Breakfast: not the meal to miss


Jennifer Stankevich

For decades, breakfast has been promoted as the most important meal of the day. Yet, it continues to be the most overlooked meal of the day. Breakfast is proven to replenish the energy and nutrients in your body. When you wake up in the morning, your body hasn’t received nutrients for the amount of time you’ve been sleeping. Our brains rely almost entirely on glycogen, a polysaccharide that serves as a form of energy storage, broken down into glucose for energy. If we don’t replenish our glycogen in the morning, we are left feeling exhausted. 

In a random sample of 62 Bay Port students, 44% of students reported that they do not eat breakfast every morning. Breakfast has a large effect on both athletic and academic performance. 

“I had peanut butter and toast [for breakfast],” sophomore football player Aiden Beth said. “I think if I didn’t eat breakfast I would just feel really sluggish during the day especially since we usually work out in the mornings for football.”

That sluggish feeling Aiden refers to has to do with the fact that the brain is not receiving the energy necessary for the day. The brain needs that morning energy boost to be able to pay attention, concentrate, and more effectively remember things. Without breakfast, simple daily tasks can suddenly feel harder.

On game days, senior football player Ethan Welch and his fellow linemen get together and go to Barley’s Deerfield Diner to get a hearty breakfast. Ethan said that he typically orders a meat lovers skillet with wheat toast or cinnamon raisin toast, although he recently swapped it out for the steak and eggs breakfast before their game against DePere. 

Cereal is a meal that is heavily represented by the community; however, it may not be the best approach. For many people looking to improve their performance throughout the day, a nutritious breakfast is key.

“You can’t just have cereal and expect to be good for the rest of the game,” sophomore football player Cole Bensen said. 

“Don’t load up on sugary cereals like Fruity Pebbles or Lucky Charms. It tastes good, but it’s just going to make you feel like crap,” added Aiden.

People often eat non-nutritious breakfasts such as donuts or toaster pastries, but there are also people who don’t eat breakfast at all. The stigma of having to wake up earlier than necessary to make a nutritious breakfast plagues the minds of many young people especially in high school. 

“If I have a first hour [class], I’d rather sleep in than eat because I don’t have a lot of time to actually make something to eat,” senior Mollie Kreuger said. “Sometimes I’ll grab something quick, but that’s if I remember.”

Eating breakfast is a way to get energized for the day and brighten the mood. When people eat, a neurotransmitter called dopamine is released. Dopamine plays a role in feeling happy and having a good mood. 

“If I don’t have breakfast, I’m kind of an angry guy,” junior Brennan St. John said. “Food just makes me happy in general so anytime I can get food, I’m willing to take it.”

The additional brain power and mood boost benefits high school students in their academic performances. For big tests such as the ACT and SAT, a big breakfast is ideal. There have been complaints in the past by ACT test takers that get distracted by the grumbling stomachs of themselves and others.

“It does help because I can focus better,” junior Meg Huhtala said. “I wasn’t starving through the [ACT] test, so I could concentrate more on the test rather than thinking about food.”

Breakfast is an opportunity to load up on vitamins and minerals for the day. It should include servings of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and healthy fats. Healthy breakfast options can be oats and oatmeal, fresh fruit, raw nuts, meat, and eggs. 

Parents play a huge role in encouraging their children to eat breakfast and making healthy choices. 

“If I don’t have time for breakfast my dad will typically make me something for breakfast,” senior Kaitlyn Petersen said. 

Senior Jager Slaght said, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day; it’s your energizer. Everybody should eat breakfast.”