So you might have seen our infographic for the most productive hours of the day. Although the best times to be productive differs by age, gender and industry, there are ways to counter our less productive hours of the day.
We brought in London nutritionist Alice Mackintosh to give us her top tips on food that will improve memory, help you stay alert, focused and energised.
There are four main points she made:
It’s so important to keep your energy balanced. This means eating three meals a day – and not skipping breakfast. It’s true what they say, breakfast is the most important part of the day so it’s one not to be missed.
Replacing carbs with protein was a great tip Alice gave. This is a great way to replace those white carbs that we all know and love with protein that we like. This could be meat, fish, hummus, nuts, seeds, eggs, tofu, edamame, cottage cheese etc.
So what do you have for breakfast? Here are some good examples of an ideal breakfast:
Oh and coffee. Most of us love having coffee in the morning. Although it spikes blood sugar, it’s not too bad if you’re having water as well (and not using it as a meal replacement!). It is useful for stimulating the mind, but you shouldn’t have more than one or two a day if you want to stay productive as it leads to dips in energy. Replacements could be green tea, matcha (containing a slow release of caffeine that also helps you stay focused) or ginseng.
When it comes to snacking, it’s actually good to eat every 3-4 hours as this will prevent low blood pressure. So what are good snacks? Complex carbs and protein. This would be:
So it turns out that small bag of crisps or sweets is not the way to satisfy the 3pm lull. All it would do is lead to a spike in blood sugar which will end in dips in energy, concentration and mood. So contrary to what we want to believe, it won’t help you or your productivity when you choose the wrong sugars.
Good replacements are natural products such as:
So what’s best for your brain?
There’s a lot to be learnt from staying hydrated (literally, because it helps with memoir and concentration). If you let your body become dehydrated, there’s a whole list of negative effects that it produces; low energy, mood, bad headaches, poor concentration and memory.
As tough as it may be for some, we need to aim for 2.5-3 litres per day. Although the majority should be water, herbal teas, soups and juices still count. And quite interestingly, you should sip, not gulp your water so it doesn’t flush straight through you.