Change your diet to boost productivity in the workplace

Change your diet to boost productivity in the workplace

31st May, 2016

Once it hits 1 pm, work suddenly becomes a lot more difficult. Getting through the afternoon lull in the workplace is something that a lot of people struggle with. If you are someone that constantly feels sluggish and lethargic, it could have something to do with the food you are eating. In this post, we are going to take a look at some foods that boost your productivity levels as well as some that cause you to feel tired. We will also provide you with some top snack suggestions on what you can eat in the workplace to help you get the healthy energy boost you need. So, continue reading to find out more.


Foods that could be making you feel tired:


  •          Whole-grain bread – Unfortunately, while whole-grain bread may be key to a healthy and convenient lunch in the workplace, it can also make you feel tired. This is because these sorts of carbs can cause blood glucose levels to spike and then drop back down quickly, which causes an energy crash.
  •          Junk food – Any type of junk food should be avoided if you want to remain alert while at work. We often grab a bar of chocolate or a sugary treat, such as a doughnut, to give us an energy boost. However, the problem is that these foods cause fatigue over the cause of the day, because they result in our blood sugar constantly spiking and then dropping, which is not good for your body.
  •          Almonds – Almonds are often considered a healthy snack, but the trouble is that they contain magnesium and tryptophan, both of which steady the rhythm of your heart while also helping to reduce the muscle and nerve function naturally.
  •          Pasta – Pasta is another type of food that can cause you to feel sluggish, despite the fact that a lot of carbs do provide a jolt of energy. The trouble with refined carbohydrates, such as pasta, is that they cause blood sugar to increase, which is then followed by insulin levels decreasing. This results in weakness and fatigue.
  •          Oatmeal – If you have oatmeal for breakfast in the morning, this could be the reason you struggle to make it to lunchtime without several cups of coffee. This is because the grains found within this food trigger the production of insulin – similar to what happens when you consume whole-grain bread. The insulin causes your blood sugar to rise naturally, which in turn makes you feel tired. Not only this, but oats are rich in melatonin, which helps people to fall asleep as it relaxes the body.
  •          Honey – Honey is another food that is linked to feeling sleepy. The reason for this is because it contains glucose, which tells your brain to turn off the chemical that triggers alertness, orexin.


Foods that can boost productivity:


  •          Eggs – Start off some mornings with eggs for breakfast and you really will notice an improvement in the workplace. After all, you know what they say, breakfast is the most important meal of the day! The reason to consider eating eggs is that they contain choline, which is a B-vitamin that stimulates the reactive sensors of the brain. Consequently, eating eggs has been proven to speed up reaction times in the workplace while also boosting memory capabilities.
  •          Water – While water is technically not a food, we could not put together this post without mentioning it. Water is extremely important when looking to improve productivity in the workplace. This is because every body function relies on water to work smoothly, as our bodies are made up of more than 70 per cent water. As the day goes by, the water stored will begin to deplete slowly, which is why you need to replace it.
  •          Avocados – A tasty and healthy way to boost productivity, avocados are a natural stimulant because they ensure that consistent blood flow around the heart and through the brain. This is a simple yet delicious way to ensure your brain cells are fired up and ready to go.
  •          Salmon – All types of fatty fish are good for boosting productivity, but salmon is definitely one of the best. It can help to enhance mental performance and memory because of the high content of mega-3 fatty acids.
  •          Sunflower seeds – If you are looking for a great brain-boosting snack for the workplace, you should consider sunflower seeds. They contain a good dose of thiamine, which is a B vitamin that boosts memory and cognitive function.
  •          Dark chocolate – Dark chocolate is the healthiest form of chocolate. It is a great way for you to get your sugar fix without worrying about too many calories or feeling sluggish in the workplace. Not only is dark chocolate satisfying, but also it is a natural stress reliever, as it contains magnesium. It can also help you to focus on your tasks better and feel more energetic, as it contains caffeine.
  •          Raw carrots – Raw carrots are good for helping you to stay focused on important tasks all day long. This is because they keep the mind clear due to having a low glycaemic index. This means glucose spikes are steadied, as the glucose is broken down slowly.
  •          Matcha green tea – You should switch your cup of coffee for a cup of Matcha green tea. While there are many different green teas to choose from, Matcha is advised because it is more potent, as you contain the entire tea leaf, as opposed to it merely being submerged into the water. Matcha is proven to enhance energy and concentration and it does so without the jitters that are associated with caffeine.
  •          Berries – The darker the berry, the better! Berries are great for improving memory in the workplace and this is because they are filled with antioxidants.
  •          Broccoli – Last but not least, we have broccoli. It is no coincidence that broccoli is considered a superfood. It boasts a huge amount of nutrients, but when it comes to productivity, the most important is vitamin K. This plays a vital role in supporting brainpower and cognitive function.


Snack suggestions for the workplace


So, now you know about the different types of food that boost productivity as well as those that can make you feel tired and fatigued. Of course, you already have a few suggestions for workplace snacks, such as a handful of berries or sunflower seeds, but here are some more exciting options.


  •          A berry smoothie – A healthy snack that ensures you get the boost in productivity you need. Smoothies are also incredibly filling. You can create various types of berry smoothies. Combine with almond milk and play around with other superfood ingredients, such as kale and spinach.
  •          Raw carrots and hummus – Get the boost in concentration you need by eating raw carrots and team with hummus for a tasty and healthy snack.
  •          Greek yoghurt and berries – Greek yoghurt is really good for you, offering a great dose of protein. Mix with berries for a tasty treat and an energy boost.
  •          Trail mix – When choosing a trail mix, it is always a good idea to look for one that contains sunflower seeds. You should also make sure the nuts are unsalted for a healthy energy boost.
  •          Egg salad – If you missed out on your dose of eggs for breakfast, why not have them for lunch instead? A hard-boiled egg with a nice side salad is the perfect lunch to get you through the rest of the day.
  •          Chocolate-coated strawberries – Craving something bad and sugary? Melt some dark chocolate, dip strawberries into it, and set aside in the fridge until the chocolate becomes hard. 

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Alison Massey

Group Marketing Director

Now Health International

Alison Massey is a 15-year digital marketing veteran, who has spent the last seven years using social media to help expats and soon to be expats find out what to expect from a life overseas. An expat living in Hong Kong herself, Alison is the Group Marketing Director of Now Health, the award-winning international health insurance provider.

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