Biohacking the Brain – How to Improve Focus and Memory

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Biohacking. A cutting-edge combination of biology and hacking. The use of the tools around us to bypass physiological issues, problems, and road blocks. The improvement of health and performance – both mental and physical – through the foods we eat, and with the aid of scientific advancements.

We live in an age of wonder and convenience. Internet news headlines are truly futuristic. Here are just a few from the previous month:

  • Jeff Bezos Wants to Set Up Amazon on the Moon
  • Scientists Are Developing a Contact Lens That Tells You When You’re Sick
  • Can your smart home be used against you in court?
  • AI can read your thoughts and tell whether you are guilty of committing a crime
  • Google’s DeepMind AI learns like a human to overcome ‘catastrophic forgetting’
  • The robot playing a leading role alongside real actors in British theatre
  • Age-reversing pill that Nasa wants to give to astronauts

I literally could continue ad infinitum. You get the picture. Our world isn’t just changing, it’s morphing into something completely different. The opening act of a living science fiction flick.

Related – Niagen – The Ultimate Guide to Benefits, Research & Dosing

A recent PBS feature on biohacking had this to say:

“Biohacking is a fairly new practice that could lead to major changes in our life. You could it call citizen or do-it-your-self biology.”

This article will explore ways to biohack the brain. The goal is to help you improve your focus, memory, and mood through seemingly unusual measures. Consider yourself the hacker. By following the tips and tricks in this feature, you will learn to bypass the biological reality that currently exists and rewire your brains encoded hardware to achieve a better quality of life.

Biohacking the Brain

Biohacking the Brain

We are going to look at three ways to biohack the brain for improved focus, memory, and mood.

Hormonal Hack. The first method will be a hormonal hack. We will bypass the degradation of the central nervous system caused by testosterone, insulin, and HGH deficiencies, and the complications they cause, and upload improvements through the incorporation of lifestyle changes, food choices, and scientifically advanced nutritional supplementation.

By improving testosterone, insulin, and human growth hormones levels, we will work to reduce stress, worry, depression, and anxiety. A better hormonal profile will also assist with body composition (muscle gains and fat loss). This will also work to improve confidence and outlook.

Nutritional Hack. Next, we will attack brain function through better food choices. This nutritional hack will reduce brain fog and brain drain, allowing for faster upload times, improved mood and clarity. Your spirits will elevate, and you will process thoughts more quickly.

We will hack into the central nervous system at a cellular level. Dopamine levels will improve, helping to regulate hunger and weight gain, which also works to impair hormones and brain function. A reduction in sugar intake will remove the rusty old brain circuitry impacting mood and mental health, inserting new hardware that will upgrade memory and your sense of well-being.

Scientific Hack. Finally, it’s time to take the latest cutting edge research and apply it to fix lagging systems in the brain. We will comb through important studies and data, looking for natural ingredients and holistic approaches that can change the way we think, feel, and process.

From hiking and yoga, to Niagen and nootropics, we will explore unexpected methods that will improve brain RAM, central nervous system longevity, and overall clarity and contentment. As you slowly download these hacks into your database of daily routines, you will begin to feel mentally revitalized.

Hormonal Biohacks

Testosterone. Testosterone plays a role in confidence, self-esteem, and even competitiveness. We all know the importance of self-love, and how terrible it is to look in the mirror and not like what we see. But competitiveness, which is in part driven by the aggression that comes with normal testosterone levels, is arguably just as important.

Aggression is often seen as a negative action. It certainly can be, if used to deface another’s character or to verbally (or even physically) harm another. But there is another side to the aggression coin.

Aggression fuels competitiveness and drive. It can be a very positive trait, leading to better school and career success. How aggressive you are can also determine love life success. Do you “go after” the girl or guy you want, or is your lack of drive preventing you from mustering up the courage?

What do you want out of life? Are you going hard after your dreams? Do you feel like the tire crushing life, pushing forward over the pavement? Or do you feel like the pavement; beaten down from tire after tire running over you?

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Low testosterone levels also impact sexual activity quality and frequency. Love making is one of the best things for general health, overall well-being, and longevity. Diminishing testosterone levels also impact clarity, focus, energy, and sleep.

All of these conditions decrease quality of life, and as a result mood and happiness. Here are some testosterone-boosting biohacks.

