Do you have a big meeting to attend? Are you going to make a presentation or do you need to keep alert during that meeting? Be careful what you eat because there are foods that can dampen your mood and zap your energy level.
Also, have you ever noticed that after eating some sugary snacks at tea breaks during your meetings or official functions, you feel a sudden ‘burst of energy’ and then before long you experience a sluggishness? You are then unable to give your best and shine.
What you eat can certainly affect the way you behave.
These are four ways that what you eat or drink affect how you feel:
- Eating and Drinking a Lot of Sugar
This is a number one culprit in mood swings. When you eat a lot of sugar, your body makes blood glucose from it and releases it into your bloodstream. In your brain, once you eat or drink lots of sugar, your body releases dopamine and serotonin – neurotransmitters in your brain associated with reward. You feel high. This causes your body to release insulin – a hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. When insulin is released, your blood glucose is rapidly reduced, causing a crash, thus making you feel down, sluggish (physically and mentally) and possibly sleepy.
Excessive sugar intake can cause anxiety and irritability. High Sugar intake especially overtime has been tied to depression and it may interfere with your ability to learn and remember things. Obviously, excess sugar is not what you need to perform excellently in your presentation or take active participation in a meeting.
Examples of these foods and drinks include croissants, sugary doughnuts, cakes and other sweet pastries;soft drinks or soda, fruit juices, coffee or tea with lots of sugar.
Beneficial foods to eat before or during meetings include high protein snacks, whole fruits, coffee, tea including green tea without excess sugar.
Remember that sugar supplies you with energy. However, how you eat it and what quantity you take affects you greatly.
- Eating Protein-rich foods
Scientists have long found out that protein-foods are important for your brain to function healthily. They help to keep your blood sugar level steady. They also contribute to the development of neurotransmitters in the brain; precursors of neurotransmitters.
Examples of these precursors are tryptophan used to make serotonin and is found in milk, eggs, bananas; phenylalanine used to make dopamine and found in almond nuts, meat, whole grains and tyrosine used for making norepinephrine and found in fish, beans, milk and meat.
Your brain uses neurotransmitters to communicate information in your body. They can affect your mood, your concentration, and your sleep. Eating foods that make these neurotransmitters together with other foods can ensure that your neurotransmitters are not depleted.
However, note that eating protein foods with carbohydrates (unrefined and fibre-rich) and vitamins like the Vitamin D and B are very important to ensuring that your neurotransmitter levels are not depleted as opposed to eating protein foods alone.
- Drinking Alcohol
Alcohol is a depressant. No matter how high you feel when you take it, what alcohol does is to interfere with your mood. You might become tired and lethargic. You might also become aggressive, restless and anxious. However, studies have shown that different people have different responses to alcohol depending on the type of alcohol they take.
If you are having an official dinner with your partners or potential clients at a restaurant, you can decide to avoid it altogether or limit your alcohol intake.
- Drinking Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant and it can keep you extra vigilant at meetings. They can also cause you to be anxious especially for those who have high anxiety issues. Teas like the Green tea, black tea and coffee contain caffeine. These teas or drinks also contain polyphenols that have disease prevention properties.
Other ways to that improve your moods include eating foods containing fatty fish (omega-3 fatty acids), dark chocolates, and whole fruits and vegetables.
Lastly, to keep being on top of things every day, you need to eat healthy meals and avoid foods or ingredients that can negatively affect how you feel. A healthy meal contains a good dose of proteins like fish, seafood; healthy whole grains or starchy carbohydrates (such as yam, brown rice, boiled potato) and vitamins and minerals which you can get from your fruits and vegetables.
How can you avoid the unhealthy foods served during your meetings? Stay tuned.