5 things you can do with food to keep your brain in gear

16/9/2010 |

food productivity, time management

We’ve all been there. 4.30pm. You can’t remember how long you’ve been staring at the computer screen but it’s a while and a lack of energy to get productive. Energy management is one of the key things that every productivity ninja should focus on. I noticed recently I’d been feeling sluggish in the afternoons more than usual, so I’ve recently been getting some advice from a nutritionist to help address this. Here are five things I’ve picked up through the process that might just help boost your energy:

1. Eat breakfast. Yes, that old chestnut. It’s a cliché because it’s true. Fire up your metabolism early in the day and get the brain fuelled and ready for action.

2. Use caffeine wisely – as a sparsely used weapon, coffee can be great, as a crutch it’s so unproductive. Aim for one coffee a day and if you need to boost concentration, try snacking on apples as an alternative (it works surprisingly well!)

3. Separate proteins and carbohydrates. Some peoples’ bodies find it difficult to digest carbohydrates and proteins at the same time – it reduces the good effects of both – so try and make certain meals primarily one or the other as a way of getting the most nutritional value from your food. So for example, a ‘carb breakfast’ might be a large bowl of porridge or a protein one might be eggs and smoked salmon. And for those of you eating lunch ‘on the go’, a jacket potato with roasted vegetables is a healthy and nutritious ‘carb lunch’, or a salad with oily fish would make a great protein one.

4. Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like a pauper. Don’t make evening dinner your biggest meal of the day – your body will struggle to digest your food if you eat too late and it’ll leave you sluggish in the mornings.

5. Drink water. And although fizzy pop contains water, that doesn’t count! Dehydration is one of the major causes of lost concentration. Drink a pint of water before you leave the house in the morning and then have your own special glass on your desk to encourage you to keep hydrated throughout the day. If you’re drinking alcohol in the evening, try and make sure you drink plenty of water before bed too!

These are just observations – not medical advice. Consume them only as part of a calorie-controlled diet. Good luck!

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