Science Says Half Of Millennials Don't Eat Breakfast, But Here's Why You Shouldn't Skip It

Maybe it's because you aren't hungry when you wake up, or perhaps you assume you'll just grab something at work or after class, but either way, a new survey says half of millennials don't eat breakfast. And, no, your large cold brew doesn't count as breakfast, I'm sorry. The thing is, guys, the benefits of eating breakfast are worth carving out that extra time in the morning. So if you're one to always skip what has long been called the most important meal of the day, you might want to rethink your morning routine and make a little room for eggs, bacon — heck, even a handful of granola is better than nothing at all.

Here's the deal: In a press release sent to Elite Daily, Herbalife Nutrition shared the results of its Healthy Breakfast Survey, which asked more than 8,000 people around the world about their breakfast habits and how they really feel about the first meal of the day. While a whopping 95 percent of respondents said they agree that eating breakfast is important, 50 percent said they still don't eat it on a regular basis.

And why is it that millennials don't start the day with a hearty meal, even though they know it's the right thing to do? The answer's probably not that shocking: It's because most people believe they simply don't have time for it in the morning. Sound familiar?

Dr. John Agwunobi, co-president and chief health and nutrition officer at Herbalife Nutrition, said in a statement,

Whether you're pressed for time, or you're simply not hungry in the morning, missing breakfast is a big mistake. Having a balanced breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up will help boost mood, provide adequate nutrients to the brain to aid in mental alertness, energy and stave off hunger throughout the day.

Agwunobi's not wrong: Plenty of studies have explored the importance of breakfast and what can happen when you skip the first meal of the day. For example, back in 2006, The New York Times reported the results of a 1999 study published in the scientific journal Physiology & Behavior, which showed just how much breakfast affects your energy levels, your mood, and even your memory. The study included 144 healthy adults, and for the researchers' experiment, some of these volunteers were told to eat a moderate breakfast, some were told to just drink coffee, and the rest were told not to eat anything at all in the morning. Later that same day, the researchers measured the volunteers' moods via questionnaire and administered simple memory-based tasks.

Ultimately, the study found that those who ate nothing for breakfast did poorly on the subsequent memory tests, not to mention they had "the highest levels of fatigue" of everyone involved in the experiment, according to The New York Times. Those who only drank coffee, while not as tired as those who fasted, still didn't do very well on the memory tasks, while the volunteers who ate breakfast "had a more positive mood at the start of the test sessions, performed better on a spatial memory task, and felt calmer at the end of the test session," according to the study authors.

See, it's not as if people don't experience or notice the benefits of breakfast when they make a point to actually eat it. In fact, in Herbalife Nutrition's survey, 94 percent of global respondents who reported eating breakfast every day said it "gives me energy in the morning," and 91 percent said that first meal of the day "contributes to my personal well-being," according to the survey's press release.

So how can you squeeze a little breakfast into your probably-already-very-hectic morning routine? Well, consider this: Herbalife Nutrition's survey found that over 30 percent of respondents would have an easier time figuring out that first meal of the day "if it were 'ready-made' and contained necessary nutrients." And yes, it's totally possible to come up with a quick, painless breakfast that actually fits those requirements.

The real key is to come up with breakfast ideas that you can easily grab on your way out the door. Toast is a great example — you could slather some almond butter and banana slices on a piece of whole grain toast, or even avocado and tomato slices if you're a big avo person. Or you could make some overnight oats with crushed nuts and berries in the evening, and grab that on your way out the next morning. Smoothies and shakes are always a good way to go, too, as they'll easily pack in a ton of your nutrients early on in the day.

Bottom line: No one's saying you have to prepare a huge spread for yourself every single morning. Even that parfait you always side-eye at the register while you're ordering iced coffee is better than nothing.