Brain Health Nutrition For Enhanced Physical Performance And Well Being by Mike Mahler

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Here is my latest research on brain health and athletic performance.

There are 4 neurotransmitters that must be optimized for brain health and natural hormone optimization:

Dopamine
aceytlcholine
GABA
Serotonin

Dopamine (morning food for energy and focus)

Dopamine creates brain energy, enhances testosterone production, and keeps you mentally and physically energized throughout the day. Controls metabolism, which is your body’s ability to turn food into fuel. Controls food cravings and addictions. Pleasure seeking addicts are often dopamine deficient.

Food

Eggs
Animal proteins
protein powder such as Sun Warrior Rice Protein and pea protein isolate
Yogurt
Mangoes
Tomatoes
Red peppers
Raspberries
Strawberries
Watermelon (add this in morning shakes)
Carrots
Walnuts
Bell Pepper
Golden zucchini
Grapefruit
Tofu
Spinach
Green peppers
Zucchini
Avocado
Kiwis
Pears
Blueberries
Blackberries

Spices

Basil
Bay leaves
Cayenne
Fennel
Cumin
Ginger
Rosemary
Turmeric

Beverages

Black tea
Green tea
Rooibos tea
White tea
Coffee

Supplements

Tyrosine
Phenylalanine
Mucuna Pruneins (l-dopa)


Acetylcholine (Controls reaction time and memory)

When acetylcholine levels are low you are in a brain fog state. You become forgetful and have declined mental and physical quickness. Acetylcholine also provides the lubrication and insulation for muscles, bones, and other internal systems. People with low acetylcholine levels often crave fat fried foods in a desperate attempt to ramp up acetylcholine levels.

Food

Eggs
Fish
Lecithin
Kidney beans
Pineapple
Chick peas
Soybeans
Asparagus
Fava beans
Black beans
Passion fruit

Spices

Allspice
Basil
Cumin
Sage
Thyme

Supplements

Choline

GABA (post workout and evening to lower stress and anxiety)

Gaba determines the pace at which your brain and body function. When gaba is low we feel anxiety and do not handle stress well. Too much gaba can create lethargy so it must be kept in balance. It is best to focus on gaba rich foods after training and in the evening.

Food

Peaches
Okra
Papayas
Green snap beans
Celery

Spices

Cardamom
Cinnamon
Cloves
Lemongrass
Oregano

Supplements

GABA
Piracetam

Serotonin (anti-depressant feel good neurotransmitter)

Acts as an off switch for the brain and the body. Tells the body when to shut down and when to reset. Important for mood, restoration, and quality sleep. Serotonin induces relaxation and is thus best increased after workouts and in the evening.

Food

Red Apples
Golden Apples
Green Apples
Raspberries
Strawberries
Red Cherries
Kale

Supplements 

5-http 

How to apply this information

With regards to the working out two hours before each workout make sure to have a dopamine/aceytlcholine rich meal.

Afterwards (wait an hour as eating too soon will lower GH levels that have been ramped up from intense training) have a GABA/serotonin rich meal. You still want protein each time which is a dopamine focused food just make it 1/4 of your meal and load up the rest with gaba/serotonin foods. This will help bring you down after competing so you rest well and are ready to go again the next day. Basically you get a re-boot.

Sample brain health and sex hormone supporting meal 

2 cups of organic lentils (24 grams of protein)
1 yellow bell pepper
1 tomato
1/2 cup of mushrooms
1/2 cup of baby spinach
1/2 cup of fresh basil
1/2 cup of baby carrots

Spices added: oregano, garlic, onion, and turmeric

All of the above is steam cooked. Once it is done I will add 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds (11 grams of protein) 1/2 avocado, and 1 tablespoon of Udo's Choice Oil.

This meal is a nice balance of protein (35 grams) carbs, fiber, healthy fat. The spices have an anti-inflammation as well as an antioxidant benefit for brain and body health as do the rich colored veggies. The plant sterols from the avocado, hemp seeds, and Udo's Oil are testosterone, DHEA, Progesterone supporting (not increasing as there is a difference) foods.

All in all a super nutritious meal and tastes pretty damn good as well. Great meal for hard training men and women.

Here is a sample super protein shake:

2 scoops of vanilla sunwarrior rice protein 
8oz of tea (green, black, and ginger)
8oz of low carb almond milk
1 cup of frozen fruit (blueberries, strawberries, mangoes)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of pumpkin pie spice 
1 tablespoon of Udo's Choice

the above is a great balance of fat, protein, carbs as well as spices and plant sterols. I sip it over the course of the early afternoon rather than down it fast which far too many people make the mistake of doing with protein shakes. Sip it slowly and take your time for better digestion and utilization


Submitted by DMorgan on Mon, 09/14/2009 - 10:14pm.

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