Software programmers get a bad rap when it comes to their nutrition. However, the stereotypes aren’t too far from the truth. Late-night programming fueled by pizza and energy drinks is a relatively accurate representation of what happens. And it’s easy to snack mindlessly while you are focused on your work. While you might think you’re getting by just fine on an unhealthy diet, you could be feeling and performing even better. What if, by adjusting your diet and adding a supplement, you could be a better professional programmer? Would you do it? By providing the proper fuel for your brain, you can potentially program faster and better. One way to do so is through the use of nootropics.
What Are Nootropics?
Nootropics are substances that support brain function and enhance mental performance. Nootropics can include foods, supplements, and drugs. Supplements can help improve your mental performance beyond what can be achieved by lifestyle choices alone.
Benefits of Nootropics
While most software programmers could improve their diets, there are those that have positive lifestyle habits. Either way, nootropics can provide benefits beyond a healthy diet and exercise. This includes improved focus, better memory, added motivation, and more.
The Career and Nutritional Habits of a Typical Software Programmer
If you’ve chosen to be a professional programmer, you’ve accepted a career that is highly sedentary and highly stressful. Programming can take a toll on both your physical and mental health, and you need to make intentional choices to stay healthy. Your job requires you to focus for long periods of time, and that can be difficult to do. After a long day’s work, you may find your memory declining along with your motivation, attention span and overall feeling of well-being. You may experience a mid-day crash and turn to sugary foods or caffeinated drinks to get through it. Regardless of how much you enjoy your job, the physical and mental demands can start to take a toll. Fortunately, you can turn to healthier options.
Nootropics for Focus and Memory
Do you remember the last time you’ve been able to sit down and work for three hours straight? If you rely on sugary snacks and caffeine to stay focused, it likely has been a while. Your body uses the energy from these types of foods quickly, and when your blood sugar returns to normal, you feel hungry again, and you get up to get another snack or drink. Some nootropic supplements contain Rhodiola and Panax ginseng, both of which are believed to improve focus and memory. Unlike unhealthy food choices, you won’t crash from nootropics and feel the need to take more. As an antioxidant, ginseng may protect your brain cells from free radical damage, thereby helping to improve your brain function in the long run and not just temporarily. Nootropics containing the herb Bacopa may also permanently improve your memory after two to three months of use.
Nootropics for Motivation
No matter how much you enjoy your job, it can be difficult to stay motivated every day. When you are having an “off” day, you might be tempted to throw in the towel, or you might see your quality of work decline. Some nootropics boost dopamine and serotonin levels, both of which play a critical role in motivation.
Nootropics for Mood
Software programming can take a toll on your mental health as well. From stressful deadlines to the lack of naturally occurring dopamines due to sedentary work, you would benefit from a mood boost every once in awhile. Nootropics that contain Rhodiola and zinc are believed to naturally improve your mood based on some placebo-controlled studies. Emotional and mental well-being are just as important as physical health, if not more so, for a pragmatic programmer. When you feel good mentally, you are more inclined to make healthier decisions overall.
Nootropics for Sleep
When your brain is stimulated all day by your work and even by the lights of your computer screen, you may find it difficult to wind down at night and go to sleep. A lack of sleep leaves you feeling worn out the next day, which makes it appealing to turn to unhealthy options to stay awake and alert. Nootropic supplements that contain ingredients like melatonin, magnesium, and certain amino acids can promote relaxation, sleep and improve your sleep quality. When you get better sleep at night, your mood, focus, and motivation all improve during the day.
Software programming is a mentally demanding job that is also highly sedentary. Rather than becoming a stereotype by binge eating sugary, starchy foods and relying on caffeine and energy drinks while you work, you can try nootropics. Different nootropics offer different benefits, but you can find many supplements that boost your mood, improve your focus, enhance your memory and give you a better night’s sleep. By eliminating the unhealthy choices from your life, your overall health and well-being will improve as well.