Ever forget to eat lunch, then wonder why you’re irritable and unfocused by 3 p.m.?
You were probably “hangry.”
“Hangry” is an amalgam of “hungry” and “angry.” The term may sound funny, but it can create serious problems in the workplace. Most of us become irritable, distracted or unpleasant when we don’t eat regularly – undermining focus, productivity and even workplace relationships. Here’s why: As time passes after you digest a meal, the glucose in your blood drops. If levels fall far enough, your brain kicks into “survival mode.”
And a brain in survival mode will betray you.
Once that metabolic switch has been flipped, your brain struggles to perform even simple, everyday tasks. You may find it hard to concentrate, make silly errors and (of course) become grumpy.
What’s the best way to ward off “hanger” and perform at your peak all day?
- Don’t skip meals. Hectic mornings may be a fact of life, but that doesn’t mean you should starve your brain. Keep trail mix or a box of balanced nutrition bars in your pantry/desk drawer for those days you can’t eat a well-balanced breakfast or lunch. Refueling your body throughout the day ensures you have the energy and mental capacity to stay on top of your game through the close of business.
- Stay hydrated. Water is as important as (if not more important than) food to cognitive functioning. Keep your brain sharp by drinking plain water (sorry – soda, coffee and tea won’t cut it) throughout the day, even if you don’t feel particularly thirsty.
- Seek out sustainable energy. Obviously, different types of foods are processed in different ways by your body. For long-term energy without the “crash,” seek out whole grans and foods low in sugar. They won’t provide the rush you get from a candy bar, but they will do a better job keeping your energy levels high for a longer period of time.
- Make healthy eating a habit. The path to preventing hanger starts with making healthy eating a priority. If you find yourself making excuses as to why you’re not eating healthier, consider the reasons why. Make choices that reduce the availability of junk food. Take 10 minutes each night to gather items needed for a more nutritious breakfast and lunch. Do whatever you can to make a better start each day by feeding your brain – literally!
Looking for other ways to fuel productivity, focus and performance?
Give our Nashville staffing firm a call! Offering a full complement of staffing and placement solutions, Wood Personnel is here to help everyone in your organization perform at their peak. What can Wood do for you?