Knowledge is one thing. But doing is something else entirely, right?
Sure, there is a lot of information out there on nutrition for healthy brain function. But what happens when I’m running late and don’t have time to prepare a meal filled with salmon, avocados, and berries? And what can I eat when I feel sluggish in the middle of the workday or am out running errands, but cannot risk yet another caffeine or sugar crash in two hours?
Brain-Boosting Foods or Drinks?
There are plenty of energy drinks that promise “focus” and “mental clarity,” but read the labels. While they may contain some beneficial nutrients, such as ginseng (which boosts focus), so many of these products are also filled with sugar! (Even if the label doesn’t say sugar, it could contain “hidden sugars.”)
Many of these products also contain copious amounts of caffeine. While some caffeine is okay, too much, especially at one time, can contribute to feeling jittery and frazzled… and then crashing later.
Another downside to any drink is that it goes down too easily, still leaving you craving actual food. Energy drinks may not fill your stomach – another reason why they aren’t always the best option for sustained clarity and focus.
What Should I Look for in a Snack?
Ingredients matter. Yes, many supplemental snacks contain some sugar and caffeine. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. But what’s the source of the sugar? Is it natural or processed?
Apples and grapes, for example, have decent quantities of sugar. But they also provide additional nutritional benefits and are naturally occurring sweeteners (not refined).
Does the energy source have a slow and sustained release? Look for ingredients such as guarana and maca that can contribute to longer-lasting energy and clarity without the caffeine crash.
Ratios. Another important factor is the ratios. Is the product all-protein? Is the snack sugar-heavy? Or is there a balance? Ideally, an on-the-go snack will contain a good carb-protein-fat ratio. (Approximately 45-65% of your daily calories should be carbs, 25-35% protein, and 30-35% fat.) That being said, the kinds of carbs and fats also matter significantly.
Complex carbs, such as oats, provide longer lasting energy and lead to feeling fuller for longer. And while our brains in particular need fat, it has to be healthy fat. Balance healthy fat levels for both your brain and cardiovascular systems.
Who Needs Energy-Boosting Snacks?
Just about anyone could benefit from the occasional on-the-go convenient snack. The brain, while only making up 2% of the body’s weight, consumes 20% of the energy used by the entire body, in addition to taking 20% of the oxygen consumption. Keeping the brain properly fueled is critical to maintaining focus, alertness, and clarity.
- Students studying will benefit more from a sustaining energy source than a crash-inducing energy drink.
- Shift workers or road warriors may need these to maintain mental alertness and focus when the body expects rest.
- Office workers often experience mental fatigue and lack of clarity in meetings or from repetitive tasks. A brain-centric snack could be the pick-me-up necessary to produce high-caliber work.
- Parents trying to keep up with the mental and physical demands of raising small humans into kind, educated, contributing members of society oftentimes find themselves exhausted and short on time!
Treat Yourself to Healthy Brain-Centric Snacks!
If you find yourself experiencing mental blocks, brain fog, or just feel run down and short on time, a brain-centric snack could be just what you need to realign your physical and mental prowess. For more information on the ingredients that will fuel your brain and body, contact us via live chat or call 888-549-5519.