Nutrition For Focus
We’ve all grown up hearing “you are what you eat”. But what does this REALLY mean? How does the food we consume impact our mood, appetite, energy levels, body composition, and so much more?
Well, the truth is that if your diet is crap, your overall body performance will reflect that. Our bodies are incredibly complex machines, with dozens of systems that all require one thing: fuel. And that fuel is the food we consume. Therefore as you can expect, if the fuel you put into your engine isn't top tier quality, you can't expect top tier performance.
As we went over in a previous blog, focus is an absolutely essential aspect of your ability to excel in any facet of your life. Let's take a look at just how influential nutrition may be in this ability to focus, and what can be done to improve it.
How does food affect the brain?
There are many ways in which food plays a role in your concentration and mental performance. Most obviously, if you're hungry, you can't focus. Prolonged hunger can cause headaches, fatigue, irritability and even brain fog. Hard work isn't just physical - difficult tasks can exhaust your brain and require energy just like exercise.
This is a similar thing as dehydration, where once the symptoms start to hit, it's much harder to stop them. If you know you're in for a hard day's work, make sure to start the day by fueling up correctly, and maintain that. Don't skip meals or avoid highly nutritious foods, all which supply your body with macro and micronutrients that are essential for your organs, muscles, and overall body to function properly. These micronutrients are what allow your brain to continue growing new connections, reducing oxidative stress, and performing all the functions that are necessary every second of your life.
What to look for?
Although supplying your body with sufficient calories and macronutrients is important for general wellbeing, when it comes to something as vital as your brain, the small things are what really play a huge role. Nutrients such as antioxidants (which can be found in foods such as berries, kale, or dark chocolate) lower the levels of free radicals in your body which can boost overall health by reducing inflammation and the risk of issues such as heart disease, arthritis, stroke, and immune deficiency, amongst many others.
Another major factor in not only brain performance but overall hormone and organ health are healthy fats. These fats, which come in the form of omega-3 fatty acids can be found in foods such as fatty fish (salmon, tuna, cod, etc.) nuts, eggs, and avocados. And while these foods may be very calorie dense, they are also incredibly packed with nutrients such as Vitamins C and K, choline, and folate.
Each one of these has a specific role in the brain's performance, and being deficient in just one can cause some performance decreases you may have never even been aware of.
If there's one thing to mention about healthy foods for optimal performance, is that it's pretty much impossible to overdo it. In fact, most Americans are severely under consuming nearly all vital micronutrients due to the average diet lacking vegetables, fruits, healthy fats or proteins.
If you're just starting off on a health and self-improvement journey, there are plenty of ways to do so without crazy lifestyle changes. The simplest thing you could do is start focusing on eating whole foods rather than processed junk (a good rule of thumb is avoiding the center aisles of the grocery store). Consuming multiple servings of vegetables and fruits a day is already a surefire way to boost your daily vitamin and micronutrient uptake and therefore health and performance.
What foods to avoid?
While the idea of calling certain foods straight up bad may seem extreme, it is simply the truth when it comes to the hundreds of processed, utterly nutrient-void food products pilling on dozens of shelves in every grocery store across the world.
Countless studies across the past few decades have found clear connections with certain foods and negative effects on the body, with notable influences on the brain: impacting memory, mood, and even increasing risk of dementia just to name a few. And although it may come as a bummer, cutting out (or at least heavily decreasing your consumption of these) will not only improve your mental performance, but also your overall health and quality of life.
Highly processed foods (just take a look down the snack cake aisle at your local store) seem to be the exact opposite of what you would ever want to put in your body: extremely high in trans fats, refined carbs and with zero nutrient density, while packing a shockingly high caloric punch. This combination of horrible ingredients can cause issues such as increasing your risk of Alzheimer's disease and reduce your memory, brain volume and cause general cognitive decline.
A general rule for not only brain health but your body as a whole is to avoid things that cause any sort of stress or inflammation, which not only take away your body's energy and attention to correct, but also cause damage to your health over the long term. If your goal is to live a long, healthy, and productive life (which should be a priority for everyone), make sure to follow a diet full of healthy, fresh and well-sourced whole foods.
Set yourself up for success from the very first bite in the morning to the time you lay your head down on the pillow. Without energy, all the motivation in the world will mean nothing.
However, there are supplements that combined with an optimal diet can elevate your performance that extra little bit. These products contain ingredients such as nootropics and stimulants, which use specific substances to boost the rate of messaging between the brain and body, increasing energy, focus, alertness, etc. Finding the right ingredients and amounts is very individualized, and a very important part of starting the use of one. After searching for the perfect product for ages without success, we decided to create our own.
ONWARD™ and SHARPSHOOTER™ use a unique combination of vitamins, minerals and the most effective ingredients possible in efficacious dosages to provide you with a stable, powerful and delicious boost of energy and focus. Stop pushing throughthose days without some help. Try our products today and elevate your passion!