Level: B1 – C1
This catchy slogan started out as an advert for Wheaties, the famous American breakfast cereal. The message was clear – if you eat our cereal for breakfast, you might become a famous champion, like the boxer Muhammad Ali, seen on the front of this cereal box in mid-fight!
(Fun fact : although Ali, often called ‘the Greatest’, was most successful in the 1970s, winning the heavyweight championship in 1964, 1974 and 1975, this cereal box is from the 1990s, close to thirty years after his boxing prime. Better late than never!)
The slogan has adopted a more ironic meaning in recent years, however. Instead of healthy, nutritious food, of the kind that will prepare you for a 10-mile run or go for twenty rounds in the boxing ring, it now refers, not only to food, but to more unhealthy, yet enjoyable things you might do before your day starts.
For example, smoking two cigarettes in a row and gulping down two cups of coffee in the morning, though certainly not healthy, is still how some people like to start their day, and could still be sarcastically referred to as the ‘Breakfast of Champions!’.
So what do you think could be the ‘Breakfast of Champions’ for a student of English? What can you do in the morning to make you readier for your classes?
Here are some great examples of food and behaviour that could prepare you for a great day of English learning.
A Morning Workout
We understand that it can sometimes be hard to motivate yourself to exercise early in the morning.
But a short workout, even only fifteen minutes, (ideally after breakfast) is great for your focus and concentration during the day!
A 2019 study from the British Journal of sports medicine has found that morning exercise improves attention, visual learning, and decision-making – all skills that will be very useful during an English lesson!
This classic breakfast food has a lot of nutrients that will help you remember what you learn in your lessons.
For example, did you know eggs contain choline, a useful chemical that helps keep your mood under control and makes your memory stronger?
They’re also rich in Vitamin B, which is great for healthy brain function! Boil, fry or poach them for a quick brain boost right before your English class!
Good news for all you caffeine addicts out there – although coffee has an unhealthy reputation, it’s great for your concentration during your English studies!
The caffeine in coffee blocks adenosine, the hormone that makes you feel sleepy, from getting into your system – you won’t be falling asleep in class!
It’s also full of antioxidants, which can help prevent you from getting brain problems, such as Alzheimers’, when you’re older! There’ll be no limit to your learning!
Although it’s certainly not popular with everyone, this vegetable is a top-tier brain food!
Like coffee, it’s rich in antioxidants, which keep your brain healthy as you get older, and making sure your English learning career doesn’t stop any time soon!
It is also packed with Vitamin K, which has been linked to better memory – no more desperately trying to remember that piece of new vocabulary!
Good things come in small packages – and these little fruit are a brain health powerhouse.
Though they also contain antioxidants, the ones from blueberries do a special job – when they accumulate in the brain, they actually help your brain cells communicate with each other more effectively! Wow!
So are you ready to test out your new morning routine? Try doing these practise exercises below, and see if you’re now the Muhammad Ali of English learning!
Find the fourteen words underlined in the text that match these descriptions!
- (verb) – to slowly gather in large numbers
- (noun) – what people generally think about someone or something
- (verb) – to make someone or something want to do something
- (noun) – the time in someone’s life when they’re in their best physical shape
- (adjective) – easy to remember and hard to forget
- (noun + adjective) – something very effective, with great strength!
- (noun) – the winner of an athletic competition
- (adjective, slang) – of the highest quality
- (adverb) – in a panicked and scared way
- (adverbial phrase) – one after another
- (phrasal verb) – to swallow something quickly
- (noun) – the things you do every day
- (noun) – a short statement people remember easily
- (noun) – a natural chemical in your body
- (verb) – to slowly gather in large numbers (accumulate)
- (noun) – what people generally think about someone or something (reputation)
- (verb) – to make someone or something want to do something (motivate)
- (noun) – the time in someone’s life when they’re in their best physical shape (prime)
- (adjective) – easy to remember and hard to forget (catchy)
- (noun + adjective) – something very effective, with great strength! (powerhouse)
- (noun) – the winner of an athletic competition (champion)
- (adjective, slang) – of the highest quality (top-tier)
- (adverb) – in a panicked and scared way (desperately)
- (adverbial phrase) – one after another (in a row)
- (phrasal verb) – to swallow something quickly (gulp down)
- (noun) – the things you do every day (routine)
- (noun) – a short statement people remember easily (slogan)
- (noun) – a natural chemical in your body (hormone)
Are these statements true or false?
- Muhammad Ali won the heavyweight championship twice.
- The ‘Breakfast of Champions’ doesn’t have to be healthy.
- You should work out before eating breakfast.
- A morning workout can help you learn by seeing.
- Choline helps you stay calm.
- Adenosine keeps you awake and focused.
- Muhammad Ali won the heavyweight championship twice. (false)
- The ‘Breakfast of Champions’ doesn’t have to be healthy. (true)
- You should work out before eating breakfast. (false)
- A morning workout can help you learn by seeing. (true)
- Choline helps you stay calm. (true)
- Adenosine keeps you awake and focused. (false)