bread, cereal, fruit, or nuts can be ideal for breakfast. Breakfast can also be leftovers from the night before like a ham and cheese sandwich."

Goulda said, "A healthy breakfast doesn't have to be a headache. Yogurt, milk, low-fat cheese and peanut butter are all good sources of protein. But avoid junk foods like donuts and cinnamon rolls. In my view eating those foods on a regular basis is worse than eating no breakfast at all."

Contributing Writer

Lack of concentration in a classroom setting even with eight hours of sleep from the night before may just be telling your body something; next time, eat breakfast. Breakfast has often been called "the most important meal of the day," but with the busy schedules of most students, it often becomes the most neglected.

"I usually don't have time to eat breakfast because I wake up too late and have to go straight to class," junior speech communication major Haki Muhammad said. Neglecting to eat breakfast can be detrimental to an individual's health. Goulda Downer, doctor, president and CEO of Metroplex Health and Nutrition Services located in Washington, DC, says that it's important to think of breakfast as a fuel for your body. "Just like a car needs fuel to run so does the body...The brain needs glucose to function and while you sleep there is a lower level of glucose."

Studies have shown that breakfast replenishes the blood glucose levels that have become depleted during the night. Breakfast also improves strength and endurance throughout the day. By eating a healthy breakfast one gains and maintains strength and endurance thus improving not only physical but cognitive performance as well.

"Teens that eat breakfast have higher test scores, better concentration and mental performance than those who do not," Goulda said. "Interestingly enough, when you do not eat breakfast, your body acts like there is no food available and goes into the mode of starvation," Goulda said. This offers some explanation as to why students feel droggy and sluggish throughout the day after skipping breakfast. It is almost unheard of to stop for a bite when racing to get ready on time for that early class.

"I rarely get the chance to eat breakfast in the morning. During the day my body feels very weak until I get something to eat at lunchtime," junior psychology major Jessica Henry said.

Katherine Tallmadge, nutritionist and author of Diet Simply, said, "Eating breakfast improves your nutritional intake for the whole day."

Recommended: Articles that may interest you