Refuel: Put some drive in your diet

Dreams of a world title or even a screaming coach not enough to motivate you? Try eating these foods to help give yourself a kick in the butt.


Egg yolks

Contain plenty of the noggin-enhancing nutrient, choline. They also boost testosterone to get you in a better mood.


Isotonic sports drink

Any daily activity that requires willpower saps your brain of glucose. Top up your motivation levels with a few sips so you’re ready to give it your all in your next training session.


Beef liver

Not to everyone’s taste, but it keeps you topped up with vitamins B6 and 12, which are essential for brain function and performance.


Dried oregano

Throw these in with your sauces, meats or salads for a high dose of luteolin – for motivation, memory, brain health and decreased brain inflammation.


Dark chocolate

A modest amount of caffeine for an energy hike and brain improving polyphenols – what’s not to like about treat? Eat a sensible amount of this and it won’t even count as a cheat.


Salmon

Power your brain or help destroy depression – two traits of the minerals in this fish. No wonder given the effort they need to swim upstream. Eat it or supplement your diet with Omega 3.


Sunflower seeds

Dopamine is a brain chemical that increases your feel-good factor. Sunflower seeds have got your fix.


Grape juice

Up the levels of serotonin, norepinephrine and melatonin in your gray matter for better emotional well-being. That’ll help you visualize your next victory.


Green tea

Need more mental toughness to see your goals through? Theanine is the nutrient you need. A couple of cups of green tea will provide enough brain fuel.


Lentils

High fiber and versatile legumes that keep your blood sugar stable for sustained levels of energy.


Bacopa monnieri

What’s that, you say? Native to India, this small plant has shown mood-heightening qualities and is available as a supplement in tablets.


Green tea

Need more mental toughness to help fight back when you’re taking a licking? Theanine is the nutrient you need and a couple of cups of green tea will provide enough brain fuel.


Portabello mushrooms

Besides sunbathing to get your vitamin D, these fungi are the perfect way to get more of this mood-elevating micronutrient if you’re stuck in the gym all day or don’t have the luxury of training in somewhere like Florida or California.