Sunday, March 22, 2020

Her Coach Asked Her to Skip Breakfast

I wrote about the ketogenic diet the week before and a runner I treated two days ago was advised to skip breakfast before her runs to get into the "ketogenic zone" so that she can burn more fat.

I was fairly skeptical as I doubt you can be ketogenic and start burning ketones just by skipping breakfast despite not eating from dinner time the night before.

Anyway, I told her an article I'd just read on a similar topic while doing research writing the earlier ketogenic diet article.

British researchers studied elite cyclists who were habitual breakfast eaters on two occasions. One one occasion, they arrived at the laboratory in an overnight fasted state and ate breakfast. On the other occasion the did not eat breakfast (like my patient).

Researchers found that elite cyclists had a 4.5% drop in a 30 minutes time trial race in the evening after skipping breakfast. This is even after allowing the cyclists to eat as much as they want for lunch.

Due to our busy schedules, we may not be able to exercise in the mornings. While rushing to work, we may even skip breakfast.

The results showed that skipping breakfast may only be effective in reducing calories for people who eat breakfast regularly (and this helps to lose weight) in the short term.

However exercise performance may be compromised through out the whole day if you skip breakfast. Not great at all if you're exercising or training again later in the day. This will be worse if you're competing later in the day.

Don't skip breakfast.


Clayton DJ, Barutcu A et al (2015). Effect Of Breakfast Omission On Energy Intake And Evening Exercise Performance. Med Sci Sp Ex. 47(12): 2645-2652. DOI: 10-1249/MSS.0000000000000702.

Have a look at this article where a high-carb diet trounces low-carb one for endurance athletes.

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