Breakfast and exercise improve academic and cognitive performance in adolescents

Masato KAWABATA, Kerry LEE, Hui-Cheng CHOO, Stephen F. BURNS

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

Abstract

This study examined the combined effects of breakfast and exercise on short-term academic and cognitive performance in adolescents. Eighty-two adolescents (64 female), aged 14–19 years, were randomized to four groups over a 4-hour morning: (i) a group who fasted and were sedentary (F-S); (ii) a group who ate breakfast but were sedentary (B-S); (iii) a group who fasted but completed a 30-min exercise bout (F-E); and (iv) a group who ate breakfast and completed a 30-min exercise bout (B-E). Individuals completed academic and cognitive tests over the morning. Adolescents in B-E significantly improved their mathematics score (B-E: 15.2% improvement on correct answers, vs. F-S: 6.7% improvement on correct answers; p = 0.014) and computation time for correct answers (B-E: 16.7% improvement, vs. F-S: 7.4% improvement; p = 0.004) over the morning compared with the F-S group. The B-E group had faster reaction times for congruent, incongruent and control trials of the Stroop Color-Word Task compared with F-S mid-morning (all p < 0.05). Morning breakfast and exercise combine to improve short-term mathematical task performance and speed in adolescents. Copyright © 2021 by the author. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1278
JournalNutrients
Volume13
Issue number4
Early online date13 Apr 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021

Citation

Kawabata, M., Lee, K., Choo, H.-C., & Burns, S. F. (2021). Breakfast and exercise improve academic and cognitive performance in adolescents. Nutrients, 13(4). Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041278

Keywords

  • Cognition
  • Breakfast
  • Glycemic index
  • Physical activity

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