Last week at our gym the question of the day was, “is breakfast a must or overrated?”
About half the clients in our 9:30am class said that for them - it was overrated and the others said it was the best meal of the day.
Guess what - they were all right.
I have clients often ask me about, breakfast, meal timing and if eating before a workout is absolutely necessary.
The answer: It depends on you.
You can find detailed studies that suggest breakfast is best, others that find more carbs/calories at dinner can help people retain more muscle and lose weight and about the same amount of studies that report there’s benefits to skipping breakfast all together.
The subject is actually exhausting and confusing.
So here’s an overly simplified explanation: for most of us, when you eat or nutrient timing doesn’t matter. It adds a layer of complexity into your daily routine that you don’t necessarily need. What’s way way way more important is the quantity and quality of food you eat and the consistency in which you do this.
If you are perfectly happy with your current performance in the gym, progression, weight and body composition, you probably can and should keep doing what you’re doing.
If you’re not feeling strong or energized in your workouts, you are tired, sluggish and not getting the results you want - it’s probably time to consider a change.
If you have macro/calorie goals, you don’t necessarily have to eat breakfast but you might find it is easier to hit your targets by eating more meals throughout your day. Then again - maybe not.
You might find that eating a well balanced meal consisting of whole foods, protein, carbohydrates and fats about an hour before you workout and an hour after, could help your energy levels, focus and performance in your sport or in the gym. If you don’t normally do this - give it a try for a few weeks and see how you feel.
Nutrient timing could still be important if you are a high level athlete, body builder or physique competitor. Typically those
who benefit most from nutrient timing already have a low body fat percentage, they train for several hours and they have elite nutritional routines.
Take notes. Journal how you feel on days you eat breakfast and how you feel on days you don’t. Look for patterns. Try to see if you consistently feel and perform better when eating certain foods.
Remember, you are unique. Your diet should reflect that. What works for the one pro-athlete at your gym may not and probably should not work for you.
Finally, get a coach. A nutrition coach can help you pinpoint a plan of action that will work best for you!