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Breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day. Yet, despite such a title, breakfast is also the one most commonly skipped. With lots of things to do and finish early in the morning, taking a meal often gets the least priority. From beating the traffic to finishing a rushed assignment, many reasons could force one to go through his day without taking a single bite in the morning.
Unfortunately, developing this habit could cost you various problems that can affect you later in the day. Learn what happens to your body when you skip your meal in the morning. Read on.
These are the Effects of Skipping Your Breakfast
Blood sugar, or glucose, serves as the body’s main source of energy. We derive glucose through the food we eat. When we consume foods that are rich in carbohydrates, the acids and enzymes in our stomach help break down these foods into glucose.
Consequently, since blood sugar is derived mainly from the food we consume, going for hours without eating could affect our glucose levels. Specifically, about 4-6 hours after our last meal, our blood sugar levels begin to drop. When this continues for too long, we might begin to experience a general feeling of weakness, irritability, and headache or migraine. This is especially the case when we skip breakfast, considering that our last recorded meal goes back to last night’s supper.
- Reduced cognitive function
Our brains, like all other organs, rely on glucose for energy. In fact, it is the top energy consumer in the body, demanding about half of all the available sugar energy. Logically, if there isn’t enough glucose in the bloodstream, this could affect how well the brain functions.
In one particular study, researchers tried to examine the difference in cognitive performance among Chilean adolescents aged 10–14 years who consume regular breakfasts from those who do not. The results suggest that the former group demonstrates higher cognitive performance. There also seems to be a relation between breakfast-skippers who are overweight/obese to decline in attention and short-term memory.
- Gastric problems
Skipping your first meal of the day also increases the risk of having gastric problems. Generally, our stomachs produce gastric acid, a highly acidic fluid that helps break down the food we consume for the purpose of easier digestion. The interesting part, however, is that the stomach produces this strong acid even if we skip a meal.
When this happens, digestive juices might accumulate in your empty stomach, causing acid reflux, gastritis, and even ulcer.
The Bottom Line
Breakfast isn’t called the most important meal for nothing. If you tend to regularly miss your first meal, you might experience any of these conditions later in the day or even the next. To avoid such misfortune, you can practice allotting extra time in the morning for a quick meal or preparing small healthy snacks even the night before.