We all know that the types and amounts of food we eat affect our energy levels, our mood and much more. But what are some of the specific links between your diet and how productive you are throughout your day?
“You Are What You Eat”
We’ve definitely heard the term “you are what you eat” before, but are you aware how true it actually is? In this day and age our productivity is pretty important to us, especially those of us who are particularly career-oriented.
So here are some pointers about the specific ways your diet affects your ability to do what you want to do throughout your day.
First is a pretty straightforward one. Energy. Your body uses energy everyday, and it even uses energy to digest what you eat. So if you undersupply it, you might feel a bit weaker and it’ll affect your productivity. Your body only has so much energy to go around, so if you give it too little, it’ll only distribute it to the absolutely necessary parts. And you might find yourself feeling particularly lazy.
It’s not that simple, though, if you eat too much, you can also feel tired, because it’s a lot for your body to digest. On top of that, if you eat the wrong things, you can feel tired too. So how do you pick and choose?
Pick & Choose Your Food
One tip is to make sure you’re not eating too many carbs. High-carb diets have been associated with increased levels of “tryptophan,” also known as the “nap” hormone. High carbohydrate meals trigger insulin release, causing proteins to move into your muscle and fat cells- all except tryptophan. Tryptophan gets transported to the brain, which makes you a little drowsy. An important note, though, is that tryptophan is also the precursor to serotonin- the hormone that makes you happy. So a good balance of how many carbs you eat can get you a mood boost without making you too sleepy!
Another tip is to make sure you have enough blood sugar. We all know how much low blood sugar can create a drop in our mood and liveliness, but what you may not know is that it has also been associated with “self-control” in recent research. One study even said: “...glucose provides energy for nearly all of the brain’s activities, and it is plausible that self-control, as a particularly expensive process in terms of complex brain activity, is especially dependent on glucose.”
Another pointer is to remember how much food and sleep are linked. As we just discussed, eating certain foods or not having enough of certain foods can cause you to feel tired and sleepy. And if you nap at the wrong times, it can seriously mess with your body’s biological clock. And when you don’t sleep well or properly, it can seriously affect your ability to focus during the day.