What You Eat Effects Your Performance At Work!

Think back to your most productive workday in the past week. What did you have for lunch?

When we think about the things that contribute to our performance at work, we rarely give much thought to food. For those of us fighting to stay on top of meetings, emails, and deadlines, food is just one of those things required to get us through the day.

The foods we eat affect us more than we realise. With Petrol, you can reliably expect the same performance from your car no matter what brand of unleaded you put in your tank.

But Food is different. Imagine a world where if you filled up at BP it meant your car wouldn’t go faster than 40 kph, or filling up at Gull meant you could drive as fast as you like. You’d be a bit more careful where you purchased your gas?

Food has a direct impact on our mental performance, which is why a poor decision at lunch can derail an entire afternoon.

Here’s a brief rundown of why this happens. Just about everything we eat is converted by our body into glucose, which provides the energy our brains need to stay alert. When we’re running low on glucose, we have a tough time staying focused and our attention drifts. This explains why it’s hard to concentrate on an empty stomach.

So far, so obvious. Now here’s the part we rarely consider: Not all foods are processed by our bodies at the same rate. Some foods, like pasta, bread, cereal and soft drinks, release their glucose quickly, leading to a burst of energy followed by a slump. Others, like high fat meals (think burgers and pies) provide more sustained energy, but require our digestive system to work harder, reducing oxygen levels in the brain and making us groggy.

Most of us know this already, yet we don’t always make smart decisions about our diet. In part, it’s because we’re at our lowest point in both energy and self-control when deciding what to eat. Hot chips and Pies are highly appealing when you’re mentally drained.

Unhealthy lunch options also tend to be cheaper and faster than healthy alternatives, making them all the more alluring in the middle of a busy workday. They feel efficient. Which is where our lunchtime decisions lead us astray. We save 10 minutes now and pay for it with weaker performance the rest of the day.

So what are we to do? One thing we most certainly shouldn’t do is assume that better information will motivate us to change. Most of us are well aware that scoffing down a processed mixture of chicken bones and leftover carcasses is not a good life decision. But that doesn’t make chicken nuggets any less delicious.

No, it’s not awareness we need—it’s an action plan that makes healthy eating easier to accomplish. Here are some tips worth trying.

1.Make your eating decisions before you get hungry. If you’re going out to lunch, choose where you’re eating in the morning, not at 12:30 PM. If you’re buying your lunch, decide what you’re having after a morning snack. Studies show we’re a lot better at resisting salt, calories, and fat if we don’t make decisions on an empty stomach.

2.Instead of letting your glucose bottom out around lunch time, you’ll perform better by grazing throughout the day. Spikes and drops in blood sugar are bad for your brain and productivity. Smaller, more frequent meals maintain your glucose at a more consistent level than relying on a midday feast.

3.Finally, make healthy snacking easier than unhealthy snacking. Bring a container of almonds or a selection of protein bars and keep them at your desk, where you can see them. Bring a bag of fruit to work at the start of the week so that you have them available throughout the week.

Is carrying fruit and nuts to work just a little ambitious? For many of us, the honest answer is yes. But thats why The Orchard Juicery & Kitchen is here.

Eating fruits and vegetables throughout the day isn’t simply good for the body—it’s also beneficial for the mind.

Health is wealth.

Mark.

How Much Water Should You Be Drinking?

A question that seems to pop alot is how much water you should be drinking each day? How much is too much?

Your body consists of approx 60% Water and because your constantly loosing water via sweat, urine, digestion etc… Your going to be on a constant mission to stay hydrated, especially at this time of the year.

New Zealand health Authorities recommend we drink 8 glasses of water per day, this equates to approx 2 litres. As with alot of things this is going to depend on you, do you exercise daily? Do you work in an Air-conditioned office? If you answered yes to either of those questions then your bodies demand for water is going to be higher.

A general rule of thumb is that we should be constantly sipping water through out the day.

Staying Hydrated Can Boost Your Energy Levels and Improve Brain Function

There are numerous studies that show even mild dehydration, (Only 1.5%) can impair your mood and concentration while increasing your chance of headaches.

Mild dehydration is showen to cause decreased performance, both mentally and physically and also lead to reduced endurance.

Staying Hydrated as Multiple Health Benefits

Constipation: A common reason for constipation is a lack of hydration.

Cancer: There are studies that show those who drink more water have a lowered risk of bladder and colorectal cancers

Kidney Stones: Consistent hydration lowers the risk of kidney stones

Acne: Drinking water and staying hydrated is shown to reduce acne by flushing impurities via urine, rather then through the skin pores.

Skin Tone and Hydration: Skin Tone and Hydration is improved with better water consumption.

If I’m Drinking Other Fluids During the Day Does that Count?

Yes, certain foods and drink do count towards hydration balance.

But not Coffee and Tea as they are diuretics.

