Home > Journals > Medicina dello Sport > Past Issues > Medicina dello Sport 2009 March;62(1) > Medicina dello Sport 2009 March;62(1):57-68



Publishing options
To subscribe
Submit an article
Recommend to your librarian





Medicina dello Sport 2009 March;62(1):57-68


language: English, Italian

Effect of two different types of breakfast on cognitive activity, physical performance and perception of exertion: a study on active Spanish males

Viciana J., Cocca A., Salinas F.

Department of Physical and Sports Education, University of Granada, Granada, Spain


Aim. Breakfast is one of the daily main meals. Researches demonstrated that having a good breakfast is associated with wellness. In Spain, it is a common habit to have breakfast an hour and a half before any activity. The aim of this study was to test the effect of two types of breakfast on physical performance, cognitive activity and perceived fatigue.
Methods. Keeping constant the time between having breakfast and doing a performance, physical tests (maximum velocity, strength and endurance) and a cognitive test (memory) were carried out after consuming two typical breakfasts: BT1 with juice and pieces of fruit, and BT2 with milk and toast or juice and pastries. At the end of each test the subjective perception of exertion was assessed. Twenty active young male students of Granada University participated in the study.
Results. Neither cognitive activity nor physical performance were affected by either type of breakfast, however, a greater perception of fatigue was noted in tests of maximum physical exertion with BT2 (maximum velocity: P=0.001; endurance: P=0.001).
Conclusion. BT2 included more complex nutrients, that required a longer time and more energy to be digested. Therefore, it is possible to notice a lower blood influx towards muscles during activity, due to the contemporaneous work of digestion organs. This could determine the sensation of heaviness and more exertion, especially when performance is maximal. Thus BT1 was considered the most appropriate according to active young Spanish’s habits. Nevertheless, if breakfast is eaten three hours beforehand, the advantages of more complete foods with a medium glycemic index may lessen the negative effect on the perception of exertion caused by the short time between breakfast and activity, as in this study.

top of page