Eating breakfast helps you perform better mentally and could aid weight loss. Many people, however, aren't hungry first thing in the morning or find it difficult to make time to sit down and eat a meal. But you can get all the benefits of breakfast with a drink instead of feeling like you're forcing down solid food.
A Smooth Start
Your breakfast smoothie should contain all three macronutrients -- protein, carbohydrates and fat -- noted registered dietitian Cassie Bjork on the Dietitian Cassie website. The protein should come from protein powder or Greek yogurt, the carbs from fruits and vegetables and the fat from 2 ounces of coconut milk, a couple of tablespoons of heavy cream or peanut butter, or half an avocado. Use your imagination to make different concoctions and experiment with various ingredients.
Straight Up Shake
If you're really in a rush, a protein shake is a perfectly acceptable breakfast drink. According to a study published in a 2006 edition of "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition" subjects who ate a high-protein-based breakfast had decreased levels of grehlin -- a hormone that increases appetite. Go with a whey, casein, soy, egg, hemp, pea or rice protein mixed in water, milk or almond milk.
For a fruit and vegetable hit first thing in the morning, consider a home-squeezed juice. Juice can be an easy way of getting more fruits and vegetables into your diet. The downside to juice is that some of the fiber is lost in the process. To avoid this, use a juicer or blender that blitzes everything finely, so you can still drink it.
Make Way for Milk
You may be more used to pouring milk on your cereals or putting a drop or two in your breakfast coffee, but going for a larger serving on its own is also a good option. Consuming dairy can reduce your risk of diabetes, notes the United States Department of Agriculture. The calcium in milk can be beneficial in improving bone health, while the potassium in milk helps maintain a healthy blood pressure. A 1 cup serving of reduced-fat 2 percent milk contains about 218 calories, 5 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein and 12 grams of carbs. This serving also contains 342 milligrams of potassium -- 8 percent of the recommended daily allowance -- and 293 milligrams of calcium, which is about 29 percent of your recommended daily allowance.
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: 4 Tips for Better Breakfasts
- Dietitian Cassie: Balanced Smoothie
- The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Effect of a High-pProtein Breakfast on the Postprandial Ghrelin Response
- United States Department of Agriculture: Dairy: Health Benefits and Nutrients
- USDA Nutrient Database: Milk, reduced fat, fluid, 2% milkfat, with added vitamin A and vitamin D
- Dietary Reference Intakes: RDA and AI for Vitamins and Elements