Autumn is upon us and with that, new deadlines, end of year targets and general work pressures. After a summer filled with hedonism and relaxation (we hope!) it can be hard to fire up the brain and trigger that get-up-and-go attitude and motivation. Instead of reaching for multiple cups of joe or fuelling up on sugar laden baked goods (once in a while is fine, obv) have a read of our top four strategies to get your energy, focus and butt into gear!
Choose brain-boosting foods
Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as oily fish (mackerel, salmon, anchovies) avocado, walnuts and flax seeds can benefit mood, memory, and importantly, cognition function. Feel focused after a bowl of vibrant berries or a superfood salad with broccoli? This might be the reason. These colourful vegetables and fruits contain antioxidants that can help boost brain function. Aim for three portions of omega rich foods a week and try to consume as many colours and varieties of fruits and vegetables as you can.
Hydrate to feel great
Your brain is approximately 80% water. Expectedly then, poor hydration can negatively affect your ability to concentrate and focus. Additionally, dehydration can lead to reduced energy, headaches and low mood. Studies have shown that even slight hydration of 1-2% can reduce short term memory! Stay hydrated by aiming to drink 1.5 to 2 litres of water every day. A top tip – add berries, herbs (see rosemary below) or cucumber to get your palette going.
Balance your blood sugar
Our brains require a huge deal of energy to function. While the brain is only 2% of the total body weight it requires 20% of the energy we intake from calories! For sustained focus, it needs a constant supply of energy delivered via the blood. This is mostly commonly supplied by glucose broken down from the foods we eat.
Refined sugars and carbohydrates spike our blood sugar, sending us on a blood sugar and energy rollercoaster. When our energy then dips, we can lose concentration and energy and find our cravings for quick fix sugary foods increases.
Instead, swap to complex carbohydrates including wholegrains such as brown rice and quinoa, and combine these with a source of healthy fats, protein and fibre. This combination will mean that the energy from the food you eat will be slowly broken down and released at a sustained rate, providing your brain (and your body) energy for hours.
Get your kick from herbs & spices
Ginseng is probably the most well-known adaptogen herb, and has been a staple of Chinese medicine for centuries. Studies have actually shown that a single dose of ginseng can improve people’s cognitive performance and attention during stressful tasks. Get your dose in the Meda FOCUS which is teamed with focus enhancing espresso and CBD.
One of the earliest documented benefits of Rosemary, is its ability to stimulate cognitive function. Studies have shown that rosemary can help with memory and concentration. So instead of that mocha-ice- almond milk Frappuccino or sugar filled energy drink (we won’t name and shame), you can opt for a Meda FOCUS that boosts your focus with natural herbs and spices, without the blood sugar energy rollercoaster.
The active component of turmeric is curcumin, which is famed for its multiple health benefits including its anti-inflammatory and immune boosting effects. Studies have also shown that this multi-talented spice can boost BDNF, a brain hormone that is responsible for the growth of neurons and help prevent degenerative processes in the brain. Creative meeting with a side of turmeric lattes anyone?