The folks at WebMD remind us that skipping breakfast is not a healthy way to start the day. They recommend a meal that includes at least five grams of fiber and five grams of protein. Yoshihiko Koga, a professor at Kyorin University in Tokyo, has another thought, based on his well-publicized 2016 research. Koga found that people who eat ice cream for breakfast tend to have faster reaction times, and may be better at processing information. In the study, participants were given three spoonfuls of ice cream first thing in the morning, and then put through a battery of tests on a computer. Koga saw an increase in alpha waves; essentially, the participants' brains were kick-started into a more active state by the chilly treat.
Wake up, brain:
- Test subjects who didn’t eat breakfast at all fared worse on tests, Koga said. When he used cold water instead of ice cream, Koga found some increase in mental acuity, but nothing close to ice cream’s effect.
- Alpha waves are associated with concentration, relaxation, and mental coordination. An increase in the high-frequency waves translates to a higher state of alertness and reduced mental irritation.
- Koga’s research comes from the field of psychophysiology, a branch of psychology that studies the interaction between body and mind.