Breakfast and its connection to cortisol

We’ve all heard the expression ‘breakfast is the most important meal of the day’ but is it really?

Simply put, YES. Breakfast sets the tone for the rest of the day, by the effect it has on our body’s ability to regulate cortisol and blood sugar levels.

Our bodies work to a series of patterns; one of which is called the Diurnal Rhythm. This means that the cortisol levels within the blood rise and fall at certain times of day. They are at their highest levels in the early hours as we prepare to wake up and face the day and then decrease through the rest of the day. Cortisol is a steroid hormone - one of the glucocorticoids (you probably knew that) that is produced within the adrenal glands and carried around the body within the blood. Cortisol has many jobs, but most importantly in this context, it helps to control blood-sugar levels.

The key to cortisol is balance – too much can cause a range of issues including high blood pressure, muscle weakness and osteoporosis, whereas too little can cause fatigue, weight loss (not the good kind), and even autoimmune diseases.

If our cortisol levels are not properly balanced, we can experience highs and lows at the wrong times. If levels are high when they’re not supposed to be it can make us feel stressed, wired, tense and hyper-vigilant, leading to insomnia, anxiety, and even increased belly-fat. If levels are low at the wrong time we can feel fatigued and lacking in energy, missing out on the get up and go that we need to, well, get up and go! 

Each morning you essentially come off a nightly fast – it will most likely have been over 8 hours since you last ate anything, and so blood-sugar levels are low. If you don’t do anything about it your body will increase cortisol levels which in turn will increase the glucose levels within the blood so that you can create the energy you need. As a temporary fix it’ll help you get up and out of the house, but those cortisol levels are likely to remain higher than they should be, and over the long term this doesn’t do you any good. As well as the potentially detrimental effects on our health, it can also mean that we don’t drop off to sleep easily at night.

However, there is a better way; by eating a healthy breakfast we help our bodies regulate the production and absorption of cortisol meaning that it can get on with its job, so that we can get on with our lives. Not only that; by eating a healthy breakfast we keep our blood sugar levels balanced and that can help maintain a healthy eating pattern throughout the rest of the day. If your blood sugar levels are balanced you feel contented, so you are less likely to reach for the sugary snacks and caffeine that can provide a quick-fix when energy levels are lower (but with a detrimental effect on your health).

Research has shown that individuals who ate a healthy breakfast were less depressed, less emotionally distressed and considered themselves to be less stressed than those who skipped it. Also they had a healthier lifestyle and diet, were less likely to smoke and drank less. All of this from just eating breakfast.

One of the big challenges at breakfast time is precisely that: time. For so many of us time is a luxury that we can’t afford – particularly first thing in the morning. The key is to have something that can be prepared quickly and easily, but which avoids the unhealthy components which are often put in foods to make them convenient.

Well here’s a solution. Welcome to Shuupe! Made with 100% natural ingredients including gluten-free oats, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, chia seeds coconut and almonds. Shuupe gives your body the nutrition it needs to operate at the top of its game, while only taking a matter of seconds to make. Not only that, it’ll keep you full until lunchtime meaning that you can avoid the unnecessary sugary snacks and focus on proper nutrition and the day in hand.

“We’re taking the stress out of breakfast, with a breakfast that takes the stress out of the rest of the day.”

 

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