“You are what you eat” is only sometimes true; take cinnamon buns, for example. Eating a cinnamon bun won’t make the others in the office excited to see you like they are when they see a cinnamon bun.
Eating like an elite athlete can make you a super human in the office. The opposite is true as well. Eating junk food can make you lazy, lethargic, tired, and unmotivated. Learning what to eat and when to eat it will make you an all-star at work.
World-class athletes have known for decades that what you eat prior to activity will play a huge role in your performance. The same is true for the world-class cubicle Olympian. Eating like an elite athlete, before and during your workday, will be the leading factor in your output and performance.
We often think of food as affecting only our physical well being. We all know that love handles and frontal butts are the result of too many cinnamon buns; but so are typos, scattered thoughts, and sub par work. In order to manage your energy, learn to eat in the office like an elite athlete would eat when training for the Olympics.
Glycogen – Glycogen is the brain’s preferred source of energy. Glycogen is found in carbohydrates. But wait, carbs are bad for your booty right? Consider this: while training for Ali, Will Smith was on a low carb diet and training like an elite athlete to get his body into shape. But on shoot day, his trainers loaded him up with whole grain pasta. Without the carbs, he couldn’t remember his lines!
GI – The Glycemic Index of food determines how quickly it turns to sugar in the body. Eat a high glycemic food such as a cinnamon bun and you’ll be hyper for all of about 20 minutes. Then you’ll crash. The crash causes your body to feel tired and lazy. Instead, aim for low glycemic foods that provide a steady burn leaving you energized and focused.
Timing – Elite athletes know that when you eat is just as important as what you eat. High Glycemic foods are digested quickly and spike insulin production. Low GI foods offer a slow burn, fueling you for hours. Proteins offer steady energy and fight fatigue. Good Fats (mono and polyunsaturated) leave you feeling fuller, longer; helping stave off hunger pains.
Nutrients – Tim Ferris used to make a supplement called BrainQuiken. The proprietary blend of nutrients was formulated to provide your brain with the preferred nutrition to improve mental focus and memory. Skip the supplements and eat your veggies. Try for five colors. Carrots, Squash, Broccoli, red peppers, and cauliflower for example are a five-color medley.
Eat like an elite athlete and become the office all-star. Learning how certain foods affect your energy levels and mood will help you know how to manipulate your energy levels to provide long, steady, spurts of productivity. Choose foods that provide what you need, when you need it. Skip that cinnamon bun just before your next conference call or you’re going to be the guy drooling on the conference table halfway through the call. Good luck living that one down.
What snacks do you have in your desk drawer?