Breakfast… do you skip it? Alison Bailey asks a key question

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day but living in a fast-paced society with hectic schedules leaves little time in the mornings and we end up eating on the run. In order to stay healthy, we mustn’t miss the most important meal of the day especially if we are exercising.

How many of us skip breakfast before dashing off to our morning FLexercise class? No fuel equals low energy, so how do we deal with this?

Could you get up maybe 20 minutes earlier and have a healthy start? It could give you the energy boost you need to get through the day. If you feel sluggish in the morning, a nutritious start will get you through till lunchtime. Fibre, Vitamin C and Vitamin D are just a few of the many nutrients that will increase your energy levels. Whole wheat bread, eggs and a piece of fruit will make your body feel satisfied then you won’t have that urge to reach for the biscuits before your lunch.

If you’re looking for something quick, smoothies are an easy and refreshing way to consume all those important nutrients before a workout. Have one at least an hour before your class. They are easy to blitz. Just throw in frozen berries, a little natural yoghurt, a dash of apple juice, half a banana, some mixed seeds and you’re ready to go!

With winter looming if you fancy something a little warmer, porridge with berries is a good start to the day.

Ideally, fuel up two hours before you exercise, avoiding saturated fats and even a lot of healthy protein. Why? Because these types of fuels digest slower in your stomach and take away oxygen and energy-delivering blood from your muscles. They can also make you feel pretty sick.

If you only have 5-10 minutes before you exercise, eat a piece of fruit such as an apple or banana. The key is to consume carbohydrates that are easy to digest, so you don’t feel sluggish.

Your body, like any finely tuned engine, needs fuel to work properly. Even when you’re sleeping and resting you’re burning calories. Our metabolism slows down when we sleep so having breakfast is the equivalent of a jumpstart!