A gentle awakening
Hydration, temperature, PH and nutrients: several elements must be taken into account when it comes to swallowing your first bite of the day. For the nutritionist, the answer is in no doubt: “the first thing to do when waking up is to hydrate, or rather rehydrate. Indeed, it is very important to rehydrate the body after a long period of fasting, insists Coralie, even if you are not thirsty. This is also the best way to establish a routine to hydrate more, especially for people who never drink water. »
To make the task easier, some people do not hesitate to flavor this first sip of the day with half a lemon. An effective way to wake up the liver which detoxifies the body, but also provides additional antioxidants and vitamin C which will boost the immune system. “The lemon will alkalize the pH of our body, and therefore restore the digestive system,” explains our expert. On the other hand, you don’t have to do it all the time either. I like to do it at the change of season for example, it’s quite effective. »
If the idea of lemon water doesn’t appeal to you, there’s nothing stopping you from opting for a cup of tea, herbal tea, or vegetable milk. On the other hand, as Coralie advises, we avoid fruit juices on an empty stomach, which will certainly rehydrate, but are often too rich in sugar for the body at this stage of the day.
Once the body is hydrated, we sit down to eat. On the food side, it is above all the temperature that must be controlled. “It should not be too different from that of the body, to avoid shocking the digestive system,” explains the dietitian. In other words, neither too hot nor too cold.
Then, it is rather according to each person’s digestive tolerance, explains the professional. In general, we avoid foods that are too fatty, rich and heavy, which can tire the body. Coffee that is too hot, for example, should be avoided since it causes acid reflux, as should carbonated drinks. “We will rather wake up the body gently, while maintaining a certain balance on the plate. On an empty stomach, we avoid acidifying foods, and instead opt for alkalizing foods, which help restore the body’s natural PH. On the menu ? In addition to the famous half lemon, maple syrup is an ideal option, as well as almonds or certain fruits. One last point that Coralie insists on: “seasonal fruits provide the vitamins and minerals that we need most, depending on the time of year. They are consumed raw, or in compote. »
The perfect breakfast
For a champion breakfast, Coralie offers us her magic formula: “the idea is to combine a source of cereals, proteins, and fats, such as butter, cheese or avocado. »
Whole or semi-complete cereals are richer in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, which will keep us fuller for longer, but also slow down the assimilation of glucose upon waking. Proteins, for their part, are a good source of tyrosine, an amino acid transformed into dopamine by the body. Dopamine, for its part, is none other than this neurotransmitter known to boost attention and concentration. Ideal for starting the day off on the right foot. “You should also know that at the start of the day, our body secretes proteases: enzymes which ensure the breakdown of proteins. These will thus be better digested and assimilated by the body, adds the expert. It’s also good to have a dairy product, for optimal calcium and protein intake. You don’t have to drink a large glass of milk, but you can opt for yogurt or cheese, which contain much less lactose in case of increased sensitivity. »
Breakfast: a really necessary meal?
According to Coralie, it is an essential meal for children and adolescents, who are still growing. However, for adults, the answer is less clear-cut. “According to some studies, skipping breakfast disrupts the internal clock and the body’s rhythm,” she explains. This can lead to weight gain, or even disturbances in blood sugar levels. In my practice, many overweight patients are not used to eating in the morning. Very often, breakfast helps them lose weight, but especially in rebalancing their diet. »
However, for our expert, one thing is certain: it is better not to have breakfast than a bad breakfast from a nutritional but also sensory point of view. “When you are in a hurry, or when you force yourself to eat processed products, it is counterproductive. » Also, reducing the number of meals often results in richer and heavier plates at lunch and dinner. “This will tire the body, the organs, and especially the digestive system,” confirms Coralie. In these cases, I advise you to listen to your body and its sensations. It’s the best way to find what you need, and will do you good. »
Due to lack of time, a good solution could be to replace breakfast with one or more snacks, spread over the day, in order to still meet the nutritional needs of the body without making the other two meals heavier.
Thanks to Coralie Costi, dietitian nutritionist.