  1. Weight Loss. Lose a few pounds. There are several studies that draw the same conclusion: obesity reduces testosterone levels. [1]
  2. Have Sex. Here’s a shocker… The more sex you have, the higher your testosterone levels. [2] Both males and females who have sex before bed have noticeably higher test levels than those that don’t. [3]
  3. Lower Stress. Chronic and prolonged bouts of stress impacts normal hormone function. Do what it takes to get your stress levels under control. Get a better job. Save money. Improve your sleep. Do things you enjoy for no reason. Don’t sweat the small stuff.
  4. Restrict Alcohol. Sorry, Charlie Brown. Both chronic and acute alcohol consumption can lower testosterone levels. [4] The good news? After you begin to restrict or moderate alcohol intake, your test levels will normalize.
  5. Cholesterol and Fat. Eat more. Of both of these. Yes, you read that correctly. Studies confirm that a fat-rich diet is good for your testosterone levels, while a lower fat diet may hinder test production. [5][6]
  6. D-Aspartic Acid (DAA). DAA supplementation of 2 to 3 grams per day has been shown to boost testosterone levels. [7]
  7. Vitamin D. Most of us are stuck indoors all day. Vitamin D is naturally produced as the skin is exposed to ultra violet rays. We can also get vitamin D from some food choices, but in general this is more difficult than just being exposed to the sun. If your vitamin D levels are too low then your testosterone levels drop. [8]
  8. Zinc. Zinc deficiencies can impact testosterone levels. Taking 30mgs of zinc each day works to keep your testosterone levels normalized. [9]
  9. Fenugreek. Fenugreek has been shown to potentially impact libido. A study focused on weightlifters found that took 500mg of fenugreek daily experienced an increase in total and bioavailable testosterone. [10]

Growth Hormone. While testosterone and estrogen levels have become a modern obsession, the role of human growth hormone (HGH) in the human body may be even more important. Just what is the role of human growth hormone?

Growth hormone is a peptide that works to stimulate growth, reproduction of cells, and regeneration of cells in the human body. HGH also works to stimulate the release of IGF-1, which plays a vital role in bone and muscle building. It also assists with the fat burning process.

Lowering growth hormone levels can impair cognitive function. Decreased HGH levels can also increase cardiovascular risk, lead to increases in body fat levels, and cause the body to lose some of its muscle mass.

Now here’s an important term for you to remember. Somatopause. Somatopause is a condition that occurs in both males and females. It is the lowering of human growth hormone levels with age.

Growth hormone levels peak in adolescence. Starting at the age of 25, somatopause kicks in. Human growth hormone plummets by 14% every 10 years thereafter. [11][12][13] In extreme cases, men can experience a decrease of 50% every seven years. [14]

To improve cognitive function, slow aging, and increase mood through an overall improved sense of well-being, here are some hacks to better regulate natural HGH levels.

  1. Lose Fat. An increase in body fat levels directly impacts human growth hormone levels. [15] Belly fat is particularly bothersome, and lead to almost a 50% decrease in normal HGH levels. [16]
  2. Fasting. Fasting can not only improve mental clarity by reducing the sleepiness that comes from heavy meals, but some research hints that it can improve human growth hormone levels. [17][18][19]
  3. Arginine. Studies are conflicted regarding arginine’s impact on growth hormone levels. With that said, one study found that larger doses of arginine improved HGH production during sleep. [20]
  4. Reduce Sugar. As insulin levels increase, human growth hormone levels drop. Sugar, as well as refined carbs, have the greatest impact on insulin and HGH levels. [21][22] Non-diabetics without impaired insulin sensitivity have much higher levels of human growth hormone. [23]
  5. GABA. A non-protein amino acid, GABA acts as a neurotransmitter. It also functions to “calm” the central nervous system and brain, and can assist with better sleep. GAGA has also been shown to improve HGH levels. [24]
  6. High Intensity Exercise. Exercise is a wonderful way to naturally raise HGH levels. Rest-pause resistance training, or lifting with limited rest in between sets, is the most potent method of boosting your growth hormone. [25][26]
  7. Workout Nutrition. If you’re looking to boost your human growth hormone levels, then the combination of beta-alanine and a recovery shake both with and without carbs are exactly what you need. [27][28][29]
  8. Sleep. Sleep has a huge impact on growth hormone levels. While sleeping, HGH is released in pulses. Poor sleep disrupts these pulses and lowers overall growth hormone levels. [30]
  9. Melatonin. Melatonin supplements have become a popular sleep aid. While good sleep obviously impacts HGH production, melatonin has also been show to better regulate the body’s ability to release human growth hormone. [31][32]

Brain Foods

Nutritional Biohacks

When we’re sick, unhealthy, or ailing we often forget about the power of food. What we eat matters. Nutrition boils down to more than calories and macronutrient (carbs, protein, fat) content. Micronutrients matter too.

What are micronutrients? Micronutrients are vitamins, minerals, and other essential chemicals and nutrients the body requires for good health and normal functioning.

Ever heard the term empty calories? It means that a food choice might fill you up, but it lacks any substantial amount of micronutrients. So while your body is receiving energy in the form of calories, it is not receiving the nutrients it needs to maintain your brain, heart, skin, bones, central nervous system, and every other vital mechanism in the human body.

In this section we are going to biohack the brain via improved food choices. Here are some quality choices you need to download into your belly.

