Useful tips to stay energised at the office
What we eat highly affects our daily energies and concentration levels, therefore choosing the right food to keep us energised at the office throughout the day is vital for absolute performance and productivity at the workplace.
It’s not uncommon to start the day rushing around without eating breakfast, often having two to three cups of coffee by mid-morning break, followed by a quick take away lunch from a nearby food kiosk. By the afternoon, that daunting feeling of tiredness and lethargy may be unbearable to go on working, so hitting the snack box or vending machine for a ‘pick me up snack’ or energy drink is sometimes what defines the diet of a busy working lifestyle and seemingly helps to stay energised at the office, yet things don’t really need to be that way.
The analogy of ‘just filling up the belly during lunch, and getting back to work’ may be common for some, however this is dangerously flawed since certain foods can cause energy levels and productivity to plunge.
Food powers our brains and shapes our days so we can get the most out of each one. Gorging on rich foods such as white bread, pasta, and pizza provides energy for a while, but by the afternoon results in loss of concentration, tiredness and eventually a complete crash! This is because large bursts of carbohydrates encourage the body to produce ‘serotonin’, the chemical which causes lethargy. This is why such high-carb meals may not the best way to keep energised at the office.
Likewise, fatty fast meals such as burgers and BLTs, make the digestive system work hard, which makes the body feel slow and fatigued.
Skipping lunch altogether is just senseless. Lunch provides the energy needed to sustain the human body throughout the afternoon without draining the body’s reserves, at the same time, helps to maintain a good blood sugar level. If one skips lunch, the blood sugar level drops and generally results in irritability and sluggishness.
The ideal lunch to sustain a hectic working day should contain a mixture of vitamins, minerals, fats, carbohydrates and protein. Carbohydrates and fat provide energy and lean protein is essential for the structure and function of the body. The carbohydrates one should eat would be ideally wholegrain, such as wholegrain pasta and brown bread. These release energy more slowly than white carbohydrates and are also high in B vitamins and fibre which are good for bowel movement. Chicken, egg, cheese and tuna sandwiches on wholegrain bread all contain low carbohydrates, protein and low fat and are a great and tasty lunch choice.
How to avoid an energy slump at the office.
Here are few tips that will help to make healthy eating easy whilst helping you to stay energised at the office:
- Decide on what you’re going to eat before you’re hungry. Super successful people don’t rely on moment-to-moment intuition to make good decisions, the same analogy stands when it comes to food.
- Make it easy to eat better snacks. Keeping almonds, fruits and raisins stored in a desk drawer instead of sweets, chocolates and cakes.
- Invest in a small blender to make quick and delicious morning protein smoothies to drink before or on your way to work.
- Prepare healthy foods the night before so they are ready to take with you to work in the morning. Making a salad, wholegrain sandwich or wrap are all easy and healthy options. Couscous is another great choice, as a low fat and low calorie grain, it converts to glucose more slowly than refined carbohydrates, encouraging energy rather than lethargy.
- Scout out healthy restaurants or food kiosks in your work area that offer healthy, grab-and-go salad options for lunch. Listing them down and adding their contact details to your mobile phone or outlook contact list for easy access when hunger strikes.