It is important to frequently stimulate the brain, to strengthen these neural pathways through the constant process of learning. This makes us more efficient at transmitting information, and storing new knowledge or experiences as memory.
Sleep and recovery is yet another one of the basic pillars for improving our overall health and performance.
The body only has a finite amount of resources which it can allocate to any number of tasks in a day. Through physical training and mental stimulation, we expend these resources, and through nutrition, sleep and recovery we restore them and allow our body to function normally.
The average adult requires anywhere from 7-9 hours of sleep a day, with many factors being involved that vary how much is really needed for the individual. The best way to determine your optimal sleeping pattern and requirement is to experiment, document how you feel, and adjust accordingly.
Factors like your nutrition, exercise levels, light and electronics can all affect your circadian rhythm, or natural body clock. Reducing exposure to light sources (in particular artificial blue light), stimulants such as coffee or energy drinks, and electronic devices for at least a few hours before bed may significantly improve your quality of sleep.
Also, your comfort level, based on temperature, ambient noise level, and where/how you’re physically sleeping can significantly affect your sleep.
There are always new products and technologies made available, such as the Oura Ring, which are capable of tracking your sleeping habits and patterns, and giving you suggestions for how to optimise and improve your sleep.
Meditation, often referred to as emotional, spiritual or mindfulness training, exists in an almost entirely separate category to what we have otherwise looked at.
The process of removing yourself from your daily routine for 10-15 minutes, reflecting internally, and taking a deep breath, can have profound effects on your mental and physical wellbeing.
Meditation is a great way to quell the anxieties and stresses that creep up in day to day life. Often, we get so caught up in our routines we forget to really take a step back and reflect on what’s most important. During mediation practices, all that matters is taking the time to understand and reflect on your internal thoughts, feelings and emotions in the present moment.
Long term meditation practice has been linked to higher hippocampal and gray matter density in the brain. This results in higher emotional awareness, stability and mindfulness of thoughts and actions in everyday life.
It can be hard to find time in the day to meditate, but using convenient applications such as Headspace, can certainly help. Headspace is a mindfulness app that you can download onto your smart phone, that “guides” you through 10 minutes of mindfulness practice/meditation each day.
This is a great way to get started and help you build a routine with your meditation practices.
Now that we have finally reached the 5th pillar for optimising health and performance, this is where we come in.
Supplements are often used to make-up for potential shortfalls in our nutrition or diet plans, or for convenience, to help us when we cannot be bothered to intake all our nutrients from large volumes of food.
Nootropics are supplements made for the specific purpose of improving various aspects of cognitive function.
As such, it is typical for Nootropics to include high amounts of natural compounds typically found within food or that occur within the human body, such as vitamins, minerals or amino acids.
These substances simply ensure that all basic health needs are met for a variety of bodily functions and biological processes.
Then it is useful to include compounds such as L-Theanine (from green tea), which can stimulate alpha brain waves, inducing a calm but alert sensation, often referred to as the ‘flow state’.
Other compounds such as Huperzine A can be introduced to slow the breakdown of Acetylcholine, the learning neurotransmitter, within the brain. It does this by inhibiting the enzyme which is responsible for breaking down acetylcholine. This leads to increased memory and learning.
Nootropic supplements, such as Claritea, use a stack of natural compounds that work synergistically to help improve overall cognitive function in individuals.
These supplements will not boost your intelligence indefinitely or to supra-physiological levels, but they will give you that 5% or 10% edge you may need in your daily life.
Want to play a part in this new cognitive revolution? Join us and purchase Claritea HERE.