Food

Warm water, soaked almonds or medicines: What’s your first-eat?

What must be your first eat or first drink you reach out for every morning on waking up? Confused? Read on

Warm water, warm water with lemon juice and honey, a piece of fruit, a green juice, or your thyroid medicine, there’s conflicting health advice on the first-eat everyday.

Health experts toss up a food spin, leaving you confused about the best thing for very first intake in the morning. Breakfast arrives much later, but what is advisable as the first ingestion as soon as you wake up? Read on.

Is the first thing you put in your mouth really that important?

Bengaluru-based consultant nutritionist and dietitian, and founder of e-clinic 360 Degree Nutricare, Deepalekha Banerjee says: “Once you wake up, within 30 minutes to maximum one hour, you must replenish your body with healthy nutrients to power the day. Else the body breaks down protein in the muscles to generate energy.” Many of us wake up and make way for a yoga session, a jog or a brisk walk. But it’s important to think about what we eat or drink before we head out for these fitness routines, too.

While some of us wake up hungry, others can’t even think of eating or drinking so early in the day.

Explains nutrition and fitness coach Prateek Kumar, founder, FitCru, in Mumbai: “Simply feeling hungry in the morning isn’t necessarily an indicator of a good or bad metabolic rate. Remember, our hunger can be influenced by factors including individual eating patterns, hormone levels, and the previous day’s food intake. Choose your first intake based on: Hydration – drinking water or hydrating fluids can replenish fluid loss during sleep and support optimal bodily functions. Nutrient density – eating nutrient-dense foods including whole fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and lean protein sources, brings in a balance of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Personal preference – you need to feel happy, energized and satisfied while eating to ensure overall wellbeing.”

With intermittent fasting setting mega goals for a large majority, the window between the first ingestion and the consumption of the larger meal is determined by individual preferences. “Some wait several hours after their first ingestion before eating a full meal, others choose to have their first ingestion closer to regular breakfast time. If you want intermittent fasting to promote fat burn and weight loss, maintain a longer gap between the first ingestion and breakfast,” advises Kumar.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

“As your first ingestion, sipping a glass of warm water with a dose of vitamin C (lime juice/ amla) boosts your metabolism,” says Priya Palan, dietitian, Zen Multispecialty Hospital, Chembur, Mumbai.

The antioxidant power of Vitamin C also doubles up as an immunity builder.

While you might skate off to the gymnasium as per your routine, remember working out on an empty stomach isn’t recommended as high intensity exercises can give you muscle spasms and dizziness.

Shilpi Madan for MoneyControl.com

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