Protein at Breakfast.doc

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					                                   Protein at Breakfast

 Most people consume a high carbohydrate breakfast of cereal, toast or pancakes after a
night's sleep because the body craves those types of food when its blood sugar level is
low. However, meals high in carbohydrates increase the brain's level of the amino acid
tryptophan, which increases serotonin levels. Glucose from the digested carbohydrates
causes the body to secret insulin. Insulin tells cells to pull amino acids, except
tryptophan, out of the blood stream for storage. So, tryptophan keeps circulating and is
available for neurons that use it to make serotonin. Serotonin is a calming
neurotransmitter that makes you feel relaxed and satisfied. Serotonin is an essential
neurotransmitter for a well-balanced mood, but a relaxed state right after breakfast is not
usually desirable .

A breakfast full of complex proteins (proteins that contain high amounts of amino acids),
such as eggs or yogurt, energize instead of relax the body. The proteins raise the level of
the amino acid tyrosine in the blood and brain. If more tyrosine is present, the body's
neurons will produce more norepinephrine and dopamine. Norepinephrine is an
excitatory neurotransmitter that makes you feel motivated, alert and able to concentrate.
It is also necessary for the brain to form new memories and to transfer memories from
short term to long-term storage. Dopamine is also a neurotransmitter associated with
activity and fine muscle coordination and aids in healthy assertiveness, autonomic
nervous system and immune system functions. Dopamine levels can be depleted by lack
of sleep and high stress. So, it is important replenish dopamine levels with a protein
packed breakfast.

				
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posted:12/12/2012
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