LifestyleWhen should you eat breakfast? Scientists reveal the optimal time with minute precision

When should you eat breakfast? Scientists reveal the optimal time with minute precision

What time should breakfast be eaten?
What time should breakfast be eaten?
Images source: © Pixabay

1:51 PM EDT, June 4, 2024

What time should breakfast be eaten? It is commonly said that the best time is two hours after waking up. However, scientists have determined the exact time, down to the minute, that is best for consuming the first meal of the day.

For this reason, breakfast is often called the most important meal of the day. What we eat and when we eat influences our food choices throughout the day and affects our mood, energy levels, and many other vital aspects of daily functioning. Find out why starting the day with a nutritious meal is so important. Besides what's on your plate, the time you eat is also crucial.

When is the best time to eat breakfast?

Research conducted in 2019 by a team of scientists from the University of Murcia (Spain) showed that the best time to eat breakfast is just after 7 AM, ideally at 7:11 AM. The optimal time to have lunch is between 12:30 PM and 1 PM, with the ideal time being 12:38 PM. As for dinner, the later you eat, the worse it may affect your weight loss goals. According to the study, dinner should be eaten between 6 PM and 6:30 PM, with the best time being 6:14 PM.

If you are a night owl, try to have breakfast by 10 AM (ideally between 8 AM and 9 AM). Additionally, sitting down for a meal within two hours of waking up is essential. Why is this so important?

Eating within this window sets the pace for a healthy appetite and stabilised blood sugars throughout the day, explains Theresa Shank, a dietitian from Philadelphia, in an interview with "Women's Health" magazine. When blood sugar levels drop, it often causes hunger, increases appetite, and leads to overeating.

Why is it worth eating breakfast?

Eating breakfast boosts metabolism after the night-long fasting period, helping the body burn calories more efficiently throughout the day. Additionally, the first meal provides the body with essential nutrients, giving the energy needed to start the day with vigor. A nutritious breakfast also supports brain function by supplying glucose to brain cells, improving concentration, memory, and overall cognitive performance.

What time to eat breakfast?
What time to eat breakfast?© Canva | StockSnap

Regular breakfast eating prevents overeating later in the day, thus allowing better weight control. Moreover, breakfast can be an excellent opportunity to include a variety of essential nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, minerals, and proteins that might be missing in other meals.

A balanced breakfast containing complex carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats helps stabilize blood sugar levels, stimulates the digestive system, and supports regular bowel movements, contributing to better gut health. It is also associated with a reduced risk of various chronic diseases, such as type II diabetes and obesity.

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