CAREER DEVELOPMENT / NOV. 11, 2015
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How Sweets Can Make You Better at Your Job

Chocolate chip cookies. Gooey brownies. Blueberry muffins. No matter how health-conscious we are, none of us can resist sweets. They stare at us when we’re standing in line at our local Starbucks in the morning, persuading us to go ahead and treat ourselves to a pumpkin scone to go with our pumpkin spice latte. They beckon from the office break room because there’s always leftover birthday cake in every single office. But what if instead of depriving yourself, you gave in? And what if eating sweets actually benefited your career? I know, it sounds too good to be true, but it really is. Read on to find out how sweets can help you at work.

See Also: How to Become a Sugar Pusher: Bakers

1. You Can Work Longer

Instead of motivating yourself with a sweet reward, which you probably already do anyway, why not go ahead and indulge in your favorite treat before you get super productive? Experts say that enjoying a treat at work actually helps you work longer. The 2007 study found that "Self-control relies on some sort of limited energy source… Restoring glucose to a sufficient level typically improves self-control". In other words, eating sweets will give your body glucose, which is transformed into energy, and you’ll also be able to get through any tough project at the office. Sounds like research we can get behind. So, feel free to enjoy your favorite chocolate bar, a gooey cookie from the coffee shop down the street from your office, or a pink frosted cupcake – just make sure you actually get to work afterward. Your boss won’t exactly love it if they see you chowing down on some leftover Halloween candy without doing any work at all.

2. Sweets Help You Focus

Want to pay more attention to your work instead of feeling the urge to check social media every five seconds? That’s what we all want, right? If you’re chocolate obsessed (and who isn’t, really?) then it’s time to start enjoying chocolate at the office because it’s going to bring you tons of focus. You’ll be more productive than ever before. You’ve probably heard that chocolate (especially the dark stuff) has endorphins, which are the same super happy chemicals you get when you work out. Chocolate also helps you focus by affecting your brain in a super positive way and helping your memory. So, the next time you need to not only pay attention to your growing workload but also need to recall some important facts, take a big bite of your favorite chocolate bar. And don’t feel guilty about it.

Peppermint is another sweet that can help you with your focus at the office. Thankfully, we’re approaching the holiday season, and what goes better than chocolate and peppermint? So, how exactly does this stuff help you? Well, it helps your brain’s blood flow just like chocolate does, and it also helps you remember stuff. Now head to Starbucks and order that peppermint mocha you love so much – now that you have a good, science-based reason. And here’s some even better news: even just the scent of peppermint helps you feel super awake and focused, so before you even enjoy a peppermint candy cane or treat, you’re already halfway there.

If you’re a breakfast skipper, don’t worry: you’re totally normal. The number of people living in the US who don’t enjoy a morning meal might surprise you: that would be 31 million. Shocking, I know – or maybe not that shocking, since most of us would rather hit the snooze button than prepare a healthy breakfast. But if you use sweets to your advantage at work, then guess what? You can eat a moderately sweet breakfast when you arrive at the office and then you’ll be ready for a super productive day. There’s really no good reason to skip breakfast: it helps you focus, it contributes to an overall healthy lifestyle, and it can make sure you don’t gain a million pounds since you won’t be so hungry later on. There are tons of ways to indulge your sweet tooth at breakfast so you can enjoy something sugary but also be able to concentrate and have an amazingly successful day. The simplest thing to do? Add a drizzle of chocolate chips to a bowl of oatmeal which you can heat up in the office microwave. Make the chocolate chips dairy-free, soy free, or vegan and you can even pretend it’s healthy (because, well, it’s healthier than the alternative).

3. Chewing Gum Reduces Stress

Remember when you were a kid and all you wanted to do was chew yummy and super sweet gum, but your mom thought it was bad for your teeth? Well, you can prove your mom wrong today, because it turns out that chewing gum is actually amazing for you. It reduces stress, and there’s even tons of research to back that up. According to research done in Tokyo, if you chew gum for a period of 10 minutes plus, you will feel much calmer. That’s super good news for you office dwellers since we all know how much job-related stress we all experience on a daily basis. Experts think that the stress-relieving component comes from the taste of gum and how your mind perceives that taste. So, go ahead and chew gum to your heart’s content. Think of how much you can achieve at work now that you will no longer fall prey to serious bouts of stress and anxiety.

4. You Will Be Happier

Happy employees are productive employees. It’s like a law or something. If you’re sad, unmotivated, or feeling bad in some way, you’re not going to put your best effort forward and your work will seem sloppy. If you’re happy, however, you’re going to care a lot more about how well you do. So, since sugar definitely makes us happy, there’s absolutely zero reason to not enjoy something sweet every day at work. It’s okay, give yourself permission. There are so many awful parts about working full-time, from mean bosses to office politics and gossip to the fact that many of us are super overworked and exhausted, so take your happiness where you can.

5. You Can Get More Done Since You're So Hyper

Okay, so you’ve given in and eaten a slice of birthday cake (or half the cake when your boss wasn’t looking). Now how do you feel? Totally hyper and like a little kid at a birthday party? Sounds about right. Use that feeling to your advantage and watch your work ethic soar, at least for the next hour or so. Fire off a bunch of emails that you’ve been putting off, brainstorm for that project that’s coming up, and make a list of everything you have to do in the next week. As long as you use sugar to your advantage, you’ll be super successful at the office.

Being hyper thanks to our BFFs sugar and chocolate can also help you be productive since you’ll be in a more creative state. Sugar makes us feel super awake and alive, and then produces a crash, but even the crash can help you since you’ll be tired, and we’re often more creative when we’re sleepy. Basically, your sugar-addled mind will be less narrow and will not censor all your ideas so quickly the way it normally would. So, thank that cherry-filled donut for your brilliant business idea.

See Also: 6 Ways Being a Night Owl Can Help Your Career

If you have a sweet tooth, you’re definitely not alone, and you’re in luck – that can actually help you at work. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying something sweet once a day or so at the office. It can put you in a better mood, make sure you actually eat breakfast, and can even put you into a super hyper state that helps you get more productive. Sounds pretty awesome, right? So, go ahead and eat that vanilla sprinkled cupcake. Your career demands it.

Can you think of any other ways that sweets make you better at your job? Let us know in the comments section below!

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