There’s that saying we all know, and we all love: a healthy body equals a healthy mind. But that means so much more than simply being fit. It has an effect on your everyday life, and what’s more it can have a noticeable impact on your salary.
Whether it be in the office or in competitive sports; eating the right things, for the right profession, can be vital to us achieving our goals.
Of course when thinking of nutrition, we immediately turn to athletes. It’s no secret that the better they eat, the fitter they’ll be and the more they’ll win. Carl Lewis is a prime example of this. The nine-time Gold Medal winning US Olympian attributes some of the best days of his career to what he ate.
In 1990 he became vegan, and noted in his book Very Vegetarian, saying, “My best year of track competition was the first year I ate a vegan diet. Moreover by continuing to eat a vegan diet, my weight is under control, I like the way I look (I know that sounds vain, but all of us want to like the way we look).”
And that breeds confidence. Lewis won two Golds in the 1991 World Championships, and picked up further Golds at the Barcelona Olympics a year later.
Lewis’ outlook transcends into the office, as confidence in the work place is vital. A study taken by the University of Melbourne found through 100 interviews with professionals at large corporations across the planet that there’s a strong correlation between confidence and success at work.
In fact, like Lewis believes, Dr. Reza Hasmath, who ran the study, said, “We now know it’s actually higher confidence levels – which may be a byproduct of attractiveness and height – which make all the difference.”
Now we know that eating your greens won’t make a person taller, but it will make a person feel more confident in themselves, a trait employers clearly look out for.
That isn’t to say we should all turn vegan – a diet should be unique to each person and occupation, which plays a major part in how we should eat. We spend 60% of our life at work and intake a third of our food while we are there. So eating right will get you ahead of the game.
In the office, most of us are slaves to caffeine, nursing countless cups of coffee every day. But replacing those with the likes of oatmeal recipes or avocado – which is packed with fibre, vitamin E, folate, and potassium – will keep you alert at work, and avoid the inevitable coffee comedown.
Tailoring your diet to your job is also hugely useful. Sticking with the office as an example, eating vegetables such as beets will keep your brain much more alert than say standing in line for McDonalds five times a week. The high-fat and sugar content in fast food can deteriorate your memory, as researchers suspect a poor diet may produce inflammation in the brain, leaving a worker further down the food chain when it comes to promotions and salary.
And this applies in many other working environments too. In poker, a sport which relies heavily on the brain, players ditch large amounts of coffee and replace it with water. Finding the right balance is key in poker, with professional Felix Schneiders drinking three to four liters of water per day to remain hydrated and even give him an edge at the table.
He told the Full Tilt blog, “I read this article about full bladders improving your decision making.
“It is supposed to be true and I can confirm, I play much better when I need to pee.”
It’s a lifestyle choice that has made him one of PokerStars’ top online players and has also become a renowned poker coach in the process, with simply being healthy playing a major part in that.
Getting more physical, the world of rugby union also ensures employees, i.e. players, are in the right condition both physically and mentally ahead of their day at work. At Leinster, the current Pro12 champions have a strict diet dependent on what day they are on, to ensure they are in the best shape to be the best.
Becoming a top rugby pro, poker extraordinaire, or department manager can all use the help of nutrition. It might seem incredibly obvious and goes back to the “healthy body, healthy mind” saying, but what most people don’t realize is that eating food packed with nutrients creates less sick days, which means more money. Being sharper at work ensures that you do a better job, which means more money. And being more confident in your ability will get you more noticed than ever before, and it’s all down to dumping the fatty foods and enjoying a healthy balanced diet, and an even healthier bank balance.