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Have you ever experienced the '3 o'clock slump' when it feels like all your energy has just been drained away? Do you have a mega-productive hour in the morning and then get less efficient as the day goes on? What if you could be super-productive and concentrate on your work all day long?
The food you eat and the fluids you consume throughout the day significantly impact your brain’s capacity to function. The aim of this blog is to therefore educate and inform you on what nutrients are KEY to ensuring optimal mental focus and productivity for your everyday tasks.
Both your brain and central nervous system (CNS) need a consistent energy supply to function correctly. Like most muscles in the body, carbohydrates are the primary fuel for this and have been shown to help delay fatigue onset, reduce the rate of perceived exertion (RPE), and increase the exercise capacity of your muscles and brain.
However, it's all well saying that you need to consume carbohydrates in your diet. But which ones should we opt for to enhance productivity? All carbohydrates have a glycaemic index (GI) rating, this being the relative ranking according to how they affect blood glucose levels. Basing food choices entirely off their GI value does have its drawbacks, as individuals do respond differently and we do rarely eat carbohydrate sources in isolation. However, as a general rule, high GI sources lead to faster absorption, which may be super important in sporting contexts where quick energy bursts are essential. Alternatively, low GI sources are broken down at a slower rate, releasing blood sugar gradually into the bloodstream. So, opting for lower GI sources - usually higher fibre - can lead to more stable energy levels throughout the day, avoiding peaks and troughs in productivity and focus.
Some decent P3RFORM recipe options include:
Sweet Potato and Lentil Pasta Soup
Peanut Butter Chia Pudding
Spiced Quinoa with Almonds and Feta
Harissa Chicken and Moroccan Couscous
Quinoa, Spinach, and Tofu Buddha Bowl
You have probably heard that protein is essential for building and maintaining your muscles, but did you know it's also vital in ensuring satiation throughout the day?
The thermic effect of food (TEF) is the amount of energy it takes for your body to digest, absorb, and metabolism the food that you eat - and usually takes up around 10% of your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). Although studies differ in their results, it has been established that protein has a higher TEF (20-30%) compared to other macronutrients. Making sure you include a high-quality protein source with EVERY meal (0.3 g/kg BM) can therefore help to keep you nice and full for longer periods, helping reduce these hunger bouts.
Don't worry - this blog is not ever going to tell you to give up the things you love. In fact, I'm sitting here with a good old cup of Yorkshire Tea (the best) as I write this! Caffeine is great for increasing short-term alertness and attentiveness and has high-scientifical backing for increasing power output within sports. However, did you know that consuming caffeine at certain periods throughout the day could also be harming your productivity? Although dependent on individual responsiveness, caffeine has been shown to stay in your system for several hours and might actually be harming your sleep duration and quality – a critical period of recovery.
So, particularly for those who consume caffeine late in the afternoon, can we try switching these afternoon tea breaks out to help with feelings of lethargy and information processing?
There has been a lot of recent research into the world of omega-3, and its impact on immunity, joint health, and brain functioning. Though regular intake won’t make you a genius overnight, trying to hit the recommended daily intake of 1-2g should be considered when it comes to creating your optimum diet.
So, ditch the caffeine, up the fibre, protein, and flaxseeds - and you’ll double your work rate in no time!
We have worked with hundreds of clients who are wanting to get their intake nailed consistently, and most importantly - sustainably.
Book your free consultation today and become the best version of yourself.