In a single day you may need the energy to get the kids off to school, the focus to conquer a big meeting, and the power to crush your workout. But are you getting the necessary nutrients to succeed? It depends on how you’re fueling your body. Here we explore how you can tailor your nutrition to meet your performance needs.

1. Boost energy

The daily grind can leave you feeling wiped out. Re-energize with B vitamins, caffeine, vitamin D, polyphenols, magnesium, and prebiotics. You can find them in whole grains, dairy, berries, green tea, jicama, garlic, onions, and lean proteins.

Snack idea: Mix overnight oats with flaxseed, almond milk, blueberries, cocoa powder, and a hint of coffee for flavoring. Try this anytime or prep the night before for on-the-go mornings.

2. Improve focus

Walnuts, flaxseeds, cashews, almonds, raisins,
Need a push to meet your goals? Choosing the right nutrients can give your body the fuel it needs. ©John A. Anderson/johnandersonphoto

Everyday responsibilities divide your attention in a million different ways. Eating foods that boost circulation and brain health can help you get your mind back in the zone so you can prioritize tasks. Refocus with vitamin B12, creatine, anthocyanins, arginine, selenium, nitrates, and omega-3 fatty acids. You can find them in foods like lean meats, almonds, walnuts, chia seeds, flaxseed, and fatty fish like salmon and tuna.

Snack idea: Keep your desk stocked with your own trail mix made with pumpkin seeds, walnuts, dark chocolate, and almonds to improve blood circulation to the brain.

3. Build resilience

Life is full of little obstacles. What you eat can build the resilience you need to maintain balance and recover quickly from the inevitable changes in your day. Prebiotics, probiotics, antioxidants, omega-3 fatty acids, melatonin, fiber, and L-theanine help stabilize the body and ease the mind. You can find them in dairy, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, onions, and green tea.

Snack idea: Bake a whole egg inside an avocado, sprinkle it with mozzarella, and top your creation with sunflower seeds and garlic and chili powder for the perfect combination of fiber, protein, and healthy fat.

4. Increase power

Planning a tough workout? The body is designed to adapt to diverse workloads, and power is critical for improvement. Prepare your body for movement and training with nutrients like arginine, vitamin B12, vitamin C, nitrates, magnesium, and EGCG (a disease-fighting phytochemical found in green tea). These nutrients are found in leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and lean meats.

Snack idea: Drink fresh beet juice. It’s high in nitrates, which can improve power and endurance during a workout.

5. Recharge

Control how your body performs by planning and preparing your food with purpose. ©Janina Pires/EyeEm

When stressed, your body consumes its lean muscle and nutrient and energy stores to keep you going. Omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, vitamin D, antioxidants, and melatonin are depleted during work and training. Recharge with foods like dark chocolate, berries, pecans, and cherries to repair tissue, rebuild muscle, and curb excessive inflammation.

Snack idea: Blend up a smoothie with berries, cherries, flaxseed, and almond milk to reduce inflammation and speed the recovery process.

Now it’s your turn. Tell us how you intentionally fuel your body to reach your goals.

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