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6 Foods That Can DISRUPT Mental Performance

Have you ever wondered how the food you eat affects your mental performance? Every person is unique and that means that we all tolerate foods differently. What might affect one person might not affect the next in the same way.

So, how can we tell which foods are negatively affecting us and which foods are known to negatively affect mental performance? Read on to see if any of these foods could be causing you trouble.


Our brains use sugar as an energy source, but not the kind of sugar you’re thinking of! Processed white sugars are not the kind of fuel our brains need to function well. In fact, processed white sugar can actually negatively affect how our brains function!

Even one teaspoon of sugar can have negative effects. The elevation in blood glucose that one teaspoon of sugar can cause can slow cognitive function, cause changes in mood, and a reduction in memory and mental performance.

Artificial Sweetener

Many people turn to artificial sweeteners to avoid the harmful effects of processed sugars. But they aren’t a healthy choice either! Artificial sweeteners can actually trick your brain into thinking you have consumed less calories than you actually have, and then your brain tells you that you need to eat more to make up for the deficit!

Some studies are showing that artificial sweetener use is connected to an increased risk of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. That decline in mental function seems like the opposite of what a side hustler needs to succeed!

Its best to stick to naturally sweet foods like fruits, or use honey or maple syrup sparingly instead of using artificial sweeteners in your food.

I'm on that diet where you cut out all carbs and all sugar and all happiness. It's remarkably effective. #SideHustle #SugarHappiness Click To Tweet


After a long day at work and then at your side hustle, you might get the urge to reach for a cold one or to pour your favorite hard liquor over some ice. But, stop! Consuming alcohol might feel relaxing in the moment but the short-term and long-term negative effects might not be worth it.

As with anything bad consuming alcohol in moderation once a month thing is totally fine! But if you are using it as a frequent way to relax you could be doing yourself a great disservice! Why?

New brain cells are made in our brains every day, which is very neat! But if you consume alcohol regularly then these new brain cells cannot be made since alcohol prevents their formation. Alcohol can also disrupt your body’s natural sleep cycles. It might seem like you drift off to sleep easily after a drink but it’s not the same quality of sleep you would have gotten otherwise if you had let your body do it naturally. Lack of quality sleep can certainly affect your mental performance the next day and even up to three days later.

Fried Foods

Eating fried foods can be harmful to your health for many reasons! A major reason to avoid them is that they can change the way your brain works and how it performs. Fried foods can cause changes in how easily your blood circulates through your body. If the blood in your body isn’t circulating well then your brain won’t receive enough oxygen to function well. This will cause a decline in your brain’s ability to function well.

Fried foods are often made from processed carbohydrates and we know how these can affect your blood glucose levels and how that can affect your brain’s functioning.

Artificial Preservatives

Food preservatives are in every boxed and pre-packaged food you can buy from the store. They add these chemicals to the food so that they have a longer shelf-life so that they can remain on the shelf longer before going bad.

But are these preservative chemicals good for our brains? The short answer is no. Common preservatives like MSG (monosodium glutamate) can act as an excitatory neurotransmitter in your brain. In some circles, MSG has been labeled as an excitotoxin because of its ability to overexcite the cells in your brain on an unhealthy level.

Some people are more sensitive to food preservatives than others. If you experience any of these symptoms then you should avoid them.

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Flushing
Keep your friends close and your fried foods closer. #SideHustle #FriedFoods Click To Tweet


I’m sorry, this one sucks, but we couldn’t let this one slip! Caffeine can be a doozy!  Whether you drink coffee, soda, or energy drinks they all contain caffeine. Caffeine seems like it could be helpful for mental performance since it gives you an initial jolt of energy just shortly after you consume it.

But what happens a little while after you consume it is where caffeine starts to fail you! A few hours after you have consumed caffeine your body begins to crash and your energy levels tank. Along with your energy levels, your mental performance begins to tank as well.

Once the caffeine rush is over you begin to experience all of those tired feelings you had before again, only sometimes they can be worse! You begin to feel physically tired and mentally tired, too! People report that they feel less able to focus and be efficient at the task at hand.


As hard as it can be to give up foods that have become a habit in our lives, if they are negatively affecting your mental performance then they are best kicked to the curb! It doesn’t have to be forever. Just do a trial period where you eliminate the foods you think could be causing difficulties and then try re-introducing it. If you notice that having it again affects you negatively then you know that you have to say goodbye to it for good!

The good news is that there are so many recipes on the internet now that use alternative ingredients and taste just as good, if not better! So give some new recipes a try when eliminating the bad foods and you might even find that you don’t even miss them at all!


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