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Eating for Your Meeting: Foods to Get Energized and Stay Productive

August 8, 2013   |   AUTHOR: Julius Solaris   |   POSTED IN: tips

This post is sponsored by Q Center More information about Event Manager Blog’s sponsored posts.

Every successful meeting or event ends with attendees leaving smarter than when they arrived. That means great planning, knowledgeable speakers and event staff, and dynamic content. But as an attendee, it’s up to you to be prepared to learn. One way to help you get the most out of your next meeting or event is to eat right—to get energized, stay alert, and get proper rest.

See how Q Center raised the bar on conferencing dining.

Eating for Lasting Energy

Everyone knows that eating breakfast is a key to having energy to last you through the day. But what you eat for breakfast is really important.

Whole grains like oatmeal made with skim milk, and whole grain toast provide complex carbohydrates. That means glucose, your body’s primary energy source. Whole grains digest slower than refined grain (such as white flour) so they provide longer-lasting energy. Eggs are a well-known power food with a high concentration of energy-providing protein.

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Fruits and vegetables contain high concentrations of nutrients and plenty of fiber, both important factors in producing energy that won’t fade quickly. Blueberries are not only extremely healthy but also low on the glycemic index—meaning energy won’t spike then crash. Try a few on top of your oatmeal.

Foods to Help You Concentrate

Let’s face it—not every meeting is going to be a laugh a minute. Sometimes you just need to buckle down and concentrate on the material at hand.

Foods high in omega 3 fatty acids are known to be essential for brain function and development, and linked to lower dementia and stroke risks, and may play a vital role in enhancing memory.

Foods for concentration

A healthier brain will undoubtedly help you concentrate. Fish is rich in omega 3’s, particularly salmon. Walnuts, too. Other lean proteins, like chicken and pork, will keep you satisfied so you can focus on the presentation rather than a grumbling stomach.

When you need a quick boost, coffee can help you stay alert. Just be careful not to overdo it because too much caffeine will have the opposite effect—making it very hard to concentrate. For those with a sweet tooth, here’s some very good news: Dark chocolate contains antioxidants, caffeine, and flavonoids that improve blood flow (and thus brain health).

Eating to Relax

After a long and productive day of meetings and making new friends, it’s time to recharge the batteries. That means you need to relax, and get a good night’s sleep to prepare for tomorrow’s events.

Foods for relaxation

Melatonin is a sleep-inducing hormone, and to produce melatonin your body needs vitamin B6—found in bananas, which also have potassium and magnesium that promote muscle relaxation.

If you don’t want to eat bananas before bed, you could try a little dairy. Yogurt and skim milk are good sources of calcium. A deficiency in calcium has been linked to increased anxiety and restlessness. So the old practice of warm milk before bed seems to make sense.

Speaking of old practices, chamomile has been used as an insomnia remedy for thousands of years. Maybe pack a few chamomile tea bags in your luggage before your next off-site event.

Bonus: Obvious but too often overlooked, is pure water. Proper hydration is critically important to staying energized and keeping concentration throughout the day.

Conferences and meetings are excellent opportunities to take big strides in your professional development. But to really get the most out of your experience, it’s important to eat right and plan your meals for lasting energy, periods of intense concentration, and to ensure proper rest to recharge your batteries. So make wise food choices during your next event.

Some of the great benefits companies and organizations receive by booking events at Q Center are the guest amenities — including delicious dining of both the nutritious and the delectable, prepared by expert chefs from around the world. Learn more about how we raised the bar on conferencing dining.