Did you know that you can enhance and positively affect your brain performance? And that you can accomplish this at any time of the day? Here is how I do it.
I recently wrote an article about Pre-Workout Supplements where I addressed the subject of my favorite supplements to enhance brain function before a training session. But enhancing the brain is not only reserved for training, as there are many other aspects of life that require a very sharp and agile brain. Whether you are executive making important decisions, a mother focusing on the different tasks that must be done with the kids, a student getting prepared for an exam, a sports person or even a writer, enhancing brain function is always an added value and brings huge benefits.
Before I start with my favorite supplements, I must mention that nutrition plays a very important role on the way your brain behaves and performs (you can read more on the subject on this article). Maintaining an anti-inflammatory diet, feeding the right bacteria, staying away from processed foods, sugar, high glycemic load carbohydrates and refined oils, is of paramount importance for proper brain function.In this same sense, there are basic supplements that I believe virtually every person should be taking, not only for the unparalleled health benefits of them, but also for their role in improving brain function, and those are:
- Fish Oil
- Vitamin D3 (or enjoying the sun everyday)
Now let’s get in the matter of the supplements
In my opinion, the two main nutrients any brain enhancing formulation must have, are Acetyl L-Carnitine and Glycerophosphocholine (or GPC)
It is a form or carnitine that is capable of crossing the blood brain barrier in other to exert its fantastic benefits directly in the brain:
- Protects and helps to regenerate the brain
- Helps to repair damaged nerves
- Energizes the brain
- Increases levels of acetylcholine and dopamine
- Enhances memory and learning capacity
It is a more efficient form of choline that is also capable of crossing the blood brain barrier, bringing this precious nutrient to the brain, where it is highly needed, because:
- Increases levels of acetylcholine and dopamine
- Improves memory and mental focus
- Increases growth hormone production
- It is capable of recovering and protecting the brain
- Improves muscle contractions
Some other great nutrients that my favorite formulas include are:
It’s a phospholipid found in the cerebral cortex, and is very important for cell and mitochondria membranes and adequate cortisol levels.
Increases neuron and synapse density and the levels of dopamine and acetylcholine
My Favorite brain formulas are:
What is the best way to take these supplements?
According to my clinical experience and the reports of countless of people including athletes, executives, artists, and regular clients, the best moment is first thing in the morning on an empty stomach, at least 15 minutes before your first meal. You can be sure that you’ll feel the effects almost immediately.
What to do when you need an extra boost?
Some days, especially when you require a lot from your brain, you might need an extra boost. For example, if I’m teaching, or during a regular afternoon I have planned to write an article, read research or study in depth a specific subject, I use a boost for my brain, and that’s where some herbs come inside the scene.
- Improves circulation in the brain
- Enhances memory
- Reduces stress
- Is an antioxidant for the brain
- Improves brain blood flow
- Enhances cognitive function
- Offsets free-radicals in the brain
- Is an anti-inflammatory for the brain
- Improves nerve impulse and transmission
- Helps in the repairing of damaged neurons
EGCG or green tea extract:
- Promotes brain health
- Promotes healthy stress response
- Promotes blood flow to the brain
- Decreases the breakdown of acetylcholine
- Improves memory and focus
- Reduces oxidative stress and inflammation on the brain
- Can increase brain-derived neurotrophic factors
- Promotes cognitive function
- Promotes the formation of primary, secondary, and working memories
- Promotes healthy levels of neurotransmitters
My favorite formulas for that extra boost are:
What is the proper timing for these supplements?
It will actually depend on your specific needs. For example, if you have a lot of intellectual and brain processing work in the afternoon, take them about 15-30 minutes before lunch. If all that load of brain work will be in the morning, you can take them together with one the supplements from the previous group.
I still haven’t met the first person that doesn’t want an improved brain function and using these supplements definitively serves that purpose. As a sum-up, use one the first ones in the morning to enhance your brain function for the day, and if you need that extra boost, go for one of the second group.
Give it a try and enjoy a sharp and agile brain.
Coach Carlos Castro