After we set the vision for the optimal life, we need to feed that vision. Literally feed. When we define our vision, we then ask What is necessary to feed and fuel the level of life and activity that we envision as our best life? If we seek to align ourselves with a lifestyle of adventure and vibrancy, we need to design what nourishment is necessary to fuel and sustain that lifestyle.
There are scores of diets and products on the market that are advertised to increase energy and mental clarity. When working with clients, my focus tends to be on fueling life with real food and hydration rather than stimulants, supplements, or complex “bio hacking” techniques. There may be a place for some basic supplements or products to help tweak and enhance the diet, but I believe the focus should not shift to playing with supplements until the foundation diet is established.
My core message on nutrition is not glamorous: the cornerstone is hydration. Most energy and clarity issues come from some level of dehydration, whether caused by an inadequate intake of water or by the consumption of caffeine and alcohol without taking in a proper amount of water to counter their dehydrating effects. Secondary to caffeine and alcohol is the dehydrating effect of consuming too many refined carbohydrates. Simply increasing water intake while decreasing the intake of dehydrating fluids and foods often results in an noticeable shift in energy, sleep quality, and mental clarity.
I function at my best when I drink 1-2 glasses of warm lemon water first thing in the morning. Before bed, I also try to drink 1-2 glasses of warm water to offset water loss during sleep. Through the day, I still drink coffee, but I try to always do so while properly hydrating. When I neglect drinking water first thing in the morning and go straight to coffee, I feel a diminished level of energy through the latter part of the morning until I properly hydrate.
The other component of my basic nutritional plan is a focus on real food, which to me excludes all of the various bars, powders, and packaged products that advertise themselves as energy sources wrapped in convenience. Many of these amount to little more than cookies parading as health bars. When I take in real foods in the simplest forms of vegetables and meats, then I notice a massive upswing in sustained energy through the day. Clients of mine who have adopted this basic switch have reported near immediate shifts in their energy and clarity levels over their days.
Once the foundation of nutrition and hydration is established, one can always play with supplements and the current clarity/energy fads, but such products should be seen for what they are…products that may create micro-improvements or pleasant placebo effects, at best. In the meantime, work hard and cast great visions and define your optimal life, then ask yourself what will be required to feed and nourish the level of action required of you to live that life.
Cheers, with good food, plenty of water, and good health.