First meal of the day is the most important, experts say


Got breakfast?

People say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it’s not always on students’ radar.

“I do not have time for breakfast,” said Illustration student Alixandriya Schafer, 21. “I have four 8 a.m. classes and I like my sleep.”

For students like Schafer, breakfast isn’t really important because they have other priorities.
“I’m a late-to-bed, late-to-rise kind of person, so I like to sleep in as late as possible,” said Schafer. “To be honest I don’t know if I even consider myself as someone who works better with breakfast.”

Coordinator and professor of the Fundamentals of Fitness Leadership Certificate Program Kerry Braniff says some people can’t eat in the morning and it actually makes them sick.

Schafer prefers to eat her breakfast later in the morning.

“I’m kind of used to it in a way, because now I feel like if I eat a lot when I wake up it makes me feel sick,” she said.

“But if I do have breakfast, it’s just one to two hours after I wake up, never right when I wake up,” said Schafer. “I’d rather get up go to class, wait the three hours and eat after.”

However, Schafer usually has some juice in the morning before class.

“I like juice, orange is good and I really like Cranberry juice,” said Schafer. “I hear it’s good to hydrate in the morning.”

Braniff says that it is in fact really important to hydrate in the morning.

“We have been asleep and we have not been hydrating or fueling our bodies for 12, 14 hours,” she said. “And when we wake up and start our day, food acts as fuel and water or juice act as hydration.”

She says that there isn’t only one type of healthy breakfast.

“It varies for everybody,” she said. “It varies for people’s systems and likes and dislikes.”

According to Braniff a good breakfast consists of as many food groups as possible. And if people eat something that they like they’ll be more likely to make time for breakfast.

“Whether it’s yogurt or milk. You can even have fruit and meat, it really doesn’t matter.”

Schafer says that if she were to eat breakfast everyday, it would be a bagel belt from Time Hortons.

“I love sandwiches,” she said. “It’s faster and I can get it at break during class.”

But fast food doesn’t necessarily have to be Tim Hortons.

“We need to switch up our perception of what fast food is,” Braniff said. “Fast food doesn’t mean chips or Tim Hortons, it could mean nuts and dried fruit, a banana, an orange, an apple, a bar or something. You don’t even need to wash a banana or an orange, hallelujah.”

“Those are all fast foods, they’re faster than waiting in line at the Tim Hortons and they’re cheaper and they’re healthier.”

Students tend to skip breakfast because they are stressed.

“You’re rushed, you’re thinking about time. Your adrenaline is quite high and you’re in a stressed state and your hormones are telling you to move forward to your class that starts at eight or nine,” said Braniff. “So you’re late, you’re stressed and you’re not even feeling hungry because you’re so stressed that you’re late.”

Braniff says that being healthy has to be a priority. “You just need to plan a little bit.”

Students can pack things the night before to take to class, so they can eat later.

“You can pack a peanut butter sandwich or something and then that way when you wake up late, you take that with you and you can actually eat it when you get to class.”

First-year Athletic Therapy student, Jeremy Wade, 19 says he never misses his breakfast.

“Breakfast makes me feel better,” said Wade. “It gives you energy for the rest of the day and gets your metabolism going.”

Braniff says that when students are late they don’t realize they’re hungry.

“Most students get up, they’re late and they’re so stressed that their bodies say I can’t eat right now and then they sit down, relax and then they’re starving,” said Braniff.

Wade remembers a day when he didn’t eat breakfast because he was late for class.

“I was tired, I wasn’t able to pay attention in my class, my stomach was talking to me,” said Wade. “I was just really hungry and all I could think of was, ‘I need food, I need food.’”

After that, if he’s ever late he always packs a sandwich.

“I always have something whether it be a piece of fruit or a sandwich or something, really anything that I can grab quickly.”

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