Prior research has demonstrated that around 60 per cent of young people have a habit of skipping breakfast up to four times per week, despite the fact that consuming the morning meal has been shown to reduce a person’s risk of obesity.
While health experts have determined that having breakfast lowers the risk of being obese, little study has been dedicated to what role specific types of breakfast play in weight management. A study from the University of Missouri analyzed the benefits of a high protein breakfast (35 g of protein) versus a normal protein breakfast (13 g of protein) when consumed by overweight teens.
Heather Leidy, assistant professor in the university’s department of nutrition and exercise physiology and lead author of the study notes that eating habits are often cemented during the teen years, so developing healthy ones is crucial.
Leidy and her colleagues studied three groups of overweight teens who reported skipping their morning meal between five and seven times each week. One group consumed a normal protein breakfast, one a high protein breakfast and the third group continued to skip breakfast for the 12 week duration of the study.
The teenagers that consumed the high protein breakfast ended up reducing their daily caloric intake by 400 calories, lost body fat mass, while the two other groups, who consumed either a normal protein breakfast or no breakfast at all, both continued to gain body fat.
The high protein group also had more stable glucose levels throughout the day than the two other groups.
For triathletes, going heavy on the protein before a morning workout can lead to GI discomfort. Pre-workout meals should be only light, easily digestible foods. But, this study definitely supports having a protein-rich snack after your morning workout.