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Does Good Nutrition Make You Better at Your Job?


Most of us have a crutch or two, without which it’s harder to do our jobs. For some of us, it’s coffee. For others, it’s sweets. But Valeri V. Karpov of The Code Barbarian feels that we might want to consider swapping in something a bit more substantive. (And when a developer starts advocating for better nutrition, you know things are serious.)

Here are a few of his excellent arguments for swapping carrots for cheesy-poofs and lean protein for energy drinks:

1. Your focus will improve.

“Ask yourself this question — when’s the last time you honestly sat down and worked for 5 hours straight, without having to get yourself some caffeine or a snack?” Karpov asks. “Your body is very good at breaking down simple carbohydrates, such as bread, sugar, or those chips you’re thinking of snacking on. When it breaks these foods down too quickly, your blood sugar spikes. After this spike, your blood sugar will return to normal. Unfortunately for your would-be six-pack, your body interprets this decrease in blood sugar as a hunger signal and causes you start to feel tired and hungry.”

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It’s a vicious cycle, and not one that helps with your productivity.

2. You won’t need energy drinks or an hourly infusion of coffee.

You know the cycle: you can’t wake up until you have that Red Bull or Monster or what-have-you. A few hours later, it wears off, and you top up on caffeine again. By bedtime, you’re wired, and you can’t get to sleep. The next morning, bleary-eyed, you reach for the can…

At the very least, it’s a waste of time. While you don’t need to cut out caffeine entirely, cutting back might help you use real energy stores instead of fake ones.

3. You won’t have to worry about calories.

Increasingly, nutritionists are moving away from the old calories in/calories out approach to weight loss. As Men’s Health’s resident nutritionist points out, a pound of sugar and 26 apples both have around 1500 calories. But one is fuel and the other might be poison. Eating well is better for your health than dieting. And isn’t it easier to be productive when you feel good?

Tell Us What You Think

Do you notice a difference in your work when you eat well? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.

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(Photo Credit: Haans Gruber/Flickr)

Jen Hubley Luckwaldt
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