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Natural Awakenings Tucson

To Break the Fast: Preparing for Morning Physical Activities

Aug 31, 2022 10:01AM ● By Sheila Shea
At the end of a morning tennis match, one of the players asked what they should eat for breakfast. She felt “hungry”. The winning choice was toast with almond butter. The other ladies coached her on the quality of bread, suggesting buying from Tucson’s Barrio Bread ( However, solving one’s issue of hunger is not always so easy a task. What to have for breakfast is a daily question that has many answers.
For the tennis player who was hungry after a match—and who wouldn’t be after playing tennis in the sun for a few hours—does eating breakfast solve the hunger problem? What causes the hunger? Does the hunger include weakness or fatigue?

When Is It Best to Eat Breakfast?
Some people do intermittent fasting and do not eat until after 11 a.m., creating a window of non-eating from evening to late morning. Many are not hungry in the morning. It’s called “break fast” for a reason—the person breaks their fast later in the morning or early afternoon. After hours of fasting, eating food breaks our fast.
If one is hungry in the morning, it would be a good thing to eat. Eating or fasting before an athletic activity in the morning depends on the activity—and the individual. For physical activities like dancing, one might not eat before morning studio classes, but find that coffee and water are fine.
What kind of hunger is it? Does one simply need to replenish, or is it more—such as falling glucose levels that trigger need to rebalance blood sugar, depleted glycogen stores in liver and inability to burn or use ketones for energy, the fatty acid breakdown of our stored fats. Some are inconsistent in their eating behavior.
Causes of hunger include: sugar (too much, too little), depletion of glycogen stores, not burning ketones, inconsistent and imbalanced eating daily/nightly and psychological stress.

The Goal Is Preparation
The goal when hiking, dancing or playing tennis is to prepare to go through an athletic event without hunger, and to prepare in advance. We want to stay balanced in blood sugar, energy and minerals. What do we pack for the match if hunger is an issue? If hypoglycemia is an issue, have glucose tablets or an equivalent antidote. If one is only bringing water, the market is abundant with capsules, caffeine, protein shakes, broths/stocks, raw juice, Gut and Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) shakes and smoothies.
Back on the tennis court, the stress of playing three sets of tennis will drive hunger. Activity level determines the volume of food or drink before and during an athletic event. Overall, consistent, positive eating behaviors create consistent, positive energy.

Sheila Shea, MA is the Director of Intestinal Health Institute, offering colon hydrotherapy, intestinal and GAPS nutrition, detoxification programs and more. Connect at 520-325-9686 or

Sheila Shea


Sheila Shea MA is Board Certified with 41 years of colon hydrotherapy experience. The Intestinal Health Institute offers intestinal nutritional support and detoxification protocols to a... Read More »