We've all heard it, but....Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day! Don't believe me; read this! While you are sleeping you are basically in a state of fasting. Overnight your brain is still working; it never stops, demanding glucose so that is has the energy to maintain homeostasis (balance throughout the body). Your liver stores glycogen for this purpose. When liver glycogen levels begin to dip b/c of this activity, a signal is sent to the brain to begin breaking down muscle protein into amino acids, which are then converted into glucose for the brain. UGH! You wake in the morning as a muscle-burning machine :(
Remember, One of the key factors to burning calories is by keeping your metabolism humming and the best way to keep your metabolism humming is to keep muscle on your body. To combat this catabolic (muscle-burning) environment consume 2-3 servings of fruit withing 30 minutes of rising. At this time of the day you don't have to worry about the fructose sugars from fruit being converted into fat, so indulge! The fructose will be put to good use in replenishing liver-glycogen levels and switching off the body's signal to burn muscle protein.
The best fruits for the morning are: banana, blueberries, pineapple, honeydew, oranges, kiwi, and nectarine. Theses fruits are made up of both fructose & glucose sugars which are important for the restoration of muscle glycogen.
Be sure to also imbibe some fast acting protein to prevent any further muscle wasting. Combine proteins, carbs, and healthy fats in every meal.
What's that? You say that you workout first things in the morning and don't want food in your stomach? Understood...but the rules don't change! Ingest a piece of fruit before walking out the door. It's just enough to halt the catabolic process until after your workout when you are going to down a Recovery Shake! Then about an hour after your shake, you can eat your breakfast :)
information contributed by Dan Young, President of Performance Food Center, Corp. certified in Personal Training & Sports Nutrition. www.performancefoodcenters.com