  1. Oily Fish. Essential fatty acids, or EFAs, must be obtained through diet. They cannot be manufactured in the body. Oily fish contain EPA and DHA, which are omega-3 fats. These fats are essential for brain health and overall well-being. Low DHA levels have been tied to memory loss, higher stress, and even Alzheimer’s disease. [33][34][35] Make sure to eat trout, salmon, mackerel, sardines, and herring often.
  2. Blueberries. A study at Tufts University found that the consumption of blueberries may work towards preventing short term memory loss. [36]
  3. Tomatoes. Tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. Lycopene can potentially prevent the free radical damage that leads to Alzheimer’s and dementia. [37]
  4. B Vitamin Foods. Consume foods rich in folic acid, B6, and B12. These vitamins have shown the ability to reduce homocysteine levels in the blood. When homocysteine is elevated, risk of Alzheimer’s and cognitive dysfunction increase. [38][39]
  5. Vitamin C Foods. Vitamin C can potentially assist in the battle against brain degeneration, Alzheimer’s, and dementia. It has also been shown to improve mental vitality. [40][41] We all known oranges and other citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C. But don’t forget about blackcurrants and broccoli, two other vitamin C superfoods.
  6. Pumpkin Seeds. Pumpkin seeds are filled with brain-powering nutrients. Zinc. B vitamins. Magnesium. Tryptophan, which is a precursor to mood-boosting serotonin. Zinc is an especially important brain biohack. It has been shown to improve memory and cognitive function. [42]
  7. Broccoli. Broccoli contains a wealth of vitamin K. Why is this important, and what the heck is vitamin K? Research indicates that this vital nutrient assists with brain power and cognitive function. [43] Broccoli contains glucosinolates which work to prevent breakdown of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is needed for a sharp memory and proper central nervous system function.
  8. Go Nuts! Nuts are very rich in vitamin E, which can work to slow cognitive decline, especially in the elderly. [44]
  9. Avocados. Avocados are a powerhouse brain food, and contain both vitamin K, folate, and healthy fats. Avocado consumption has been tied to improved cognitive function and protection against brain clots and stroke. [45][46]
  10. Beets. Beets are not the most popular food choice. But know this: they are truly a nutrient-dense superfood worthy of consideration. Rich in antioxidants, beets can help reduce brain inflammation and ride the brain of unwanted toxins. Nitrates found on beets also help to boost blood flow to the brain, working to improve cognitive performance. [47]

Scientific Biohacks

Now that we’ve explored how to hack into the central nervous system and improve brain function and performance through food choices and hormonal manipulation, let’s now explore some scientific biohacks.

Some of these intangibles will be unexpected. That’s a good thing. You will expand your horizons, and potentially gain a love for a new activity that will boost your well-being, cognitive function, focus, and memory.

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Take these biohacks seriously. The science behind them is strong.

  1. Hiking. Hiking is one of the best brain-boosting activities you can participate in. it assists with creativity and happiness. [48] Some doctors believe that hiking can even rewire our brains. It certainly has been show to improve rumination, initiate a reduction in negative thoughts, and decrease obsession. [49]
  2. Yoga. Yoga? Yes, yoga. Yoga has been scientifically shown to have a great impact on brain function that aerobic exercise. [50] Yoga can also decrease stress, help to fight bipolar disorder, and increase happiness. [51]
  3. Niagen. Niagen, also known as nicotinamide riboside (NR), is a naturally occurring form of vitamin B3. It is a precursor of NAD+, which carries a powerful potential to assist with overall longevity and brain health. When NAD+ levels dip, a chain reaction is initiated which can contribute to neurodegeneration. [52][53][54]
  4. Nootropics. Say what? Nootropics are a cutting edge, rapidly-advancing supplement niche that is focused on cognitive enhancement. They are also known as smart drugs. While ingredients and blends vary, most nootropic products on the market have a reasonable value, and are worth consideration. Click here to shop nootropics at Tiger Fitness.
  5. Resistance Training. While resistance training is great for physical strength, it also boosts mental health. “The iron” is a great tool in the battle against anxiety. [55] It also noticeably improves memory, self-esteem, and confidence.
  6. Circadian Clock. It’s time to reboot your circadian clock. This is accomplished by aligning your sleep patterns with the rising and setting sun. Disruptions of normal sleeping patterns, meaning going to bed too early or too late, or waking up too early and too late, can lead to grogginess, impaired focus, and a number of other physiological issues that can impact brain health and performance. [56] This can include disruption of normal hormone production.
  7. Focus. Stop trying to multitask. It’s costing you productivity, and causing you to waste a lot of time. Focus on one task at a time. Harvard psychologists found that we waste 47% of our waking hours focusing on something other than the task immediately before us. [57] This scatterbrained habit will allow you to quiet your mind, remove mental clutter, and reduce stress.
  8. Classical Music. Known as the Mozart Effect, classical music was shown to relieve stress, assist with insomnia (and logically the growth hormone issues associated with sub-par sleep), and even reduce the frequency of seizures. [58]
  9. Learn. Keep your brain sharp and young by learning new things. The ability to concentrate deteriorates with age. Treat the mind like a muscle – work it every day. Challenge yourself mentally by learning a new skill or reading a book. Age can cause neural pathways to fail and possibly die off. [59] Learning encourages brain plasticity, which is the shuffling of stored data from a dying area of the brain to other locations. If you view the brain as having multiple hard drives, then learning would be a form of neural redundancy or data backup.
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Name: Steve Shaw

Bio: I don’t believe in magic training systems or rep ranges. My philosophy is simple: remain consistent, use the best possible exercises, focus upon progression and enter the gym looking to maximize each set. When you maximize each set, you maximize progress. Easy, obvious, insanely effective.