Getting Stonger
Supplements for Mental Performance

The mind and body are not sepperate entities. You might have noticed this when you have not eaten enough and get low blood sugar. Your head might feel foggy and not functioning optimally. The link between the mind and the body is however far more extensive than this petty example. It has even been shown that the right supplementation in certain groups causes an IQ improvement of 10 points. Without any other training... Psyched to optimised your mind yet?

Sorry: Diet is Most Influential

Bread kills, and I'm not talking about French people using stale baguettes to club eachother to death over a nice wine. The high incidence of diabetes, obesity and all sorts of other complications are often directly in correlation with high carbohydrate diets (bread, potatoes, rice etc). In addition to that the average western diet misses all sorts of nutrients.

I can hear you say: 'But I feel fine, stop being paranoid'.

Well, let me throw around some numbers that I found from good authority website... The vitamin D RDA is about 100 UI (depending on the country), toxic intake is only observed at 35,000 UI. At the required 100 IU you will probably not get ill, but are you fine? At higher intake (say 10,000 to 20,000 IU) the most amazing benefits have been observed. Ranging from anti-cancer effects to athletic performance and immune system boosting properties higher intake has no side effects and many benefits.

So tell me: You are not ill, but are you running optimally?

The primary influence on your mind and your body is your diet. I mean think about it: what does your body physically consist of? Well, it consists out of what you put into your mouth, e.g. what you eat. 'You are what you eat' is not a metaphorical sentence, it is a simple truth often misunderstood. So what you eat, is what your body is. So what do you want to eat? Well, in general terms the paleo diet is a good place to start... There is as of yet no magic pill out there, not without side effects anyway. Short term measures have short term effects, a temporary diet has a temporary effect just like termorarilly being high on some substance or the other will not make you more creative on the long term (not to say that constant use is a good idea).

Fats: Flexible Cells

Many people see fats just as a fattening substance (it is not by the way). But what is the function of fats in your body? Well, your body consists out of ('no shit sherlock' alert) seperate units called cells. These cells are basically bags of functional structures and biochemistry. The 'bag' that keeps it all together, the membrane, consists primarily out of phospholipids. As the name suggests phospholipids consist primarily out of fats. In this wall are the functional units in the sense that they move things in and out of the cell, plus they communicate signals outside of the cell to the inside and vica versa.

For these functional elements to do their job, they need a proper membrane to function in. So what fats? Guess what, it's the fishy ones. Fat fish (e.g. salmon) contain omega 3 and the whole charade you have heard a thousand times over. In general fat is good, as long as it is unprocessed and taken without carbohydrates. The general advice is to take mono and polysatured fats, but do note that the 'general advice' changes every year or so...

B Vitamins

B vitamins have been used to treat depression (note: only in specific cases), boost mental performance and cell regeneration. The clearest effect of these can be seen in the hair and nails. People who use high levels (note high, not toxic) of vitamin b's (350% RDA for example) will grow hair and nails faster and with better quality. On a side note this effect is best used in combination with adequate/high protein intake. The mechanisms I am not sure of. But the study referred to in the video above has increased IQ by 10 points purely by using a standard vitamin b supplements in malnourished (note, this is the majority of the general population) youngsters.

Proteins / Aminoacids

Proteins are in effect long chains of amino acids. So why are they important? Well, consider this: your DNA (you might have heard of this little molecular structure) only contains codes for proteins. So in effect the infamous 'blueprint of the body' runs solely on aminoacids, which are available to the body by breaking down proteins to it's separate components. So what happens without fuel for the human blueprint? Good question, all I know it that it isn't good.

In addition to that neurotransmitters, the regulatory mechanism (on of them anyway) of the brain are also constructed out of aminoacids. In specific dopamine and serotonin are synthesised from L-Tryptophan and L-Tyrosine (see video for references). Some people might benefit from supplementing these, though careless use will only create adverse effects.

Trace Elements and Nutrients

Trace elements and nutrients are the kind of substance your body only needs very little of. However when it doesn't have all of them, it starts functioning below sub-optimal levels. The problem with these trace elements and nutrients is that we are not aware of all the effective ones, and are not capable to effectively concentrate them. This means that supplementation is not really an option... So what can you do? Again, have a proper diet. Don't underestimate it...

So in conclusion, most sustainable ways of boosting mental performance are long term practices (sleep for example also has a massive effect). Never underestimate the power of what you eat. Your body and mind are your biggest assets in life, so take care of them.