Many of us are experiencing slow thinking right now, but there are strategies we can use to access limitless brain power and boost our energy. I’m excited about today’s conversation with Ben, who has recently authored a new book, Boundless! Ben is also the author of the New York Times bestseller, Beyond Training, a fitness expert, and host of the Ben Greenfield podcast—and he’s here to tell us how we can make having boundless mental energy possible.
If you haven’t listened to my first podcast with Ben about the supervillains that affect our brains, you can check it out here!
In this episode, Ben will explain some of the factors that contribute to brain fog, and how you can start using stable forms of energy for your brain. He’ll explain the impact that our neurotransmitters have on our brain performance, and give us some quick tips on boosting and altering our neurotransmitter production to get the best health benefits.
WHAT AFFECTS BRAIN FOG
- “You want, you should have, and you deserve to have all the mental energy you want at your beck and call throughout the day.”
- Excess stress and lack of sleep are factors that directly affect brain fog.
- Not many talk about the effect of the blood-brain barrier, which is designed to keep toxins and large proteins out of your neural tissue, avoiding damage to your brain and fuzzy thinking.
- The following can “rip holes” in the blood-brain barrier: drinking excess alcohol, a low intake of minerals (like magnesium), exposure to toxins, and large inflammatory proteins (like undigested gluten proteins). These factors can cause an influx of harmful chemicals into your neural tissue, affecting your mental function.
- Check out Ben’s book for more information on the blood-brain barrier.
- Antioxidant supplements are available that act on neural tissue and can act on the precursor plaques to Alzheimer’s and dementia.
- The use of ketone bodies can also help (e.g. ketone salts, supplements). You can also achieve this by mitigating your carbohydrate and glucose intake, which leads your body to produce natural ketones itself: this is known as nutritional ketosis.
- Try saving your carbohydrate intake until post-workout, or until the end of the day.
- Ketone body: a molecule that can be used for energy. The burning of ketones for energy does not result in many free radicals and is a slow burn, stable, long term style of fuel that is radically taken in by your body and brain.
- Your body can produce its own ketones in response to the burning of fats (a traditional ketogenic diet tends to be high in fat).
- Neurotransmitters are the brain’s bumblebees—think serotonin, dopamine, GABA, citicoline. Most neurotransmitters fall into the category of being excitatory or inhibitory.
- Many personality profiles and characteristics are based on the dominance of certain neurotransmitters e.g. a person with a dominant dopamine profile would thrive in an adventurous and exciting lifestyle.
- You can identify your own neurotransmitter dominance by using the quizzes in Ben’s book and learn to take care of your own needs. It can affect what you choose to do, watch and listen to.
- You can use neurotransmitters in a supplementary form to flood your body with what you needs after certain events (e.g. to flood your body with inhibitory GABA transmitters after an excitatory event).
- Many of us are in a state of excess sensory input, so consider putting things into your body that will assist in supporting your neurotransmitter levels.
- You can use supplementation to ensure your body is supported to produce the precursors for each transmitter.
- If you eat a plant-based diet, it’s important to ensure you eat a wide range of proteins to get enough amino acids, and that you get enough sources of B12.
- You can play with your neurotransmitters through supplementation and exercises e.g. sleep supplements before bedtime, or cacao tea or ashwagandha to amplify dopamine. You can find more details and more examples in Ben’s book!
- Book mentioned: Human Photosynthesis
- The body can generate electrons in response to photons of light, and make energy in a way that is similar to plant photosynthesis.
- This can be benefited by eating things with green and blue pigmentations (e.g. blueberries, spirulina, chlorella) and getting out in the sunlight.
SHARE WITH US
- Take a screenshot of this episode, tag us on social media (@jimkwik & @bengreenfield) and share your greatest “aha!” moment from this episode with us!
- Check out Ben’s new book, Boundless!
*Please note, this episode is educational only and is not intended to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.*