The Secret Relationship Between Diet And Productivity

diet productivity

Your diet is absolutely pertinent for many, many reasons. Obviously, if you’re eating all of the wrong foods, you’re going to get yourself into big trouble in the near future. A poor diet can lead to obesity and many other health problems.

This is a guest post from Bruce Kuster from

You should also be aware of the fact that your diet can positively or negatively impact your productivity throughout the day. If you’re eating the wrong foods, there is a good chance that you’re going to feel sluggish and lethargic.

In return, your productivity is going to dip significantly. Below, you’re going to learn a great deal more about the links between your diet and your productivity.

Does Food Impact Productivity?

There are plenty of people who believe that this is nothing more than a myth. In reality, your diet is undoubtedly going to impact your productivity.

In 2005, the International Labour Organization released a study that confirmed nutritional choices could have a direct impact on productivity.

At the same time, the World Health Organization has stated that getting the right nourishment could potentially increase your productivity rates by as much as twenty percent.

Are There Really Different Types Of Calories?

If you have ever had the unfortunate privilege of dieting, you have probably heard many people say that in order to lose weight you have to take fewer calories than what you are burning. While this might be completely true, it doesn’t necessarily mean that all calories are the same.

The source in which the calories come from can have a huge response on the body.

For instance, you might just consume two plain hamburgers a day that averages at a total of a thousand calories and thinks that you are doing your body a favor.

Unfortunately, this is not the case as making the wrong food choices can affect your waistline, as well as your brainpower. While your body needs carbohydrates to produce energy, getting them from candy, sodas, and donuts will provide you with a much different outcome than what you think.

How Exactly Does Food Affect Your Productivity?

As you have already established, carbohydrates that you consume from food is where your body and brain’s energy source come from.

In fact, both the body and brain need these carbs in order to function properly. Thinking, concentrating, making decisions, learning, remembering things, and having the ability to problem solve all come from these carbs.

Once you consumed a carb the body turns it into a glucose form and stores it in the body, so that it can be later consumed for these energy purposes.

When your body is low on glucose the brain will start to become fatigued, which means the thinking process will slow down.

In addition to this, you will also be physically drained. That being said, your brain and body can’t function on glucose alone.

You also need plenty of essential vitamins and minerals, as well as fats. Magnesium, selenium, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, B, and amino acids are all required to ensure that the body and brain function properly every day.

Now, you might be surprised to learn that the sources in which you get these vitamins, minerals, and carbs can also play a major role in the brain and body’s energy levels, productivity, and motivation.

Unhealthy meals that are packed with processed ingredients, sugars, refined grains, and saturated fats can all have a negative impact on the brain and body. They will not only make you feel down in the dumps, but they can produce feelings of anxiety and depression.

Choosing healthier options can have a reverse effect.

What Can Poor Food Choices Do To Your Performance Levels?

There are literally tons of scientific research that can prove that the food you eat will affect your health and longevity.

Diets that are full of processed ingredients usually don’t contain the essential vitamins and nutrients that the body and brain need, which can lead to the development of coronary heart disease.

Along with this, unhealthy eating like this can lead to hypertension, obesity, and diabetes. All of these health conditions combine with unhealthy eating can have huge negative consequences on your productivity levels.

This will not only eventually affect your work life in a negative way, but it could potentially affect your personal life as well.

It has also been proven that unhealthy eating doesn’t give you brain and the body energy that it needs on a daily basis. This will eventually lead to fatigue, extremely loss in mental health, irritability, stress, depression, and that inability to think or focus clearly.

If you work in an environment that requires creative thinking and lots of upbeat energy, you without a doubt need to make sure that you are consuming the right foods.

How To Get The Most Out Of What You Are Eating

Now, you know exactly how your food choices can impact your brain and body. What is the best way to proceed with this information? Start by heading into the kitchen and cleaning out the cupboards.

You might be surprised to learn that most individuals are likely to eat what is closest in sight. So, if your kitchen is full of unhealthy foods that are plainly in sight, there is a good chance that is what you are going to reach for first.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t have some unhealthy foods stowed away for safekeeping. Just make sure that the healthy items are the first thing you see when you open the fridge or cupboards.

