How to Give Your Brain More Energy
Our entire body runs on energy, just like any of the many electrical appliances that we rely on on a daily basis.
Nowhere is this truer than in the brain where our cells fire millions of tiny electrical impulses every second to help us experience the world around us, think about what we’re doing and even daydream.
And if you could find a way to give your brain more energy, you would find you were smarter, more disciplined and more motivated.
So how precisely do you do this? Read on and we’ll look at how you can upgrade your brain’s energy levels…
Introducing Cognitive Metabolic Enhancers
This objective falls under the heading of nootropics and biohacking.
Biohackers are constantly trying to upgrade their performance by understanding the systems that keep their body running and nootropics are one of the crucial tools in this regard – these are supplements designed to help us become smarter, more focused and more disciplined.
Unfortunately, most of them don’t have much benefit.
But one area that is quite successful is the use of ‘cognitive metabolic enhancers’.
Cognitive metabolic enhancers are nootropics that work by focusing not on neurotransmitters (as many nootropics do) but instead on pure energy.
Here are some of the best and most effective…
Garlic extract gives the brain more energy because it is a vasodilator.
This means that it widens the blood vessels, thereby allowing more blood and oxygen to find its way around the body – and crucially to the brain.
MCT Oil is ‘medium chain triglyceride’ oil.
This is the type of oil found in coconuts and has the ability of hitting the blood stream very rapidly rather than being slowly released.
This results in a sudden surge of energy and in the release of ketones – a type of energy source that works differently to glucose and is particularly useful for specific functions within the brain.
Vitamin B6 is crucial for energy and especially within the brain.
Vitamin B6 helps us to get energy from the carbohydrates we eat.
It is also used in the creation of numerous key neurotransmitters (acetylcholine, dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine and melatonin) and has been linked to brain plasticity (learning).
CoEnzyme Q10, PQQ, L-Carnitine
All of these substances, many of which can be found in red meat, are able to increase the function of the mitochondria.
This in turn leads to more efficient cells, including more efficient brain cells.
How to Improve Your Digestion for Better Energy
If you want to improve your energy levels, then fixing your diet is one of the very best things you can do.
When you get the right nutrients in your diet and the right energy sources, you start feeling healthier and more energetic all around.
But fixing what goes into your diet is only one part of the challenge.
Just as important and just as difficult is making sure that what you’re eating is actually able to make it through and into your system.
In other words: are you actually digesting those nutrients and absorbing them in order to get their full benefit?
And is your body able to digest your food quickly and without placing a major strain on your energy levels?
How Your Digestion Works
Digestion begins when you start chewing.
In your mouth, your four types of teeth (incisors, canines, molars and premolars) break food down along with your saliva and the enzymes contained therein.
The result is a ‘mush’ that’s known as ‘bolus’. When you swallow this, it moves into your stomach to get broken down by more enzymes and stomach acids.
Muscles churn the mixture up further and the result is something known as ‘chyme’.
Chyme then passes through the small and large intestine and then finally out the other end.
Here, yet more enzymes help to break it down further while villi and microvilli absorb the nutrients into the blood for your body to use.
How to Improve Your Digestive System
So what can you do to start digesting your food better?
One simply strategy is to chew for longer.
This will allow the enzymes bromelain and amylase to do their job while the food is still in your mouth and will help break down the food into a more palatable material.
Another tip is to stay hydrated and to drink a lot while eating.
Not only will this help to break down food even more and to lubricate your throat as the food passes through but it will also allow your body to produce more enzymes – as they are made at least partially from water.
You can also try getting additional enzymes with your food.
These can be taken as supplements (simply called ‘digestive enzymes’) or they can come from our diet itself.
Eating things like apples, oranges and pineapple for instance will all provide you with more natural enzymes to break down your food with.
Plug Energy Drains With Vitamins
Are you losing energy fast? Like a sinking ship, this can often be caused by ‘leaks’ and drains.
In the case of a ship these are physical holes in the body of the boat which you need to plug with some kind of bung.
In the case of your body and energy, the drains are the things you’re forgetting – the aspects of your lifestyle that you haven’t yet honed and perfected.
And often the best way of plugging these holes is to change some aspect of your lifestyle, of your behavior, or of your diet.
A great place to start? Getting more vitamins.
How Vitamins Give You Energy
Vitamins supply us with energy in all kinds of ways and also help us to combat some of the most damaging things that can otherwise rob us of energy.
Simply having a smoothie at the start of your day is a great way to find the missing pieces of your energy puzzle then and to plug the gaps in your diet and routine.
Specifically, let’s take a look at some of the things that vitamins can do for your energy levels and how they can impact your general health.
Vitamin C is one of the most powerful and common antioxidants and is highly effective at boosting the immune system.
If you’ve ever been fighting a cold, then you’ll know what an effect a low-level infection can have on your energy levels and so by reinforcing your immune system you can win back a lot of energy.
Vitamin B6 is one of the single most important nutrients for energy and health.
Among many other things, it aids the mitochondria (the energy factories of the cells) in getting energy from our food.
What’s more, it also boosts brain performance by helping us synthesize neurotransmitters.
Along with iron, vitamin B12 is needed to help us create the red blood cells that carry oxygen around the body.
Seeing as oxygen is so vital for performing all manner of tasks, this is closely related to our energy levels.
Vitamin D is mostly produced in the body in response to direct sunlight.
However, it can also be obtained through diet if we eat foods fortified with it.
Vitamin D is one of the reasons that we feel so much more alert and awake when it’s sunny and can help us to regulate our internal body clock and avoid symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.
