Brain Foods

Health & fitness expert Mike Mahler has been writing lately about how to eat and train to create an optimal balance of hormone levels.  Here is some of the information he recently posted in a note on facebook:

Thought I would share 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.

Foods:
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.

Foods:
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.

Foods:
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.

Foods:
Red Apples
Golden Apples
Green Apples
Raspberries
Strawberries
Red Cherries
Kale

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 the post workout window of opportunity is a myth and eating too soon will lower GH levels) 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.

For more info on brain health as it relates to fat loss and overall health, get Dr Eric Braverman’s book: “Younger thinner you diet”

For more information, you can sign up for Mike Mahler’s  Aggressive Strength Magazine.

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~ by nolashaolin on February 21, 2009.

One Response to “Brain Foods”

  1. what is turmeric is it a spice or a tea i heard dr. oz say tea and helpful in reduceing fat. how an it help me and where in new orleans area can i find turmeric

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