No detail is too small when you're job hunting. You don't want to wait until the last minute to decide what you'll wear to an interview, or what you'll say when they ask, "Why should we hire you?" You want to bring your "A game" to every conversation.
Knowing what to eat for peak performance may be as important before a big meeting as it is when training for a marathon. Athletes know how to load up on all the right foods and how to hydrate on a regular basis, in addition to fueling up before a big race or game.
Think of your job hunt from a total body perspective and consider the following suggestions to help improve performance in key areas:
Thinking clearly, optimal brain function. Web MD suggests antioxidant-rich blueberries, omega-3 essential fatty acids such as salmon, and foods high in vitamin E, such as nuts and seeds. Unhydrogenated nut butters such as peanut butter, almond butter, and tahini may also help improve brain function. The article also suggests eating avocado to contribute to healthy blood flow and brain health. Other good "brain foods" include oatmeal, breads, brown rice, wheat germ, pomegranate juice, freshly brewed tea, and dark chocolate.
ArtBistro promotes incorporating flax into your diet, since it is "the best source of alphalinoleic, a healthy fat that enhances the performance of the cerebral cortex—where your brain processes sensory information."
Other suggestions from ArtBistro to improve memory and focus include vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid, which "help produce red blood cells and improve your sense of wellbeing and mental clarity." Other suggestions for B vitamin intake include whole grains like brown rice, as well as broccoli, parsley, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts. Other important nutrients to help you focus include folic acid and vitamin K, found in leafy greens such as kale, spinach, and Swiss chard.
Problem-solving skills. The Online Education Database reminds readers of foods that help prepare your brain to solve complex problems. Some of their suggestions include high-quality olive oil, organic foods (with fewer toxins), and superfoods such as goji berries and raw foods. The article also reminds readers not to miss breakfast, which has long been considered an important meal for brain function.
Reducing anxiety, controlling stress. Eating yogurt and nuts can help reduce anxiety, according to a study by scientists in Slovakia. Joey Asher reports on Speechworks' blog: "The scientists gave either amino-acid supplements or a placebo to a group of men and asked them to give a speech. The men who had taken the supplements experienced half as much anxiety according to measurements of stress hormones in their bloodstream. Yogurt and nuts have very high levels of the type of amino-acids used in the study."
While we're all rushed and busy, grabbing the fastest thing to eat before an interview is unlikely to improve performance. Do you need to be chewing on chard right before you interview? Of course not! Fitness Magazine suggests eating the following in moderation at least an hour before your interview: lean protein such as fish, chicken, low-fat cottage cheese, or an egg-white omelet and a slice of whole-grain bread or brown rice, along with one cup of fruit or vegetables. Their expert suggests including tea or coffee with your meal if it's part of your routine.
Approach your job hunt as an athlete trains for a race—take care of your body and mind so you'll be in great shape to perform at your next important interview.