The cliche saying goes “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” But in Australia and other western parts of the world, a typical breakfast doesn’t reflect its importance. If we surveyed the entire country on what they ate for breakfast each day, I would predict over 90% reporting one of the following meal choices:
- Other Fruit
There are four main neurotransmitters: Dopamine, Acetyl-Choline, Serotonin, and GABA.
Dopamine gives you focus, drive, motivation, confidence and cognition. High dopamine individuals tend to be highly rational, more comfortable with facts and figures rather than with feelings and emotions and operate well under stress.
Acetylcholine is a chemical released by nerve cells to send signals to other cells. High acetylcholine individuals tends to be creative and open to new ideas. They are quick thinkings who have the ability to process and organise information quickly. These types often take pleasure in anything involving words, ideas, and communication.
Serotonin is famously known as our feel good and happy hormone. Serotonin resynchronises your brain while you sleep and is associated with delta waves (which are produced in abundance when we sleep) and affects our ability to rest, regenerate, and find security.
GABA is the chief inhibitory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system. Its principle role is reducing neuronal excitability throughout the nervous system. Individuals with GABA dominance tend to be stable and calm personality types and often have caring and nurturing tendencies.
The first thing we eat in the morning dictates all neurotransmitters for the rest of the day.
There is one thing in common with all of the above foods typically consumed at breakfast time. They are high carbohydrate, high sugar, low fat, low protein options. These food groups stimulate serotonin and GABA neurotransmitters. The result of this is a quick spike in blood sugar and sleepy, calming brain chemistry. Supplying your body with rapidly usable energy often sees a crash in energy and focus shortly after that drives the individuals need for caffeine from coffee and increases the likelihood for snacking. Sound familiar
For optimal energy and brain function the research clearly states consuming high protein and fat breakfast options stimulates dopamine and acetylcholine neurotransmitters, provides sustainable morning energy and extended energy throughout the afternoon. I generally recommend to consuming a couple grams of fish oil after your meal also to mitigate any insulin response.
Further benefits can be found for body composition on a cellular level by eating breakfast right. AMPK is the cell signalling for fat loss. It is activated in a low glycogen, low blood sugar environment. Given you have essentially just endured a fasting period while sleeping, this environment is evident upon waking. Consuming protein and fat breakfasts keep the AMPK cell signalling activated and your body burning fat for energy. Consuming carbohydrates and sugars turn off AMPK, and bring fat loss to a stand still given your body now has a more readily available form of energy to chose from.
What to eat?
- High quality sausage and patty meats
- MCT Oil
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Fatty Fish (Salmon)
Get out of the mindset that certain foods are breakfast foods, eat the way nature intended us to, and reap the benefits physically and mentally.