Break your fast the right way Break your fast the right way

Skipping breakfast or drinking water with lime on an empty stomach are alternatives for some. However, they are not so helpful when your brain and body need energy.

Advisor: Jasbleidi Buitrago Uribe
Nutritionist, dietician. Master’s degree in Food Sciences and Human Nutrition

In the times of food, exercise, and healthy lifestyle influencers, several myths are shared on different social networks, and many people use these methods to try to be healthy and lose weight. Some of the most widely adopted practices are drinking water with lime or baking soda on an empty stomach to obtain different health benefits. But what is the best way to break your fast in the mornings?

Jasbleidi Buitrago Uribe, nutritionist, dietician, with a master’s degree in Food Sciences and Human Nutrition, clarifies that drinking mixtures of water with any other element on an empty stomach in order to lose weight does not have any scientific basis.

She claims that it does not benefit the body in any way, as some believe. “The first thing you consume after sleeping all night is very important, and what I usually advise in a consultation is that you not break your fast with a soft drink or soda, as you should avoid those sugars. The second is that you must eat something within the first forty-five minutes after waking up, maximum one hour, because your body is starting to require energy, which comes from food,” states the specialist.

When you wake up, the receptors that are in charge of body function are attentive to capturing as many nutrients as possible for optimal performance, which is why it is so important not to let much time pass before breakfast.

“You can break your fast in many ways, but the important thing is that it is in optimal conditions. The first condition is time. The second is governed slightly by culture, but the recommendation is to include protein, fat, cereals and flours. If we talk about breakfast in Antioquia, in general we have arepa, eggs, and hot chocolate, which fulfill the conditions. In other regions, they substitute the arepa with bread. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that we should have fruit, but here we are not accustomed to doing that because almost all nutritionists suggest eating fruit mid-morning.”

As for starting the day with a sugary drink, for example panela or hot chocolate, the nutritionist says that there are no major drawbacks because those calories are energetic and can provide strength for performance in the morning, “very different from a soda which is pure concentrated sugar.”

Skipping breakfast?

It is common for some people to simply choose to skip the first meal of the day. “Many people do not have breakfast when they get up between 5 and 6 a.m. because they say they are not able to. This is a habit we need to stop, because the body starts to absorb the food reserves that are left. All bodies are different, but there are many people who say they suffer from headaches or dizziness, but their doctor cannot find anything wrong. This is often because they do not eat breakfast, or they eat three or four hours after waking up.”

The nutritionist recommends not prolonging your fast, and that it is necessary to wake the body up with good food. But, remember that there are exceptions: medical or religious fasting, which cannot become the norm, in order to maintain the body’s wellbeing.

27 % is how much more likely those who skip breakfast are to suffer a heart attack, indicates a study published in circulation.

Related: Does intermittent fasting help?