Entrepreneurs’ Guide to Health, Energy, and Performance

by | Jun 11, 2023 | Nutrition

Entrepreneurs always strive for better health, fitness, and productivity, and they constantly seek more. But your time and energy are limited. If you want to maximize your efforts in business, fitness, and family without burning out, you need to manage your energy well.
In this article you will find:
  • How to manage your energy (and why we are lazy);
  • Simple, yet effective nutrition strategies to keep your body & mind fit (without meal prepping all your food);
  • Supplements to support your physical and mental health;
  • Effective training methods (that fit busy schedules and don’t rely on getting up at 4.a.m)

Here is what’s important:

Entrepreneurs often pursue many things at once, often at the cost of their health. If you pursue business, family, and fitness, your energy will be drained quickly. If you don’t support all your time spent training and working with proper nutrition and rest, your mental and physical abilities will decline. You will also feel tired during your free time.
The three key areas for optimal mental and physical performance:
  1. Rest & recovery
  2. Food
  3. Movement/exercise
Imagine you have 10 energy units: how do you spend them?
  • Health
  • Training/Exercise
  • Work
  • Spiritual needs
  • Self-Development
  • Family and Relationships
Your energy and time are limited. “You can do anything, but you can’t do everything.”
Using energy to train for a marathon means you will have less energy for family and business.
Lack of energy leads to procrastination and snacking on sweetsđŸ© It even has a name “procrastineating”.
Instead of trying to juggle multiple things, chose one thing to focus on and maintain the other.

Self-discipline and Energy

Self-discipline is essential for long-term success in any area of life. But sometimes when we think we need more discipline, what we really need is to stop working against our nature.

Why I can’t make myself read a book in the evening and rather watch TV?

One manager asked me why he couldn’t bring himself to read a book in the evening even though he knew it would be beneficial for him. Instead, he watches TV. It frustrates him because he feels like he lacks discipline. After learning about his daily routine and understanding why he wants to read, we came to a simple conclusion. He was too tired in the evening, so he preferred to relax by watching TV. It helped him realize that the problem was not laziness; he was just tired.

Deeper explanation:

Evolutionary, your brain is optimized for survival. It means it chooses short-term pleasures even at the cost of life satisfaction & quality and health… even if logically it makes no sense! It prefers the path of the least resistance.

We have two pathways in our brain involved in decision-making:

  1. Goal-seeking system – It helps to make decisions aligned with long-term goals. It costs energy.
  2. Habitual system – It is based on the learned patterns of stimulus and response. It focuses on short-term gain. It saves energy.
Discipline is an active form of control. It uses mental energy. If you run out of energy, you will not be able to be disciplined. You will do what is natural and habitual to you.
Your brain constantly evaluates energy spent / energy gained:
  • If you are stressed, a candy bar on your table is a quick source of energy & it costs no energy to get.
  • A healthy meal in the office kitchen requires you to go to the kitchen (and you spend some energy to get there).
  • When you don’t know what to eat, thinking about what to eat, then going to a shop and preparing a healthy meal requires a lot of energy.
More discipline = better quality of life. The secret is building systems in your life that make your desired habits the easier choice. Building discipline requires energy. Use times when you have the most energy to push your comfort zone and build systems that don’t require discipline and make your desired behaviors automatic.


How to optimize energy

If you want to achieve more during the day, you need to optimize your energy. Identify and do things that give you more energy than they take away. Strategically distribute them throughout the day to provide you with energy for the things that drain you.

Things that restore energy:
  1. Nutritious meals
  2. Deep talks
  3. Purposeful work
  4. Movement/exercise
  5. Meditation
  6. Sleep
Things that drain energy:
  1. Unpurposeful work
  2. Activities you suck at
  3. Caffeine when battling lack of sleep
  4. Workouts if done wrong
  5. Wrong foods and diet approaches
  6. Some people
  7. Being awake
Your energy is limited. There are things that drain your energy and things that recharge it. If you want to optimize your energy, you need to do as many things that energize you and sprinkle them throughout the day strategically so you have energy for things that drain it.


Nutritious meals help you to deal with stress. But when you are unable to stick with your healthy meal ideas, it is stressful. When stress is high, it’s harder to put the same effort into what you eat as when stress is low.

Adequate energy supply

An adequate energy supply is necessary for your muscle, but also to manage stress and keep your brain in peak condition. One of the first signs of low energy availability is mood impairment and “brain fog”. Bodybuilders prepping for contests or athletes cutting weight are familiar with the side effects of aggressive calorie restriction. Skipping meals is not optimal if you demand yourself to work mentally and train hard.

Five ways how you can eat healthy when your life gets stressful:

  1. Find quick, easy-to-prepare recipes. Overnight oats, sandwiches, and smoothies are great choices. This is one of the occasions when I would consider meal replacement shakes.
  2. Use dinner leftovers: Breakfast doesn’t need to be oats. Have your previous day’s dinner for breakfast or lunch at work.
  3. Plan food at your workplace: Food at your workplace bistro might not be the best choice but you can make it work. Bistros and canteens provide a menu for the whole week so it’s easy to plan ahead and play nutrition puzzle. Most places provide delivery so ordering food from a nearby places is also an option. Instead of preparing the whole meal at home, Janka made chicken breasts at home and combined them with a salad she bought at her workplace.
  4. Have Plan B: Keep your pantry stocked with canned and frozen foods. These can be ingredients but also whole meals that you prepare, portion, and freeze. Frozen Chilli sin carne saved me when I had a fever and no energy to cook.
  5. Scale it down to your own situation, instead of trying to be 10/10 all the time, aim for 8/10.