Most foods are full of water, especially fruits and Vegetables, but also Meats, Fish and Eggs.

the bottom line.

The bottom line is to listen to your body. If your thirsty, then drink some water. Your body has evolved to give you certain indicators that are to stop you from dying. When your bodied hydration gets below a certain level your brain gets a message to give you a dry mouth and a feeling of thirst.

How Much Water is Too Much?

At the end of the day everyone is different. Experiment with yourself. The colour of your urine is a pretty good indicator of hydration:

  1. Yellow, thick and smelly-Very Dehydrated
  2. Purple and fizzy- Your an alien.
  3. Bright Yellow- Lay off the Vitamins
  4. Dark Yellow- Mild Dehydration
  5. Transparent Yellow: Normal
  6. Pale Straw Colour: Normal, Well hydrated.
  7. No Colour: Over hydrated, slow down on the water now.

 The rules

  1. If your thirsty, then drink
  2. If your not thirsty anymore, then stop.
  3. If it’s hot, of you work in an air-conditioned office then drink water consistently.
  4. If you’ve exercised that day. Drink more water.

Is Coffee Really that Bad For You?

As an habitual Coffee drinker, you’ll often hear me recommend a coffee to anyone that walks into the shop looking a little jaded. But today I was reprimanded for my actions! “Coffee is poison, you shouldn’t be selling that rubbish let alone recommending it to your customers in a health food store”, the Customer told me.

Ok, so fair enough, everyone has an opinion right.

But now I’m sitting in my office writing a Blog post on this matter because I believe coffee drinkers also have a rights! So here it is: Is Coffee Really that Bad For You?

The health effects of Coffee are controversial to say the least! Obviously depending on who you ask, it’s either the Nectar of the gods or the Black Death.

Did you know! Coffee is high in Antioxidants and directly linked to a reduced risk of many diseases!

The average person that’s eating a typical kiwi diet actually gets more antioxidants from coffee than fruit and vegetables! What the hell? (I can’t actually confirm this information with actual scientific research, but this blog is pro coffee)

Coffee is more then Brown Water!

A typical 240ml cup of the sweet nectar:

  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 11% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 6% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B1 (Thiamin): 2% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 2% of the RDA
  • Folate: 1% of the RDA
  • Manganese: 3% of the RDA
  • Potassium: 3% of the RDA
  • Magnesium: 2% of the RDA
  • Phosphorus: 1% of the RDA

Ok, so these aren’t big numbers, I get that. But imagine buying 2 or 3 cups per day. That’s quite a significant portion of you nutrient intake for the day.

Coffee enhances brain function and boosts your metabolism!

Caffeine is in soft drinks, tea and chocolate, but coffee is by far the best source. Coffee is the most commonly consumed psychoactive substance in the world (that’s legal).

The Caffine in a single cup of coffee can range anywhere from 30-300mg, but the average strength is around 90-100mg.

So the best thing about caffeine is that it’s a stimulant and blocks the function of an inhibitory neurotransmitter called Adenosine, by doing this the caffeine is able to increase activity in the brain and helps the to release the good neurotransmitters called norepinephrine and DOPAMINE! This reduces tiredness and makes us feel alert.

Caffeine can lead to bursts of improved mood, reaction time, vigilance and general cognitive function. It also boosts your metabolism!

The only issue is these generous side effects are only short term and if your a long term coffee drinker your tolerance will build and the effects will be less powerful.

Coffee may help protect your brain in old age leading to a reduced risk of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease!

Coffee drinkers have a much lower risk of type 2 Diabetes!

Coffee drinkers have a lower risk of Liver Disease!

Coffee drinkers are at a much lower risk of developing Depression or considering Suicide! Unless you try and quit coffee, then it’s going to be bad.

Studies in the UK show that regular coffee drinkers live longer!

the con’s:

Alright, so in the interest of keeping a little balance, there seems to be a couple of cons to drinking coffee, I’m not sure they out way the Pro’s, but I’ll let you judge.

Coffee can cause Anxiety in some people and disrupt your sleep:

So if coffee doesn’t make you feel awesome, don’t drink it and if your planning on going to sleep anytime in the next 3 or 4 hours, don’t drink it. Problem Solved.

Coffee is addictive and missing a few cups can cause withdrawls!

Lies. Get me a damn coffee, I’ve got a headache.

Coffee causes dehydration.

Make sure to chase your coffee with a bottle of water.

some people should not be drinking coffee. period.

If you are pregnant.

If you have anxiety Issues.

If you have a heart condition.

conclusion:

At the end of the day it’s a personal choice. My personal feelings are based on my extensive research, I think coffee plays a role in good health.

But there is truth to the phrase “Too much of anything can be a bad thing”. If your drinking more than 4 double coffee’s a day then maybe it’s time to cut back a little, if your the 4 shot long black guy then you need help.