High-level concentration beginning in the morning and lasting the whole day?
Isn’t this something everyone dreams of in a time in which demands for creativity and cognitive performance steadily increase?
A new trend dealing with Performance Food may contribute to significant enhancements in your capabilities.
Whether it is physical or psychological well-being, food has a tremendous impact on your life.
First, let’s take a look at what performance food actually is.
What Is Performance Food?
In general, performance food describes any kind of food that yields benefits.
May it be concentration-wise or to start the day more motivated.
Of course, such foods don’t make you smarter in common sense.
It helps, however, to strengthen your intellectual power and perseverance, for example.
This is due to their natural ingredients, which evidently influence your capabilities.
In order to name just a few advantages, consider the following:
- increases our energy
- more relaxed sleep
- promote regeneration
- reduce stress
Performance Food vs. Functional Food
Be aware, performance food is not to be confused with functional food, or nutraceuticals.
Whereas performance food includes valuable ingredients by nature, functional food is mixed with supposedly healthy supplements.
Many manufacturers claim that their functional foods bring extensive benefits for consumer health.
So far, science has not yet confirmed exuberant marketing claims for all of these functional food products.
Even though there may be improvements that come along, as always, that is only one aspect of the whole.
Apart from diets, other habits of your lifestyle play a role as well.
If you are chain-smoking and binge-drinking, your diet form will most likely not prevent any serious health risks anyway.
Let’s also take a brief glance at how the development of nutrition is expected to evolve.
As a part of their future studies, Nestlé has proposed progressive prospects up to 2030 for other food trends as well:
- natural, local food sustainably produced become more relevant
- personalized nutrition, matched with an individual’s genetics
- performance food increasingly matters for every-day meals and out-of-home meals
In the future, food no longer only needs to taste good.
It is supposed to provide an added value for both health and improved efficiency.
The study further states that eating will become less of a social gathering event than it is today.
Instead, people consume their foods more and more ‘on the road’.
There will be less time spent on the preparation of great meals.
At the same time, expectations of the food’s ‘features’ rise.
People want the ingredients to influence their performance in the most positive way.
Takeaway message #1
Performance Food naturally contains healthy contents. Nutraceuticals, in contrast, include synthetically added contents that are not yet proven to be helpful.
Performance Food As a Societal Phenomenon
Nowadays, especially industrialized societies develop growing to an achievement-oriented society.
Instead of heavy working, the business world requires heavy thinking.
Our brain is frequently challenged to come up with creative and innovative solutions.
We were eating meals high in carbohydrates to fulfil hard physical work a decade ago.
Today we need to take care of meals that boost our intellectual resources.
That is why focus constantly shifts from meals high in carbohydrates to meals with a certain amount of micronutrients.
These nutritients encourage cognitive processes.
It’s all about quickly consumable meals that don’t take too much time to prepare or to eat.
Snacks and other providers of a vast amount of vitamins and other intellectual boosters are required.
In order to detect the individual needs of anyone, there a variety of tools accessible.
Next to DNA and blood level tests, there are wearables and other kinds of accessories.
These aids help to monitor your stress level or the amount of physical exercise, for instance.
Your nutrition can then be adjusted according to the values that these aids provide.
Of course, other facilities help you to gain increases in well-being as well.
Perfect Nutrition For Your Brain
Let’s move on to the most interesting part of this article.
What kinds of food actually make you perform better?
Eggs include a lot of Cholin.
Cholin is an important precursor of Acetylcholine, which is an essential neurotransmitter for the central nervous system.
Acetylcholine functions as a semiochemical for neurons.
By that, it enhances intraneuronal communication in our brain.
Reinforced communication leads to greater memorization performance and an increase in our learning processes.
In addition, it helps us to stay focused.
A study conducted by Ylilauri and colleagues (2017) indeed reveals better cognitive functions after moderate egg intake.
Improvements were measured by the help of multiple neurological tests.
These power berries definitely give you the boost needed for efficient cognitive performance!
Along with a variety of vitamins, blueberries contain a load of antioxidants.
It’s these antioxidants in particular that make blueberries a must have on your list for Performance Food!
Antioxidants counterbalance the occurrence of free radicals throughout your body.
In fact, these radicals arise in your body – and your brain – on a daily base.
So as to prevent any severe damages that the radicals may cause, blueberries work against this process.
They protect our cells from oxidative stress.
In an animal study conducted at the University of Reading, the concentration-enhancing effect of blueberries was examined.
Participants had a blueberry-added diet for 12 weeks compared to a control group.
Afterwards, participants that had taken advantage of the diet were able to do exercises faster than the control group.
There are various leaf vegetables such as kale, spinach or corn salad that can be considered as boosters for your brain cells.
The reason is simple: they cover a lot of zeaxanthin and lutein.
Both of these substances are part of the carotenoid class.
Carotenoids are related to significant advances in neurocognitive functions as of multiple studies.
Also, these vegetables contain a multitude of vitamins and minerals that support your body, too.
For example, you can compile spinach along with olive oil and other vegetables as a salad to build one foundation of your performance nutrition.
Through the combination of vegetables and fat, your body can absorb all the nutrition necessary.
This will further enhance your mental performance.
In case you are interested in breakfast meal preparations suiting your work-out program, check out this article.
Nuts And Kernels
Another snack for learning improvements is nuts and kernels.
They include a lot of trace minerals, antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids that bring along great benefits!
Strictly speaking, it’s the fatty acids you should enjoy the most.
Of the dry matter in our brain, 60% consist of fatty acids.
30% of those actually present the essential omega-3 fatty acid DHA.
Not only do these fatty acids help to cure inflammations throughout your body.
They also take care of the signal transduction between our nerve cells, thus making our thoughts more coherent.
A German study at the CharitÃ© Berlin was able to reveal the enormous effects of fatty acids on our memory performance.
Takeaway message 2:
The variety of groceries that increase your mental performance is rich. This diversity provides you with the best foundation to supply your brain with the most essential nutrients.
Other Considerable Combinations
Besides the aforementioned items, there are of course countless more sources.
Given the fact that the main purpose of Performance Food is a fast consumption, one could also consider shots, energy bars, and other supplements.
Definitely, these types of nourishment are not the most recommended ones, but they suffice for short-term enhancements.
They are peculiarly useful for people that are often on the go and lack the time to prepare proper meals.
In addition, there are some combinations that are known to be helpful for mental functioning.
Take the mixture of Curcuma and pepper. The curcumin can be better absorbed by the body due to the piperine present in the pepper.
One study even found an increase in bioavailability of 2000% compared to the pure form.
For people having problems to become motivated in the morning, the combination of caffeine and l-theanine may be a reasonable approach.
The mix of both shows a lot of benefits for a better start into the day!
One major provider of this mixture is green tea.
Just give it a try and start your day right with a cup of hot green tea.
Final Thoughts: Performance Food For Your Well-Being
In the utility of Performance Food for our cognitive skills, a purposeful variation of various groceries is key.
You can easily start with some of the presented food items and explore more possibilities over time.
By introducing you into this topic however, we hope we can noteworthily contribute to your gained knowledge.
Besides, the importance of food on your overall well-being should be clear by now.
It is for sure, that food only serves for one pillar of the many that come into play when it comes to self-development.
Also, if you have any other dispenser of nutrition-rich foods for our Performance, feel free to drop a comment!
Thanks a lot for reading.