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How does Nutrition impact our mental health?


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How does Nutrition impact our mental health?

In the current world, the need for a healthy outlet for stress and anxiety has never been more necessary. It can all get a little too much for all of us from time to time and being able to channel our anxiety and negative feelings into something useful can be a massive help and it is something we regularly champion as a brand.

Proper nutrition and fitness can provide massive benefits for someone’s mental health and may even reduce urges to use drugs or alcohol. In daily life, it can often be difficult to maintain healthy routines but the benefits of healthy exercise and eating habits should not be overlooked.

Man smiling while running marathon

Studies have shown that exercise can be as effective as medication or therapy for treating mild to moderate depression and anxiety. Physical activity releases endorphins, which are natural chemicals that improve mood and reduce feelings of pain and stress. These endorphins create a “runner’s high”, a feeling of euphoria and relaxation that can last for hours after exercise.


While the impact of exercise has long been documented and respected, it is often the case that nutrition’s impact on mental health is overlooked. Nutrition also plays a significant role in our mental well-being. The foods we eat have a direct impact on our brain function and can affect our mood and behaviour.


A healthy diet, including foods high in vitamins and minerals such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, has been linked to improved mental health. On the other hand, diets high in processed and high-fat foods can lead to increased symptoms of depression and anxiety. A study conducted by the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria in Spain found that people who ate a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein had a lower risk of depression than those who ate a diet high in processed foods and sugary drinks.


Building confidence in your nutrition

In addition to improving our physical health, regular exercise and a healthy diet can also improve our self-esteem and confidence, which can have a positive impact on overall mental health. When we feel good about our bodies and our health, we are more likely to have a positive outlook on life and feel more confident in our ability to handle challenges.

Proper nutrition is often the secret for people managing to push past their mental barriers and achieve their personal fitness goals as they begin to trust their body and their nutrition to help prepare them for longer distances or for faster times. Preparing a nutrition strategy before a big run or cycle can be a key difference maker in providing a convenient way of taking on essential vitamins and nutrients quickly, whether it is one of our Luchos energy blocks or simply some trail mix. Either way, plant-based or natural ingredients are the ideal solution as this provides you with that nutritional boost without the nasty stomach pains and aches that can often come with gels. Refuelling during a run is chiefly about providing a convenient form of energy to your body that your body can easily digest and the popular gels are notorious for their poor digestibility.

Woman smiling on a bike in Luchos cycling gear

We’ve talked about fuelling for long runs and cycles before but we’ve rarely touched on the mental aspect of it. Running or cycling over long distances is a mental challenge as much as a physical one with the sheer distance being incredibly daunting and every metre impacting your time and your belief. To be able to stay committed to your task and follow through requires an extremely high level of confidence as well as a consistent belief. Having good nutrition both before and during the race can make a massive difference and allow you to perform to your highest standard throughout the race. Nutrition during a race can be a reliable and convenient safety net, providing you with that extra boost when needed to push you further.


If you’re looking to improve your mental health, consider adding regular exercise and a healthy diet to your routine. Start small, with a daily walk or a healthy breakfast, and gradually increase your activity level and improve your nutrition. You’ll not only improve your physical health but also your mental well-being, leading to a happier, healthier life.

Woman smiling while running on the beach

If you are looking for more nutrition tips, we’ve got you covered with plenty of nutrition based articles on our site. If you are looking for nutrition for long runs, nutrition advice for winter/cold weather running or nutrition advice for skiing, check out our related blog content at the links provided.