Staying energetic (and productive) at work can be a real drag.
Only a few hours into your Monday and you’ve downed 5 cups of coffee, your eyes are blurry, and your shoulders are immensely tight–when is the weekend coming round again? Familiar?
You might not be eating as well as you should. Now, when you think about the factors that contribute to productivity, chances are, you rarely give much consideration to food. But you really should, because food has a direct impact on your cognitive performance.
Continue reading to find out more.
What’s the link between healthy eating and productivity?
To prevent this article from turning into a full-on biology lecture, here’s a brief rundown of why a poor decision at breakfast (or lunch) can derail an entire afternoon.
Your body breaks down most of the food you eat into glucose, which is the primary source of energy for your brain. Thus–explaining why you have difficulties staying focused on an empty stomach. It’s like your brain is trying to run on a 5% battery life!
Here’s the interesting part. Your body breaks down glucose in different foods at different rates. Some foods, like chips, white bread, and sugary drinks, release their glucose quickly, leading to a burst of energy followed by a slump. While others, like wholemeal bread, brown rice, and fresh fruits, provide more sustained energy. As you’ve probably inferred by now, opting for foods that release glucose gradually (i.e. low glycaemic index foods) will be better for your productivity.
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE:
Where’s the proof?
Not entirely convinced of the crucial role nutrition plays on your productivity levels? Perhaps the following can change your mind:
- WHO – According to the WHO, ‘adequate nutrition can raise your productivity levels by 20% on average.’
- 2005 study – Researchers had one group of children eat sweetened oatmeal for breakfast while another Cap’n Crunch cereal. Both groups were then given academic tasks. Guess what? That oatmeal eaters did up to 20% better at remembering information than the ones who’d eaten Crunch!
Tips for better nutrition and productivity
In light of this information, how can you improve your nutrition to maximize your productivity levels? Here are some tips:
- Be careful with caffeine – Consuming too much caffeine can lead to anxiety and jitteriness, distracting you from work and interfering with your sleep schedule. So, to reap the most benefits out of caffeine, you should have it in small amounts throughout the day.
- Base your diet around low glycemic index foods – Low glycemic index foods release glucose gradually after consumption, which means you won’t find yourself suffering from a major sugar crash (farewell, productivity!) in the middle of the day.
- Make your eating decisions before you get hungry – If you’re going out to lunch, choose where (and what) you’re eating in the morning, not while you’re staring at the menu. Studies show that we’re a lot better at resisting salt, calories, and fat in the future than we are in the present.
Want an easy way to keep track of how you’ve been fueling your body? Give The Daily Routine Journal a go–not only can you log what you’ve eaten, but you can also start planning your meals for the next day. Major life hack. Check out what our customers have to say about it here.
THE ROUTINE PROJECT PODCAST EPISODE
Does this topic interest you and want to hear more?? Listen to our podcast with celebrity nutritionist and chef Ronaldo Fulieri on our "Eating on Purpose" episode!
I sit down with Ronaldo who has been Tony Robbins personal chef for 4 years when Mr. Robbins comes to the Gold Coast and chat about all things food and nutrition!
Ronaldo has traveled the world, appeared on T.V shows, and written 2 books about how to perform through the power of nutrition, in this episode, we chat about how his passion for food was born, how his chance meeting with Tony Robbins gave his profile the extra push he needed. I also ask Ronaldo some common questions regarding food that I personally had and questions that our audience wanted to ask!
We covered topics like:
- What to make for a quick easy breaky.
- Fasting and its benefits, is it good for you?
- How much coffee is too much?
- Eating for mental health, what should you eat and avoid?
- How to eat to help with constipation?
- Importance of salt and different types.
- What's the best diet?
- AND MUCH MORE!