Thursday, October 27, 2011

Brain food for writers (Really!)

To be more productive, should writers chew gum, drink coffee, and nibble on chocolate?

I never heard a writer crave chewing gum, but there’s a lot of talk out there about drinking coffee and snacking on chocolate while in the midst of the creative process.

A study found chewing gum was associated with higher alertness, reduced anxiety and stress, and improvement in overall performance on multi-tasking activities.

As far as “smart foods,” science has endorsed the idea that some food can indeed play a role in your cognitive abilities. Anything with caffeine will help boost energy level, help you to focus, and aid in concentration. Sugar (glucose) enhances alertness, fish with omega 3 fatty acids enhance memory, and avocados, rich in monounsaturated fat, contributes to healthy blood flow and helps to fire up brain cells. Walnuts contain antioxidants that increase memory. We are warned though, that too much caffeine or sugar will backfire and actually make you jittery (and perhaps overweight).

So tomorrow when you sit down to write, consider chewing gum, drinking coffee, and snacking on chocolate. And for lunch have some salmon with a few slices of avocado, a handful of walnuts, and a glass of orange juice. Then maybe you’ll pen that breakout novel.


Kathryn Smith Lockhard said...

Sounds like an idea that's fun and perhaps worth trying. Thanks for the tips.

Beth K. Vogt said...

In my daughter's school (she's in 5th grade), the students were allowed to chew gum when they were taking standardized tests. The administrators have been reading those same studies you were citing!

Megan DiMaria said...

I think I need to break out the chewing gum today. Oy, the writing's s-l-o-w.

That's so interesting about your daughter's school, Beth. I wonder if the kids scored higher than usual.