You’ve always been advised to take a heavy breakfast, saying that it will give you the “fuel” to get through the rest of the day. But Dr. Joseph Mercola says that eating a large meal in the morning may not be as beneficial as you think, and that there are healthier and more nutritious options you can try.
A Heavy Breakfast May Not Be as Healthy as You Think
Eating a heavy meal in the morning may be counterproductive to your health, because your body performs its elimination or detoxification function during that time. If you go to the bathroom every morning like clockwork, it’s a sign that your metabolic system works properly, expelling toxins to help prevent health problems. This is why if you experience constipation or you do not eliminate toxins every morning, you might need to re-evaluate your diet.
Ori Hofmekler, author of The Warrior Diet, The Anti-Estrogenic Diet, Maximum Muscle Minimum Fat, and the upcoming book Unlocking the Muscle Gene, recommends that you consume only detoxifying foods until noon, like:
- Low glycemic fruits such as papayas, green apples or berries
- Light protein, such as whey protein
Whey Protein: The Perfect Breakfast Food
A recent study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise revealed that consuming whey protein (with 20 grams of protein per serving) 30 minutes before resistance training helps improve the body’s metabolism for as much as 24 hours after the workout.
“…The amino acids found in high quality whey protein activate certain cellular mechanisms (including mTORC-1), which in turn promote muscle protein synthesis, boost thyroid, and also protect against declining testosterone levels after exercise,” explains Dr. Mercola.
Loading up on whey protein is better than ingesting carbohydrates, especially if you engage in intense strength training. Your body burns carb fuel very quickly, causing you to lose energy.
Choosing the Best Whey Protein
Whey protein is a dairy byproduct, so make sure you buy one that comes from grass-fed, non-hormonally treated cows. The best whey protein is minimally processed, so that the beneficial immune components—like immunoglobins, bovine serum lactoferins, albumin, and other amino acids and nutrients—remain intact.
Beware of commercial whey products. They usually come from pasteurized dairy and have been processed with acid and heat, which destroys the fragile immune-components and damages important amino acids of the whey. Some commercial whey products also contain detergents, chemical additives, and artificial sweeteners that can ruin your health.
Find a whey protein with medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), not long chain fatty acids. MCTs are digested easily and spare leucine and branch chain amino acids from degradation to energy. This means they completely utilize the efficiency and anabolic properties of the whey.
How to Make a Delicious and Healthy Protein Shake
The best way to enjoy whey protein is to drink it as a protein shake. To ensure your whey protein shake will contain the right balance of nutrition and flavor, Dr. Mercola recommends using these ingredients:
- Defatted chia seed fiber and protein powder
- Raw eggs from free-range chicken
- A teaspoon of raw organic coconut oil
- Complete Probiotics supplement
- Vitamin K2 supplement
Hofmekler says that dairy and eggs complement each other since they help improve each other’s amino acid score and belong to the same family with similar components. Dairy and eggs also help support growth and development. Raw milk from sheep and goat is your best choice, because of their rich flavor and alpha lactalbumin content. Raw goat or sheep milk also produces a great synergy with the whey.
Meanwhile, coconut’s antibacterial properties make it a great addition to your protein shake. Previously, Dr. Mercola used coconut milk, but because of the concerns about BPA and phthalates in can containers, he switched to organic coconut oil.
Dr. Mercola recommends consuming 20 to 30 grams of whey protein without any added sugar 30 minutes before exercise, and another serving 30 to 60 minutes after the workout. This will help improve muscle building and fat burning. If you only want to consume one serving, just take it after the workout, especially if your goal is to increase muscle growth with your strength training.
Finally, Dr. Mercola says you should never eat immediately after exercise. This is because your body stops digesting during intense exercise, and it takes a little while before your body is ready to start digesting food.
Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day. Instead of eating a heavy but unhealthy meal, drink a healthy whey protein shake instead to get the health benefits you need.