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Mental Athletes Need Good Nutrition Too

By Monika Woolsey

Mental athletes are my favorites. The designer on a deadline, the creative whose ideas come at 2 am, the entrepreneur dealing with daily cash flow crises.

Physical athletes understand the nutrition/performance connection. Creatives, not so much. If it meant more time to design, many would ask to live on air…cooking, exercise and sleeping interfere with deadlines!

Well-fueled brains are a crucial creativity tool. Stable blood sugar levels regulate mood, concentration, and decision making…not to mention impulsivity! Some strategies to prioritize:

1. Sugar cravings signal that you need to move. Ever had a brilliant idea while running that deposit to the bank? Moving improves brain blood flow and function.

2. Oils beginning with “s” and “c” (soybean, safflower, sunflower, sesame, corn, cottonseed) interfere with omega-3 function. Stick with olive and canola (one “c” oil that is ok).

3. Be sure you take enough fish oil, 500 mg DHA per day, about twice the dose the label usually recommends.

4. Keep protein foods handy (nuts, peanut butter, hard boiled eggs, string cheese, Greek yogurt).

5. Fast food doesn’t always mean restaurant food! Walk into the grocery store for tuna, an apple, baby carrots, and a mineral water. The Whole Foods deli only uses olive and canola oils; you can eat well there without tedious label reading.

6. Large amounts of caffeine in the morning inevitably crashes you late afternoon. A favorite non-caffeinated beverage is Solixir’s Awaken.

Practice these habits. Your productivity and creativity will respond with gratitude.

Monika M. Woolsey, MS, RD, is registered dietitian and exercise physiologist, and CEO of the inCYST Institute for Hormone Research, a non-profit organization raising money to support research into hormone-related problems such as infertility, insomnia, and premature aging. Check out their upcoming event:

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