With the help of nutrition and nootropics, you can boost your brain’s energy and mood
There are a variety of changes that take place in the brain, all of which are responsible for the changes we see in our skills and personalities throughout time. Many of these may be reduced to some extent by following a proper vitamin and/or supplement regimen, and when nutrients, herbs, or medicines are utilized in this manner, they are referred to as ‘nootropics,’ which are substances that can assist to improve brain function in a variety of ways.
Let’s start with the low energy level – what is the source of this? There are a number of factors to consider, but the first is the reduction in mitochondrial function. According to what we’ve previously covered, your mitochondria are the teeny-tiny fuel producers that reside in each and every one of your cells. Their duty is to absorb glucose and convert it into ATP, also known as Adenosine Triphosphate, which is referred to as the “energy currency of life.”
These mitochondria may be found throughout our bodies, including the brain, where they reside in the cells of the brain’s cerebral cortex. If you’ve ever been too weary or sluggish to finish a sum because it requires you to retain numbers in your working memory, it’s likely that your “brain energy” is failing you. And it is precisely this that makes it difficult to muster up the motivation to accomplish anything. It’s time for yet another night of the same old television.
Using a microscope, you could observe that the mitochondrial count in the cells of a young child was much lower than in the cells of a middle-aged man, indicating that the middle-aged guy was significantly older. As a result, scientists think that this is one of the most significant variations between the energy levels of children and adults. As it happens, this is also one of the most important aspects that many nootropics aim to improve.
Ingredients ranging from l-carnitine to PQQ to Lutein to creatine to bitter orange all act in this manner, at least in part, according to research. Another factor that influences brain energy as we get older is blood flow to the brain. The brain, like every other organ in your body, requires a constant flow of blood to ensure that it receives the nutrients and oxygen it needs to operate properly. We all know that our blood flow decreases as we get older, as shown by your out-of-breath feeling when reaching the top step. It is at this point when vasodilators come into play.
Garlic extract, vinpocetine, and ginkgo biloba, among other things, may provide this enhanced energy by expanding the width of the blood vessels in the body.
This may also be very beneficial for people who suffer from high blood pressure! More blood flow to the brain as well as increased oxygen and nutrients are made possible as a result, allowing you to feel more alert and awake.
As previously stated, minerals such as iron and vitamin B12, which aid the body in the production of red blood cells, may be very beneficial to you. This relatively simple adjustment is often sufficient to boost the quantity of oxygen and nutrients that make their way through the body to the brain and, as a result, to re-invigorate your energy levels.
Mood and Academic Performance
Whether it’s serotonin or dopamine, we frequently see a decrease in the amount of the most essential neurochemicals we make as we get older. Dopamine is one of the neurotransmitters that is most closely associated with attention and memory (the more focused you are, the more likely it is that you will remember something – often, the things you have “forgotten” are things you never listened to in the first place). Dopamine is also associated with motivation (the more motivated you are, the more likely it is that you will remember something).
Dopamine has also been shown to be associated with BDNF, which stands for Bran Derived Neurotrophic Factor. BDNF, along with nerve growth factor, is one of the most important factors in the development of neuroplasticity. As we get older, the pace at which our brains adapt and develop slows, resulting in a diminished capacity to acquire new skills and concepts, as well as a diminished desire in doing so. Guess what you may drink to boost your dopamine levels, improve your concentration, and improve your learning?
Caffeine, the good old fashioned way! In addition, caffeine intake has been linked to a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease, which may not be a coincidence. It is also associated with your mood, as are other neurochemicals that decline as we age – such as serotonin, which is often referred to as the “happy hormone” since it makes you feel good.
Many of these neurochemicals are derived from simple amino acids (the building blocks of protein), such as tryptophan and l-tyrosine, which are found in small amounts in foods. Eggs (which are also high in the brain-boosting nutrient choline) can help to strengthen your brain and reduce your level of irritability and frustration.
Multiple additional nootropic substances may also assist to enhance brain plasticity, and there have been some very interesting studies conducted that suggest we may one day be able to return our brains to levels of plasticity comparable to those of infants (one study demonstrated it could be possible to teach participants perfect pitch with certain nootropics not-yet commercially available).
This may not only assist us in learning new abilities – such as how to teach an old dog new tricks – but it can also help us avoid relapsing into old, lazy thinking patterns in the process. One of the most significant problems here is the way we utilize our brains; as we get older, we learn more (we develop more “crystallized intellect”), which leads in a decreased desire to continue learning and growing.
Furthermore, decades of repeating the same thinking patterns (and their corresponding neural pathways) means that some memories and concepts become firmly entrenched, while others are “shut off” from the brain and allowed to wither and atrophy as a result of this repetition. It’s either use it or lose it. In order to maintain optimal brain function even later in life, it is critical to feed the brain with the appropriate nutrients and components, as well as to promote that development with the appropriate nutritional program or supplements.
So, what is the best way to go about it? The most effective solution is to consume a nutrient-dense diet. This may aid in the stimulation of the creation of the appropriate neurochemicals, as well as providing you with more mental energy and clarity, as well as improving your overall mood.
Furthermore, the proper nutrients may also assist to protect your brain from a lot of the wear and tear that it may be exposed to throughout the course of your life. Free radicals cause harm to your brain in the same way that they do to every other cell in your body.
These are chemicals that may react with the exterior of cell walls, causing harm and perhaps even having an effect on the nucleus of your brain, if they come into contact. Antioxidants, such as vitamin C, may aid in the prevention of this kind of damage. Meanwhile, omega 3 fatty acids – the oil found in fish – may aid in the improvement of communication between cells by increasing the permeability of the cell membrane.
According to research, this has also been shown to be effective in delaying the onset of age-related cognitive decline. So if you see that your grey matter is beginning to slow down, just increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, salads, lean meats, and fatty salmon. This alone may make a significant impact, but if you aren’t getting results or are having difficulty eating healthfully, try building a nootropic “stack” for yourself.
Make certain that it includes the following elements:
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant (precursor to serotonin and an antioxidant)
Garlic is a herb that grows in a variety of climates (a natural vasodilator)
Creatine is a kind of amino acid (boosts cellular energy)
CoQ10 and/or resveratrol may be beneficial (boosts cellular energy)
Vitamin B6 and B12 (for increased energy and improved mental performance).
L-Tyrosine and 5HT (a form of tryptophan – any amino acid supplement will work) are two essential amino acids.
Iron, Magnesium, Zinc, and Vitamin D are all essential nutrients (these will also help with testosterone production in men)
Lutein is a kind of antioxidant (this will also help with vision)
EPA and DHA Omega 3 Fatty Acid (improves cell-membrane permeability)
Guarana is a plant native to South America (a slow releasing form of caffeine)
You should also avoid anything that has the potential to harm the brain or aggravate neurochemical imbalances/trigger degeneration, which includes smoking. In fact, alcohol is one of the most dangerous of these factors, and when taken in large quantities may result in a rare form of cognitive deterioration known as “Korakov’s syndrome.”