Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Snack Alert- Literally!!

Remember back when business meeting breaks at conference hotels meant rushing to the pay phones outside the room to return calls and then washing down a big pastry with a cup of industrial-tasting coffee?
The next step was struggling to keep your eyes open during the next round of speakers as the late afternoon slump set in. That’s why hotel companies such as Wyndham Hotels and Resorts have started to offer foods and beverages that help boost energy and promote an alert state of mind.

At the Wyndham Peachtree Conference Center in Peachtree City, a recent seminar held for professional meeting planners featured a demonstration of what can be offered to clients who want their meeting goers to stay awake.
“I think health and wellness has become a growing trend and focus in the meetings industry,” said Kelly Blair of Atlanta-based Monumental Meetings.
During the morning break at the Wyndham, a smoothie bar offered a drink made with soy milk and tropical fruit. The snack selections included single servings of yogurts and lowfat cottage cheese as well as fresh fruit, dried fruit and 100-calorie packs of whole grain crackers and high-fiber cereal bars. Even the air was designed to keep you feeling perky.
“It’s called Pure Air and it’s a system that purifies the air by decreasing particulate matter including mold and spores in hotel guest rooms and meeting rooms,” explained Marilyn Yelle, senior director of sales and marketing for Wyndham.
• Carbohydrates increase brain levels of a chemical called serotonin, which induces sleep. Good for bedtime, not meeting time.
• Foods that contain protein keep blood sugar levels on an even keel, preventing extreme highs and then crashing lows that lead to loss of energy.
• Certainly caffeine in colas and coffee still plays an important role in keeping minds alert. But it turns out that tea, with its combination of caffeine and an amino acid called theanine, increases alpha-brain wave activity that induces a calmer, yet more alert, state of mind.
• Folate, a B vitamin found in orange juice, green vegetables and whole grains, has been shown to improve alertness in adults.
• Drink up to stay awake. Dehydration can make you feel listless and lethargic and contribute to concentration problems. The water in fresh fruit and veggie snacks help hydrate.

No comments: