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Business Travel Tips: Alertness Boosters in Everyday Foods & Drinks


Business Travel Tips to Keep You Sharp and Focused

Business travel plays havoc with your sleeping and eating patterns—especially if you are crossing multiple time zones within a day or two. There’s nothing worse than trying to prepare an important presentation or sales pitch when you just want to curl up in a ball and sleep. While there are tricks you can use to overcome jet lag more quickly, don’t forget the importance of nutrition. What you eat will also play a crucial role in how alert, focused, and observant you are during business meetings and social gatherings. Most of these power foods can be found around the globe, so look for them in restaurants or grocery stores or ask if they are available to order.

Hydrate: Water, Coconut Water, and Apple Cider Vinegar

The most basic necessity your body needs is water. It’s easy to become dehydrated on long flights because recirculated airplane air is dry and tends to suck the moisture out of your body. In addition, you’ll want to avoid tap water in most of the places you travel simply because your gut is not conditioned to handle the microbes indigenous to that area. Stick with bottled spring or mineral water to be safe, and be sure to get plenty of it. Even mild dehydration can quickly lead to a lack of focus, confusion, and fatigue

A great alternative to bottled water is coconut water, which is the juice contained in the shell and meat of young coconuts (when you shake a young coconut, you’ll be able to hear the coconut water sloshing around). Coconut water is easy to find in bottled form throughout Asia and the South Pacific and is increasingly popular in the West. Coconut water is a natural isotonic drink that acts like a super-hydrator in your body, complete with valuable electrolytes. In fact, coconut water is better than commercially made sports drinks and doesn’t contain the chemicals of commercial sports drinks. Buy it sweetened or plain, with or without pulp (tiny chunks of coconut meat) as you prefer.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) might also be helpful for keeping you hydrated and mentally sharp. One benefit of drinking diluted ACV in water is that it can help you fight off bacterial infection, which is very helpful when traveling to other countries. It can also help regulate blood sugar. The best ACV is organic and unfiltered and contains the “mother,” which are strands of proteins, enzymes, and friendly bacteria. Dilute a tablespoon of AVC in a glass of water, adding honey to taste if you wish. Drink one or more times daily.

Eat: Green Veggies, Fruits, Nuts, and Seeds

On every continent you’ll find a wide variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. Some of them might be more familiar than others, so have fun trying out new types of these food powerhouses. One caveat: if you can’t drink the tap water where you are visiting, avoid vegetables and fruits that have been washed in water and are eaten raw, such as lettuce. Opt instead for cooked versions or fruits with rinds or peels that are removed before eating.

Leafy green vegetables provide some of the highest levels of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients available in plants. Eat them raw in salads (if safe), juiced, blended into smoothies, or as delicious main or side dishes with a meal. Try to eat fruit between meals, and be sure that it is fully ripe to avoid stomach upset. Fruits are very beneficial when eaten along with nuts and seeds. All of these foods will provide energy and will not raise your blood sugar to dangerous levels, leaving you more clear-headed and collected when it comes time to meet your business counterparts and talk shop.

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