A quick summary:
- How does nutrition boost productivity and mood? 🔎
- Eating the best sources of nutrition for you 💚
- What you should avoid consuming ❌
Whether we’re in the office, the gym or any setting and scenario for that matter, nutrition is key. Most of us overlook the negative effects of poor nutrition, but it can eat away at our mood, productivity, alertness and performance. 🏃♀️
With the rise of remote work and hybrid arrangements, getting the best nutrition isn’t just important, it’s essential. And despite working from home, our eating habits haven’t improved, only our access to a cupboard and fridge full of snacks.
Think back to the last time you had sugary drinks, fast food, store-bought sweets or frozen meals during work. It’s likely you experienced a sluggish mid-morning and struggled to focus. 💤
Now, we all love to treat ourselves from time to time, and there’s nothing wrong with that! Yet, the long list of negative consequences to our health, productivity and mood is reason to reconsider what’s a ‘nice treat’. 🤔
It’s only through a healthy and balanced diet that we can set ourselves up to thrive. This very basic truth has driven businesses to seek out innovative ways of promoting nutrition in the workplace. Think free healthy office snacks, nootropic coffee replacements like Brite drinks, and paid for nutritional lunches. 🚀
Here we’ve explored why eating the right nutrition can transform your productivity, performance, and mood. We’ve also discussed a number of foods and drinks to consume or avoid - making it easier for you to decide next time you’re stuck for lunch at work.
How does nutrition boost productivity and mood? 🔎
Starting with the most important question of all, how does nutrition boost our ability to focus and perform at our best? It all begins with glucose, which provides the energy our brains need to remain alert.
Interestingly, our bodies process different types of food at varying rates. Carby foods like bread and pasta release glucose at a quicker pace, resulting in a short burst of energy. Unfortunately, this is often followed by a sluggish and lethargic feeling.
That isn’t all, other studies suggest our sleep drive and circadian rhythm are responsible for those mid-morning or post-lunch dips of energy. Starting with sleep drive, this is a build-up of a chemical called adenosine.
Put simply, adenosine reaches a peak in the evening, right before we head to bed. So we can assume this build-up can be far higher in the afternoon compared to the morning.
As for the circadian rhythm, this acts as an internal clock, regulating periods of wakefulness and sleep. Gradually, this will change throughout the day based on physical, mental and behavioural changes following a 24 hour cycle. 🕦
Ultimately, certain foods provide us with the perfect balance of energy-releasing chemicals. Knowing what we should and shouldn’t avoid is key to a healthy work lunch.
Eating the best nutrition for your productivity and mood ✅
We’re now aware of the way nutrition works, and its power to harm or transform productivity and performance in the workplace, what kind of nutrition should we be consuming?
Take a look at the list below - you might notice there are some foods you may enjoy, others not so much. The beauty of building your own balanced diet is the wide option for healthy sources of nutrition. Variety really is the spice of life, and nutrition is no different!
Most seafood doesn’t just taste great, it is an amazing source of both protein and rich nutrients. Especially salmon, which is praised for being full of omega-3 fatty acids. 💊
These acids help to reduce chronic illnesses like cancer, arthritis and heart disease. What’s more, these rich acids can boost focus and readiness - perfect for avoiding that midday fatigue.
Everyone should enjoy spinach and kale now and again. These superfoods are productivity-boosting and a low-calorie source of Vitamin B. And as we know, Vitamin B is vital for energy production.
All kinds of vegetables are a great source of nutrition and do well in a mixed salad lunch for work. But leafy greens? Well, these have their own superpowers! 🥬
Looking for something carby and a quality source of energy? Look no further than oatmeal. This versatile ingredient can make for a colourful and tasty breakfast. As a whole grain, oatmeal provides sustainable energy, that’s long-lasting way into mid-morning.
Like leafy greens such as spinach and kale, oatmeal is also high in Vitamin B. So you can expect the same energy production levels from this powerful whole grain.
Other quality sources of nutrition
- Almonds (including most nut varieties)
- Broccoli (including most vegetables)
- Pumpkin seeds
- Lean meats
- Low-fat dairy products
- Other varieties of fish and seafood
- Beans and pulses
- Other superfoods
What not to consume ❌
On the other end of the spectrum, there are foods we should avoid. Foods that don’t particular hit the nail when it comes to nutritional quality and that all-important energy boost.
As we’ve explored above, most of these foods have similar negative effects. This includes causing cardiovascular disease, tooth decay from sugary foods, migraines and headaches from sodium-rich foods, rising cholesterol and many more. 🍔
Poor nutrition causes extreme deficiencies and ill-health in later life. This is something we’re often taught in school, however, the demands of everyday life make it hard to follow a strict and balanced diet. 📅
That’s why we cannot beat ourselves up for our lunch choices at times. Educating ourselves is the first step to better decision-making. Take a look at the foods below and consider what you should cut out of your weekly diet.
Other foods to avoid
- Sugary cereal
- Processed meats
- Frozen ready meals
- Fast foods
- Canned soups
- Coffee creamer
- Bottled sugary smoothies
- Most deep-fried foods
- Sweets and chocolate bars
- Coca-cola (including most fizzy drinks)
Nutrition is an essential ingredient to a healthy lifestyle. It is often responsible for supporting our ability to improve emotional and physical wellbeing too. It isn’t always easy knowing what to eat and what to avoid. In the modern workplace, many of us simply don’t have time to take better care of our nutritional needs.
Products like Brite make it easier to consume the right sources of nutrition, wherever and whenever, regardless of our schedule. Find out more of what makes Brite a great coffee alternative for every morning.
Hopefully, our guide can be a starting point to boost your nutrition. Only then can you see great improvements when it comes to productivity and performance. The foods we eat power us through the days, and we should all take nutrition much more seriously.