Simple Ways You Can Give Your Body an Energy Boost
Are you starting to feel sluggish? Perhaps it’s getting to 4pm and you’re starting to feel your body slow down.
Or maybe you’ve just woken up and you’re struggling to overcome that sleep inertia?
What then can you do to wake yourself up and to feel much more invigorated… right now?
Here are a few tricks you can use to instantly give yourself more energy:
Splash Some Cold Water
Splashing some cold water on your face can instantly give you an energy boost for a number of reasons.
One benefit of doing this is that it encourages blood flow to your face and thus your brain, giving you a little more fuel for thinking and staying awake.
Moreover, the body reacts to cold by producing more norepinephrine.
This is a stimulating neurotransmitter which helps us become more focused and more awake!
A quick workout is fantastic for boosting energy. This doesn’t have to mean going to the gym and lifting weights either.
Simply doing a few press-ups can help to get your blood flowing, to produce endorphins and to clear away brain fog.
In fact, if you can’t muster a few press ups, even just jumping up and down lightly on the spot is a great way to boost your energy levels.
Do Something You Love
Sometimes the worst thing you can do for your energy levels is to ‘power through’ when you’re feeling tired and lethargic.
Instead, try doing something that you really enjoy for 10 minutes – whether that’s playing a computer game or reading a chapter of a great book.
This will re-engage you and bring back some enthusiasm which is excellent for energy.
Another strategy? Remember why you’re doing what you’re doing. Is your objective money? Is it passion? Are you biding your time?
Find that focus and it will help you power through with more enthusiasm.
Go and Feel the Sun
Go and stand outside for a moment and feel the sun on your face.
This is highly invigorating and will help to remind your body clock that it’s still day time, while at the same time triggering the production of vitamin D and other important hormones.
Have Some MCT Oil
There are countless supplements and foods out there that can give you a boost in energy.
MCT oil though (found in coconut milk and oil) is one of the best there is and will hit you with an instant supply of usable energy.
The Dehydration Energy Drain
Suffering with low energy? Before you take up an intense new training regime or completely overhaul your diet, consider another much simpler solution: dehydration.
Dehydration can have profound impacts on your mood, your energy and your general health.
When you consider that the water makes up 85% of our brain, 80% of our blood and 70% of our lean mass, it’s easy to see why this is the case.
Tragically though, a whopping 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated and are running at sub-par performance as a result.
How Dehydration Impacts Energy
So how precisely does dehydration affect your energy levels?
There are a great number of ways. Having a lack of water can impact on your electrolyte balance for instance, leading to aching muscles and cramps.
At the same time, it can reduce the production and usage of enzymes including digestive enzymes.
Headaches are also common and especially in the morning. Inflammation increases leading to joint pain.
Your eyes and throat can also feel scratchy and generally you end up lethargic, grumpy and low.
If we look at the effects of acute dehydration these include:
* Dry mouth and swollen tongue
* Weakness of the muscles
* Heart palpitations
* Lack of sweat
When you have ‘low level’ dehydration on a chronic basis, you simply experience all these same symptoms but to a slightly lesser extent.
How to Combat Dehydration
So what can you do to combat dehydration?
One obvious tip is to keep water around and to drink regularly.
A good aim is to drink about 7 glasses of water a day but really the best guide is to listen to your body.
Another tip is to avoid things that dehydrate you. Alcohol dehydrates you for instance, as does caffeine.
The reason for this is that both are diuretics, causing you to lose almost as much fluid as you gain.
Something else that can help and that many people don’t at first consider, is that we actually get the majority of our hydration from food.
Eating more frequently then can help you to stay hydrated too – and especially if you pick things like oranges which are very juicy.
You can also consider using certain supplements and special foods to improve your hydration further.
Some runners for instance will use chia seeds which have the ability to absorb and hold water, then release it slowly over time to keep you constantly hydrated.
What Would it Feel Like to Have Amazing Levels of Energy?
Too many of us it seems are constantly striving for better energy without even really remembering what great energy levels feel like.
Many of us for instance will have strong coffees in a bid to feel energetic.
A strong coffee wakes us up in the morning, it gives us focus and it helps us to plough on with the day.
Some people will even use stimulants and smart pills these days.
Caffeine drinks for instance, or even substances like modafinil.
But that feeling is not energy.
That feeling is simply an imbalance in your brain chemistry that forces you to feel awake and productive.
This is being ‘wired’, not being energetic. And when you run on empty like this for long enough, eventually the debt must be paid.
What it Should Feel Like
So with that in mind, what would it take to genuinely feel energetic and to really be running on full instead of always running on empty?
Well really, the easiest way to understand what having lots of energy feels like, is to know what being really healthy. Feels like.
Having lots of energy doesn’t feel like there’s rocket fuel powering you to keep going – because it doesn’t need to.
Instead, you will simply feel as you do on your best days. Fresh.
Each breath will help to fill your lungs with more enthusiasm for the day, you’ll have no trace of headache or brain fog and you’ll be excited and enthusiastic for whatever you’re doing – energy brings that.
How Energy Improves Your Life
What’s more, feeling this way can help you to improve nearly every aspect of your life.
First of all, having this kind of boundless energy will make you feel happier and much more positive.
You will enjoy life more simply by feeling less tired and having more to give.
What’s more, this will help you to perform better in your workplace, to be more engaged and charismatic with the people you talk to and to get more from your spare time.
You’ll enhance your relationships and your way of life simply by having more resources to throw at them, while you’ll be able to get more benefit and productivity out of every spare moment.
This is what will allow you to stick to an exercise regime, to take on a side project to earn more income… generally to take your life where you want it to be.
And to feel great doing it.
That is what it is like to have boundless energy.