Strengthen your mental muscle and eat to boost your focus and concentration during workouts. Words: Rob Hobson

Try a supplement

Nootropics enhance focus by affecting biochemical pathways and brain mechanisms, with nutritional supplements often containing key ingredients that support cognitive functions, such as attention and concentration.

Caffeine, a widely recognised nootropic, stimulates the central nervous system by blocking adenosine receptors, which leads to increased alertness and concentration. L-theanine, found in green tea, promotes relaxation and, when combined with caffeine, enhances focus while reducing jitteriness. Omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for brain cell structure, improving mental clarity. Bacopa monnieri, used in ayurvedic medicine, enhances neurotransmitter function, improving focus and cognitive processing.

Additionally, B vitamins including B6, B12 and folate, are essential for neurotransmitter synthesis and optimal brain function. It’s important to use nootropics as part of a balanced lifestyle that includes nutrition, exercise and sufficient sleep. Try Healthspan Memory Support (£16.99 for 60 capsules,

Have some caffeine

Caffeine enhances focus by stimulating the central nervous system, making you feel more alert and awake. It also helps with the production and release of dopamine, which can help improve mood, motivation and the ability to focus. Caffeine has been shown to boost cognitive performance, which can be useful when you need to focus during extended work hours or projects that require higher levels of concentration. Widely researched as a performance aid, caffeine helps reduce fatigue perception, making it useful in endurance sports during challenging phases. Most healthy adults can consume up to 400mg caffeine daily – about four cups of brewed coffee. Caffeine is also found in tea, energy drinks and supplements, but excessive consumption can lead to restlessness and insomnia, so find a level that works for you.

Balance your meals

Learn how to eat to boost your focus by eating regularly and ensuring your meals include a balance of carbohydrates, proteins and fats – essential for maintaining focus throughout the day. This nutritional balance stabilises blood-sugar levels, preventing exaggerated spikes and troughs that can affect your energy and concentration. Carbohydrates offer an immediate energy boost, while proteins and fats moderate the release of glucose into your bloodstream, helping maintain longer periods of focus. Including fibre-rich foods such as legumes, wholegrains and vegetables can enhance satiety. Low levels of magnesium have been linked to brain fog so ensuring a good intake can help you think clearly – fill up on spinach, legumes and nuts.

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Improve your sleep quality

Enhancing sleep quality is essential for optimal daytime focus. Establish a consistent sleep schedule by going to bed and waking up at the same time every day. Develop a bedtime routine, such as taking a warm bath, reading, meditating or doing some gentle stretching, to signal to your body that it’s time to wind down. Ensure your bedroom environment supports sleep by keeping it cool, dark and quiet, possibly using blackout curtains and white noise machines. Avoid bright screens and blue-light exposure before bed, as well as caffeine and heavy meals. While regular exercise promotes restorative sleep, avoid vigorous activity too close to bedtime as it can increase body temperature and stimulate the nervous system, making it harder to fall asleep. Consider a sleep tracker such as the Oura ring (from £299, to monitor and achieve your sleep goals more effectively.

Set clear goals

To focus on your performance outcomes, try setting clear, specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART) goals for training and events. This approach can help direct your focus towards manageable targets, enhancing overall performance. Partner this with an established pre-performance routine to help focus your mind before a tough training session or competition. This routine may include mediation, visualisation, stretching or listening to music to calm your nerves or boost your motivation. Together, these strategies provide a structured approach to maximising focus and performance.