Take a look at all the productivity hacks out there...
Whether it's time saving apps, communication tools, or power napping strategies - it's unfortunate that many of these tips, tricks and hacks overlook nutrition.
All the hacks in the world, combined, won't matter much if you don't get precise about what you're actually putting into your body for fuel.
Premium inputs = premium outputs when it comes to our productivity and performance at work.
And I'm here to tell you, this one ingredient is robbing you of your most productive days...
SUGAR. Specifically, liquid sugar. This is the first type of sugar to cut in order to take back your day.
By eliminating liquid sugar you'll be able to have more energy, get more done, and feel your best. Let's dive in to how this sugar is killing your potential and what you can do about it starting today.
Why is Liquid Sugar So bad?
Liquid sugar is a major problem. When sugar is in it's liquid form, there's nothing to slow it down. No chewing, no fiber, and no digestion required.
You'll get very little signals of fullness.
It's not like fruit, where the sugar is naturally occurring and locked up in fiber. Plus, we have to chew it thoroughly. Both of these factors make it enter our body much more slowly upon digestion.
Even added sugar in meals we eat is WAY different than liquid sugar. At least sugar in a meal of protein, vegetables and good fats has some built in barricades.
Each of these parts of a meal, especially any fiber in the veggies, will help to slow down some of the negative effects of added sugar.
This is a slightly oversimplified perspective but it's a helpful one...
Sugar in liquid form enters the body rapidly. You might as well mainline it straight into your bloodstream. It's overwhelming to our brain and body and we're not adapted to handle it.
What are the negative side effects of liquid sugar?
1. Brian Fog
So, since the body doesn't know how to handle a rapid influx of liquid sugar, it frantically tries to get rid of it.
But before this can happen, we get the dreaded brain fog. This is because the sugar begins circulating in the bloodstream. What's in the blood is also lingering in the brain.
It literally clouds our judgement. We've all experienced how the sugar rush zaps our ability to concentrate.
And in case you're wondering, "hey, how come we aren't able to handle it?"
Well, that's because sugary drinks are a relatively new concept. The most well known soda pop wasn't invented until 1886.
We simply haven't had the time to muster any viable adaptations to counteract the effects of 10 teaspoons of liquid chugged in a matter of minutes.
Right now, the only result is weight gain, diabetes, or getting a prescription for a pill that only acts as a temporary band aid to poor dietary choices.
But more on each of these below...
2. Energy Dips
We all know toddlers get all jacked up and hyper on sugar only to end up napping a few minutes later.
Imagine the temporary feeling of a sugar high. We've all felt it. We ride a quick wave of energy. But it's short lived.
The impending drop off the energy cliff is coming. And when the dreaded sugar crash comes, we feel sluggish, fatigued, and irritable.
This is because liquid sugar enters the blood stream so quickly, we feel the rush from the blood sugar boost, but the body sinks blood sugar back down in an attempt to control the situation.
It brings us back to baseline - aka "the crash."
Constant blood sugar spikes and elevated blood sugar, in general, are bad for longevity. The brain fog and energy dips are only precursors to much larger problems down the road.
A measure of average blood sugar over the last 3 months is your A1C. If this number is too high, it's not a good sign in the eyes of most longevity experts.
Note: Regular exercise, stress management, strong community, how we breathe, eating a nutrient dense diet and getting quality sleep are all important longevity factors too - but a lower overall blood sugar is a big indicator that all these are in check.
High average blood sugar is linked to inflammation, premature aging, and serious health complications when ignored long term.
It's also a marker for pre-diabetes and a strong indicator that if diet and lifestyle don't change, full blown diabetes isn't far away.
Not ideal for productivity to say the least. We only have one body and brain, it's our responsibility to protect it.
4. Fat Storage
We've talked about how blood sugar goes up like a roller coaster after liquid sugar intake. And when it comes crashing down, it's like a decent on a roller coaster.
You may be wondering, "where does all the blood sugar go?"
The answer....preferentially to fat stores.
You see, when blood sugar spikes, it signals two things:
A. turn off fat burning
B. here come excess calories for storage
The body begins to go into storage mode with the excess calories from sugar. It packs the unwanted calories into fat cells and stores them as fats in case of a future energy shortage.
Fat is an efficient energy source. So, as a survival mechanism, we can create unlimited fat cells for survival.
You know, in case of long periods of time without food.
(Thankfully, in American, we no longer have to worry about long periods of time without food.)
This is how sugar leads to unwanted weight gain.
Contrast this with natural sugar...
This is completely different from natural sugar in something like fruit. This type is locked up inside fiber cells and takes much more time to break down and digest.
Fruit also requires chewing, and has enough fiber to signal a strong feeling of fullness after consumption that tells our brain "stop, I've had enough."