You don’t need to prepare all the food by yourself if you want to eat healthy.

Home-cooked meals can help you control what and how much you eat, but it is not necessary to have a healthy diet that will help you lose weight, build muscle or improve sports performance.đŸ„‘
Janka and Adam were my clients who were active throughout the day and had little time and energy in the evenings to prepare meals. While Janka wanted to gain weight, Adam wanted to lose weight. Both of them believed that bringing food from home was necessary to achieve their goals.

Here’s what’s important:

One meal at work accounts for 5 meals per week, which is 24%. Having one meal a day that is not entirely ideal won’t ruin your entire week. The overall meal plan is what matters.
When we discussed their options together, we realized that they had several meal choices available in the workplace kitchen every day. Typically, these meals were high in carbohydrates and fats, with a small amount of protein or vegetables.

What helped them?

Instead of carrying all their food from home, they used two strategies:
  • They reviewed the weekly menu in advance and selected the most suitable meals, even if they weren’t always 100% ideal.
  • If there was a carbohydrate-based meal, they brought proteins to accompany it. For example, if the daily menu included jam-filled pastries, they bought cottage cheese or brought protein powder to have a more balanced meal.
  • They focused on the other 16 meals: breakfasts, dinners, and snacks in between.
Striving to have a balanced, homemade diet that not only satisfies you but also aligns with your goals is commendable. It’s not necessary for all your meals to be ideal to meet your goals. Focus on improvement rather than perfection.


There are several options for how you can keep your diet in check when the time is short and stress is high. Planning ahead and meal preparation are very helpful, especially when combined with Plan B strategies. Eating healthy eating is not an either /or thing. Don’t let perfect get in the way of good enough.


This is a selection of verified supplements that will help you with your demanding lifestyle.
Caffeine – Caffeine is well known for it’s energy-boosting effects. It can help you run longer and also focus on mental work if not overused. Avoid using it in combination with a lack of sleep. You will make bad decisions, faster.
Vit. D. Vitamin D is a common deficiency in the population, especially for those working indoors. We get about 80% of our vitamin D needs from the sun. Glass reduces the intensity of the sun. 400-2000mg
Rhodiola rosea: reduces stress and fatigue, as well as increases mental performance, particularly under stressful conditions.
Magnesium – Magnesium is an essential dietary mineral that is involved in energy production, nervous system function, blood pressure regulation, and blood glucose control. Approximately 68% of adults in the US eat below the recommended intake of Magnesium with 19% consuming less than half the RDA.[9]
Magnesium L-Threonate has begun to be looked into for specifically increasing brain magnesium levels and learning. (Slutsky, Inna et al., 2010; Abumaria et. al, 2011)

Supplements that Might Work:

Creatine is a well-researched supplement that helps with physical performance but there is emerging research suggesting it may also provide cognitive benefits. Creatine has been demonstrated to increase cognition (memory, learning, and performance) in people with no dietary creatine intake, like vegetarians and vegans.


Motivated people spend hours in the gym for marginal if any benefit. They want it bad enough, invest hours of their time yet they miss so much of the fundamentals. Not sleeping enough, drinking, and nutrition is lacking, but want to increase the number of kilometers they run a week, and the weight they lift.

Myth: You need a 60-minute gym workout to make it count.
If you work with your brain, exercise will help you clear your mind and deal with stress. But during busy days, we tend to skip exercise. The most common reason is : “I don’t have time to go to gym.”. Fortunately, there are proven strategies how you can exercise even when busy (and without getting up at 4 a.m.)
Here is what’s important:
The typical gym routines are designed to be about 60 minutes to maximize the time at the gym for a person with a 9 to 5 job. If your schedule does not allow for a full 60-minute session, you can use different strategies to work out.
  1. Plan your days, including workouts. If working out is important for you, put it earlier in the day. People who work out before work tend to be most consistent. It will also energize you.
  2. If you can’t make it to the gym, use bodyweight exercises. Use different variations of squats, pushups, or pull-ups that are challenging for you. You can also use resistance bands or suspension trainers that you can carry with you, use outside, or at home.
  3. Split long workouts into several shorter workouts. If your prescribed workout calls for 5 exercises, 5 sets each, you can split it between two or three workouts during the day.
  4. Superset. Supersets are exercises done back to back without rest. With supersets, you use different muscle groups, for example, a set of squats followed by a set of push-ups. This saves you time and gives the muscle enough rest between sets.
  5. Exercise snacks are my favorite way how to work out when I travel or when I am stuck behind a desk. The idea is to do five-15 minutes of exercise multiple times a day. For example, every 30 minutes, you can do 10 pushups, 10 single-leg squats, and 10 pull-ups.


Being in motion will help you be fit physically & mentally. If you don’t have time for a long workout, don’t skip it completely.

I was surprised that I can still improve.

“Even though I have more demanding conditions in terms of recovery and space, I feel that I am still improving, that it is going in the right direction. I see that it’s not like I didn’t sleep and suddenly I can’t do anything. Even in my diet, I stopped counting calories, , I stopped eating at night and even lost a few hundred grams. So I’m paying attention, I keep an eye on it so I don’t overeat when I don’t need to. I was surprised, in the positive sense of the word, that Ican still improve.”


  • Slutsky, Inna et al. “Enhancement of learning and memory by elevating brain magnesium.” Neuron vol. 65,2 (2010): 165-77. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2009.12.026
  • Abumaria, Nashat et al. “Effects of elevation of brain magnesium on fear conditioning, fear extinction, and synaptic plasticity in the infralimbic prefrontal cortex and lateral amygdala.” The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience vol. 31,42 (2011): 14871-81. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3782-11.2011