Eating the right things alone isn’t enough. You also have to learn to eat right and plan your meals right.

If you eat too much you are going to end up with spikes of energy that rapidly decline. If you don’t eat enough you will never get the energy, nutrients, and vitamins that you need.

The best way around this is to break your three meals up into three smaller, but healthier portions. You can also throw in two healthy snacks in between the meals to ensure that you keep your energy up.

Foods That Boost Productivity

You should be aware of the fact that there are certain foods that are capable of boosting your productivity. These foods contain vitamins and nutrients that help empower the brain and body, so you can power through the day and get your work done a little more efficiently.

Which foods are worth adding to your diet? You’ll find out below.

1. Bananas

First and foremost, you should definitely add a few more bananas to your daily intake. Why? Well, they’re crammed fully of glucose.

Research has confirmed that the brain will operate more efficiently when you have approximately 25 grams of glucose in your blood stream. That is right around the amount that you’ll acquire from eating a single banana. Stick a banana in your lunch box and you’ll be good to go!

2. Eggs

Starting the day with a couple of eggs is always a good decision. Eggs contain choline, which is a fat-like Vitamin B. This is enormously beneficial, because choline is capable of enhancing your reaction time and your memory.

Plus, eggs are good for your eyes and they raise HDL cholesterol. By eating a few eggs in the morning, you’ll definitely be able to perform more effectively in the office.

3. Salmon

Salmon is another excellent choice, because it is packed full of omega-3s and many other important minerals. This includes iron and B vitamins. Eating salmon will help support your reasoning, recall and memory.

On top of that, it’ll also greatly improve your focus. Salmon can promote general wellness and joint health. The omega-3 fatty acids can also improve the efficiency of your brain. If you need to keep your brain active during those long hours, you’ll definitely want to consume more salmon!

4. Eggplant

Eggplant isn’t for everyone. However, if you’re a fan of it, you should definitely try to eat a little eggplant before heading to work or during your lunch break.

Eggplant is actually capable of improving the communication between the messenger molecules and your brain cells. Plus, eggplants offer many other health benefits. They can support weight loss, help control diabetes, prevent cancer and reduce stress.

This delicious fruit will definitely give you the mental boost that you’re after.

5. Caffeine

There is a reason that most people wake up in the morning and drink a cup of coffee. It is the caffeine that found in the coffee that gives you the boost.

Caffeine is very beneficial for those getting ready to work. The caffeine can improve your memory, while also protecting you from eyelid spasm. This is a very common problem for people who are forced to work on a computer all day long.

On top of that, caffeine is beneficial for many other purposes. It can help diminish the risk of type 2 diabetes, reduce the risk of cancer, and decrease the risk of stroke. You should definitely think about drinking coffee before work.

6. Dark Chocolate

You might as well face it. Chocolate isn’t great for you. However, it can be very beneficial for some purposes. This is definitely the case with dark chocolate.

The antioxidant properties of dark chocolate are very helpful, because they speed up the production of endorphins. They also help to improve your concentration and focus.

If you want to speed up your reaction time, enhance verbal memory and improve visual memory, you should try eating milk chocolate.

Just remember to eat chocolate moderately. If you overdo it, you’re going to run into problems. Just a little will do the job.

7. Dark Leafy Greens

Are you a fan of salads? If so, you should more definitely eat some dark leafy greens in the morning. This is quite possibly one of the best foods you could eat before work.

These greens will provide you with tons of vitamins, phytonutrients and minerals. Iron is one of the most notable. The iron helps to provide the body and brain with more oxygen. It also enhances cognitive control.

This food will also provide you with tons of vitamins B, C, K and E. This combination is important for preventing arthritis, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

8. Raw Carrots

Raw carrots are really an excellent choice! They’re capable of providing you with a constant level of blood sugar. Your brain needs this in order to function at the maximum level.

You should also know that carrots offer a wealth of other benefits. For instance, they can help ensure healthier skin. They can slow aging, help prevent cancer and improve your vision. If you’re not eating carrots, you should change that as quickly as possible.