When sugar is released more slowly into the body, it doesn't press the red alarm to signal to immediate fat storage mode.
In fact, we can burn this slow release fuel pretty easily with normal daily activity. This means more steady, clear headed energy, and none of the dips or mood swings.
What to look for in your productivity drink at work.
For all the reasons above, afternoon drinks that are loaded with sugar are out of the question. This means typically canned beverages like energy drinks have to go.
If you see sugar, dextrose, corn syrup, or cane sugar on the ingredient list - it's a hard pass.
Skip the sugar loaded lattes too. If your coffee drink is sweet, it's worth asking if you can get it made sugar-free. This means unsweet milk alternatives.
Just 12 oz of almond milk, if it's not specifically unsweetened, can have as much as 20g of sugar.
One tip when looking for your perfect afternoon pick up - find one with less than 3 grams of sugar in the entire bottle or can.
Why 3 grams? Because that's an amount that likely won't hinder your mental performance, throw off blood sugar, and give you too many unwanted calories.
We don't have to completely eradicate sugar, although less is better. And there are plenty of options out there that don't contain any sugar and come with added caffeine for a boost.
Black coffee can be a great pick me up too. It's loaded with antioxidants, has some unique compounds like chlorogenic acid to keep our cells healthy, and can be protective to the liver.
Tea. The ultimate productivity tool.
Not just any tea. Matcha tea.
Out of Yerba mate, Yaupon tea, green, black, rooibos and more....matcha stands above the other teas in terms of nutrient density and performance benefits.
No other know single fruit or or veggie has more antioxidants than matcha. It's also packed with chlorophyll to suppor the body's natural detox pathways.
It's much higher in EGCG than regular green tea. This compound has been shown to stimulate a metabolism boost.
And with much higher concentration of caffeine than typical green and black teas, matcha will give you more of an energy boost.
Psss...but here's the real secret.
It's got way more L theanine. Much L theanine than coffee. And more than any other type of tea.
Its' why matcha is mother nature's perfect energy drink. Theanine has a naturally calming effect that helps us combat stress and prevent feelings of anxiety.
It's what gives us pure clean energy, without jitters or a crash.
So you'll get a boost that supports a more positive mood, while helping you get more done in your fast paced day.
Imagine an afternoon pick me up that helped you feel fantastic all afternoon?
What to look for in your matcha productivity tool.
Unfortunately, many bottled or canned matcha lattes or drinks are loaded with liquid sugar. Most canned drinks are notorious for having high amount of sugar.
And think about it this way....every tablespoon of sugar is about 12 grams worth.
So if you see 12 or more grams of sugar on the back of your drink, you can imagine what this would look like. A spoonful of sugar...
Instead, choose a matcha drink without sugar. Whether it's a matcha latte with unsweet milk as the base or a ready to drink canned matcha beverage like Moontower Matcha, you'll get a boost that will help you hit inbox zero.
These are drinks without sugar to avoid...
Don't be fooled. Not all zero sugar drinks are good for you.
You'll want to pass on drinks that use artificial sweeteners. They've been shown to disrupt the microbiome and can potentially be linked to greater health problems.
Anything that effects the gut is going to impact the brain and body.
But the one kicker you should realize is that artificial sweeteners are 600X sweeter than table sugar.
So they hit the dopamine centers in the brain hard. These are our pleasure centers in the brain that light up from a big "sweet" hit and say, "I like that, do more of that!"
This only leads to more cravings for sweet for the rest of your day.
Contrast this with calorie free natural sweeteners like Monk Fruit and Stevia which range from 60X- 200X the sweetness of table sugar. It's still sweet, but not near as hard of a dopamine hit.
Plus, they're from plants. And the major bonus is that they won't negatively affect the gut microbiome like the artificial sweeteners do.
Beyond your matcha as the best afternoon drink for productivity.
If you eat a whole foods diet that's nutrient dense and stay hydrated while avoiding sugary drinks, you'll be performing your best.
Beyond nutritious foods and drinks like matcha, you can build some breaks into your day for a natural productivity boost.
Consider a walk outside in natural light, or simply 90 seconds to push away from your desk and take some deep, full breathes.
Breath work or time in nature can be instantly energizing.
It will help you feel refreshed and renewed when you do sit back down to crush your workday.
We invite you to try Moontower Matcha in your day to day.
We created the most nutritious matcha drink available. This is why you won't find any sugar in our drinks.
100% pure ceremonial grade matcha - 20% off. Use code KETOMATCHA20 at www.drinkmoontower.com to claim your offer. (Free Shipping too!)
Or find us wherever you purchase your groceries.
Whole Foods, Go Puff, Central Market, Pete's Fresh and MORE!