Very often most of us forget about one of the most important organs in our body - the brain. It's easy to focus on eating to increase the size of your biceps, lifting to strengthen your quads, or increase your cardio to give the 'ol ticker some additional work. But how many of you focus on eating to think better?
Corporate America has you going like a gerbil in a wheel. The more you do the faster the wheel turns and the more you must do to keep up. It's probably not uncommon to arrive at work before the sun rises, work through your lunch hour, and return home after dark.
At least the vending machine is close by; you can get a boost from the sugar in candy bars, right? Sure, if your goal is to hit the wall soon after and ultimately resemble the Pillsbury Dough Boy.
Eating To Think Better
Skipping meals or eating low nutrient, high sugar foods is like riding a bike with flat tires; sure you'll eventually reach your destination, but it will be a struggle. Here's a hint, genius: women like brawn and brains, not some ogre who can't spell his own name.
First, plan ahead. There is no telling what your day will be like, so it's crucial to pack food for a typical day ahead of time; doing so the night before work is ideal. Remember you should eat every few hours to get the necessary glucose and other
nutrients to your head.
Second, eat breakfast. If success is your
goal, you won't get there without breakfast. Don't have time in the morning-make it. Not hungry after just rolling out of bed-too bad. It doesn't take more than 3 minutes to eat a piece of fruit, swallow down a yogurt, or whip up a meal replacement powder with frozen fruit (see below tips to make things easier).
Your mommy is done holding your hand and isn't there to make you breakfast every morning. Oh yeah, and don't think about a drive thru unless you also plan to stop to put mud in your gas tank to effectively fuel your car.
Keep in mind that there are also specific foods that are loaded with nutrients; fruit in general is great, but dark berries in particular have been shown to pack a super nutrient punch. Having some protein at each meal may help keep you stay alert at your desk as well. Remember too that glucose is the brains primary food; low carb diets will keep you in a fog all day, so don't forget the whole grains as well.
Finally, omega-3 fatty acids are necessary for brain development and mental performance. Give this meal a try and you'll soon rival Einstein's mental clarity.
Cerebral Culinary Cuisine:
- 4 oz grilled salmon
- 1 medium sized sweet potato or yam
- 1 8 oz low-fat yogurt mixed with 1 cup blueberries or blackberries
Click here for a printable version.
But if you're in a pinch and grilled salmon seems to be a bit too much work or, your boss doesn't allow you to keep a Weber (barbecue grill) next to your desk - those bosses never understand.
Here are some tricks to increase your ability to always fuel your body with some great nutrients.
Using Meal Replacement Powder
Unfortunately us fitness minded folk are a rare breed; not many share the burning desire to resemble the Statue of David. Case in point: ask a co-worker when the last time he traded in a double-bacon cheeseburger and fries for a meal replacement powder (MRP).
Many readers correctly make a concerted effort to refuel their bodies ASAP after a workout or to bail out of lunch with the guys to have a nutrient dense, low fat MRP. But aside from asking for an extension cord at your gym to blend your MRP or keeping a blender on your desk at work, what's a guy to do?
Bodybuilding.com has compiled some tips for enjoying your favorite MRP without getting ridiculed like a 7th grader who wet his pants.
- Shaker bottles are a must. Never heard of one? Go to your local Bodybuilding.com store and ask.
- Put your favorite MRP in the shaker before heading out for the day and keep this in your gym bag or desk.
When you're ready for a nutrient-dense meal or your muscles are craving nutrients after a workout, all you have to do is repeat after the top 40 hit from Outkast and, "shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it like a Polaroid picture."
- Blend your MRP before work, transfer it to a travel mug and store it in the refrigerator - drink when ready. Using a blender gives the advantage of adding fruit to your MRP.
- Unless you make your MRP with a perishable liquid, such as milk, you don't need have a refrigerator at your desk to store it. MRP's aren't going to "go sour."
- Do NOT add creatine to the powder if you plan to "premix it" with liquid. Creatine is broken down in liquid to the useless byproduct, creatinine, only to be excreted by the body.
- If you typically add flax oil to your MRP, you may consider opting for flax oil pills. You can also add the oil to your premixed drink, but this then requires refrigeration.
- Try one of those ready-to-drink options that many of the popular MRP's now make. There's no fuss, it's convenient and won't cause your co-workers to single you out like a dunce in the corner - and if they do, you can't blame the MRP.
Give some of these tips a try and you'll be pleasantly surprised at the ease of attaining quality nutrients from a low-fat "meal."