If you want to accomplish your health goals (i.e. lose weight, gain muscle, look better) as well as perform at your highest level (i.e. get stronger, have more endurance, fight fatigue) then you need to fuel your body with proper nutrition in the right amounts and ratios at the right time. And, no matter what diet you participate in (vegan, vegetarian, keto, paleo, low carb, high fat), we all know that the first meal of the day is the most important meal. Even so, many health conscious people are still missing out on what nutrition makes the cornerstone of a true, healthy breakfast.
Read on to learn why a healthy, better breakfast is...drum roll, please...a high protein breakfast!
Love Protein Greater Than Ever Before. Why Not? Have Some More.
Protein is 100% vital to and for everything that makes up and happens inside your body. Eating it in the morning has been shown to:
1. Minimize Cravings
2. Improve Immunity
3. Improve Blood Sugar
5. Promote Weight/Fat Loss
6. Improve Hormonal Balance
7. Elevate Health
Let's take a look at these in more depth...
#1 Minimized Cravings
I'm sure you know (or have experienced) what a breakfast of high carbs and low protein does. It's an enjoyable hit of dopamine and energy for a short time, followed by a crash of tiredness, and then a craving for more carbs to start the cycle again.
Benefits of increasing your protein intake in the morning are that (1) there are no side effects and (2) it fills you up, and keeps you that way. Protein, essentially, shuts down your hunger receptors because it is very high in nutrition.
Protein also minimizes cravings due to:
1. Low sugar content
2. High amino acid content
3. Low insulin spike
4. Balancing the appetite controlling hormone, ghrelin.
#2 Better Immunity
The effect of high protein foods on improving immunity, fighting infection, and recovering from illness is indisputable. In one study, it is shown that inadequate protein intake is directly linked to increased illness, mortality, morbidity, and low T cell (white blood cells) function. You'll also be happy to know that protein is essential for the production of many types of antibodies that prevent and fight infections!
Foods high in protein can also be high in immune supporting vitamins and minerals, like Vitamin B, D, & E, zinc, omega 3, and leucine.
Why not start the day with a dose a immunity boosting, high protein foods, or protein powder!
Protein is a macronutrient that can promote healthy blood sugar because it's more nutrient dense, protects against insulin resistance, and adds only a very small amount of glucose into the blood stream after consumption. In fact, a high protein diet has been shown improve the blood sugar numbers in people who already have diabetes.
Ditch the sugary cereal for a higher protein option? Yes!
#4 More Energy
Protein fuels, repairs and build tissues. What happens when you don't eat enough? Easy, you start to fall apart. Illness, poor blood sugar, poor sleep, injury, muscle loss and fatigue are all symptoms of protein imbalance. A diet high in protein gives you more energy because protein contains the essential amino acids that promote recovery, deeper sleep, and muscle synthesis. So does this.
Protein is a macronutrient, much like fat, that takes awhile for the body to break down. Because of this, you will have better, more stable energy levels that last for longer periods of time, especially when consumed in the morning.
Ready for more protein at breakfast time yet?
#5 Weight/Fat Loss
Protein is the most metabolically activating macronutrient because (1) it's very energy intensive to digest and (2) it increases muscle mass. This means that protein is a food source that can help you lose weight passively.
A high protein meal also initiates a spiral of POSITIVE weight loss consequences: it stimulates healthy appetite suppressing hormones, lower appetite equals less consumed calories, cravings, and snacking, and naturally eating less helps you naturally lose weight, plus keep it off.
If you further substitute some of your morning carb calories for protein calories, you're (1) promoting a healthy thyroid gland (which is involved in almost all of your body's metabolic processes) and (2) decreasing the amount of unused glucose that will be stored in your fat cells (a major reason for fat gain).
#6 Hormonal Balance
When you eat low protein, especially in the morning, you're in for a potentially very groggy day. This is because the amino acids inside protein are needed for the production AND regulation of important hormones, like melatonin (linked to sleep quality) and cortisol (linked to daily alertness).
#7 Elevated Health
If you're not convinced to give a higher protein breakfast a try, then know that protein can also:
Chrononutrition: the metabolic benefits of prioritizing WHAT you're eating and WHEN you're eating it.
Did you know the body's metabolic clock works differently at different times of the day? Eating protein at breakfast isn't important just because protein healthy, it's important because research has proven that the body utilizes protein most effectively in mornings! This means, if you want to maximize your health, fitness and performance, you need to eat a high protein meal first thing.
Interestingly, on average, the world consumes the least amount of protein (15g) in the mornings and the most (30g) at night. We need to simply switch this around.
HIGH PROTEIN TIPS
Healthy breakfast with high protein ideas: protein powder smoothie with nut butter, oatmeal with protein powder, smoked salmon, eggs, bacon, yoghurt with protein powder.
Highest protein foods: Hydrolyzed protein powders, chicken, tuna, sardines, squash and pumpkin seeds, beef, pork, lentils.