When you’re a business traveller, you know that eating and drinking on a work trip is a balancing act.
On the one hand, sampling different cuisines and room service are luxuries you don’t necessarily get at home; on the other, all your efforts to eat healthily and avoid snacking can go out of the window.
In a recent study by Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts 25% of travellers said one of the worst things about business travel is dining out adversely impacting healthy eating habits, with 26% feeling that meeting catering forces them to eat unhealthy meals or snacks.
Happily, there are foods and drinks you can choose on a business trip that are scientifically proven to boost your brain power so that you can fly through those meetings and have enough energy to enjoy your downtime as well.
Caffeine in tea and coffee
Your morning caffeine may offer more than just a short-term boost for concentration – it might also help cement new memories, according to one study.
Participants were asked to look at a series of images and then take either a placebo or a 200mg caffeine tablet. Guess what: the caffeine takers correctly identified more images the next day.
Caffeine before exercise will also boost the power of your workout, so an espresso before you start in the hotel gym will give you an edge.
Eggs are protein-packed powerhouses that will not only stop you feeling hungry, they’ll enhance your mental sharpness too. Eggs are rich in choline, and higher intake of this is associated with better cognitive performance. Remember this if you are ordering breakfast room service.
Along with your eggs, help yourself to a generous portion of blueberries and strawberries from the breakfast buffet, or whip up a berry-rich smoothie if you want to keep your memory sharp. Anthocyanins in berries appear to delay cognitive ageing by up to 2.5 years, and slow cognitive decline.
Green leafy vegetables
Your mum was right all along: eat up those greens. Brassicas such as broccoli, cabbage, kale, and cauliflower, and green leafy veg such as spinach, watercress and chard are bursting with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. These nutrients may help lower your risk of memory decline in the long term.
We’re encouraged to eat fish and shellfish every week as part of a healthy balanced diet, and pregnant women who regularly eat three weekly servings of fish may benefit their baby’s brain development. Head for a place offering such healthy options in their menus.
Decline those sugary mid-morning meeting doughnuts and reach for real nuts instead. Flavonoids (plant chemicals) in pecans, walnuts and cashews can enter areas of our brains responsible for memory and learning. Keep a bag of mixed nuts in your pocket for a brain-boosting healthy snack on the go.
We know it’s important to keep hydrated when we travel for business – on the plane, in meetings and out sightseeing, but did you know our brains depend on proper hydration to function optimally?
When you’re dehydrated, you can impair your short-term memory and the recall from your long-term memory. Indeed, a study showed that participants’ reaction times in tests were quicker on the morning they drank water: “It certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a glass of water before giving a presentation or taking a test,” said the study’s lead author.
Pick up a bottle of water from the run station before you head out of your hotel and keep your body and brain hydrated all day.
The Crowne Plaza Fast and Fresh menu features healthy and nutritious food that will help you stay energised and can be delivered in just 15 minutes. You can also take your pick from snacks in the bar and lounge areas or something more formal in our restaurants. And if you find yourself starting or finishing outside normal restaurant hours, then you’ll be pleased to know that our in-room dining menu is available around the clock.
To find out more about how Crowne Plaza is changing the face of modern business travel, or to book a room, visit crowneplaza.com/businessmostly.