9. Whole Grains

If you’re a fan of whole grains, you’re in luck. Whole grains can definitely help you remain very productive in the workplace. Brown rice and other whole grains are crammed full of magnesium and vitamins. These things will help improve your cognitive health.

There are plenty of other reasons to eat whole grains too. They have tons of fiber and they’ll help aid digestion. They can also lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Whether you want to improve your health or work more efficiently, you should definitely think about eating more brown rice or other whole grains. It’ll make a huge difference in the long run.

10. Garlic

Depending on your current situation, garlic may help. Garlic is very beneficial because it contains powerful antiviral and antibacterial compounds. This makes garlic a great choice for people suffering from infections and colds, which are linked to stress.

If you’re experiencing one of these problems, it is definitely going to decrease your productivity. With that being said, you should try eating garlic. It could improve the problem and help you get your productivity back on track.

Avoid Foods That Cause Drowsiness

While some foods contain properties that can boost energy and stamina, other foods induce sleepiness. If you want to improve your productivity at work and home, you should avoid these foods at all cost. A lot of foods that induce drowsiness are listed below.

Pasta – is rich in carbohydrates. While carbohydrates provide your body with energy, they also have shown to induce sleepiness. If you are an avid pasta lover, be sure to only consume it several hours before bedtime.

Cereal – is also rich in carbohydrates, which means it will trigger drowsiness.

White Flour – is a refined grain utilized in many different types of foods. While it is a good source of fiber and protein, it has a much greater effect on blood glucose levels than whole grains. This means that after eating foods with refined grains, you may end up feeling tired and sleepy, which is contributed to low blood glucose levels.

Table Sugar – is a wonderful flavoring for desserts and other sweets. However, table sugar as good as it tastes should be avoided in individuals who are trying to improve their productivity. Table sugar increases blood glucose levels extremely quickly, giving you an instant burst of energy, followed by a “crash”.

Milk – is great source of vitamin D, but it contains tryptophan, which is an amino acid. Tryptophan has shown to induce sleepiness, so do not consume milk prior to heading out the door to work or school.

Yogurt – is a great source of calcium, potassium, vitamins B2 and B12 and magnesium. However, it also contains tryptophan, so it will trigger drowsiness. If you enjoy eating yogurt, only consume it a few hours prior to bedtime.

Baked Potatoes – are filled with dietary fiber, vitamins and nutrients. But, if you want to stay energized throughout the day, you will need to omit this vegetable from your daytime diet. Baked potatoes contain tryptophan, which has shown to induce drowsiness.

Sweetened Soft Drinks – are a good source of caffeine, which is known for its ability to enhance energy levels. Consuming soft drinks with sweetening agents, such as sugar, will increase your blood glucose levels very quickly. While this will increase your energy levels, the effect is only temporary. After this energy is depleted, you will experience a crash.

Combine Healthy Diet With Exercise

Now that you know which foods to include and omit from your diet, it is time to start creating an exercise schedule.

According to a study that was published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental medicine, exercising at work can aid in improving productivity. Try to exercise during breaks, especially lunch since this will give you enough time to consume a healthy meal and exercise for at least 10 minutes.

You can also exercise while you are working, even if you set at a desk for six hours of your workday. Perform leg and foot exercises. You can even invest in portable exercise bike pedals, which will set perfectly underneath your desk.

Eating Too Little

You also need to understand that eating an insufficient quantity is really going to mess you up. If you’re not eating enough food, you’re going to have a more difficult and slower time processing information. Your reaction time will also slow significantly.

Plus, you’re going to have difficulty remembering things. With this in mind, you should do your best to eat a reasonable amount before work and during your lunch break. Make sure that you’re eating a balanced diet that will keep your body and brain active all day.


At the end of the day, it is true that your diet is going to impact your productivity. If you’re eating the wrong foods, you’re going to feel terrible and your productivity will drop significantly. If you want to get more productive in the office, you need the right diet.

The foods mentioned above can improve your focus and concentration, while making you far more productive. Be sure to add them to your diet today!


About the Author:
Bruce Kuster graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Biology and Health Science, he is also a coach and CrossFit lover, Bruce likes to share his passion for sport and nutrition on

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