You can eat your foods as your medicines, or you can eat your medicines as your foods.
High Performer Fuel
Many of us who would like to be high performers are sabotaging our tools with bad fuel. If you own a Porsche, you can’t put 86 octane gasoline in it. Yes, actually you can, but it won’t run well. At different times of my life, I have been extremely nutrition conscious, as are many of the top athletes in the world. At other times, I have self-medicated and let myself go, because my time of competing seriously on court had ended. Now, though I am training for longevity and influence.
Sports Nutrition Roots
Robert Haas was one of the first to establish an athletic performance diet with Martina Navratilova and Ivan Lendl being early adopters. John McEnroe joked about being on the “Haagen-Das” diet. This article is more targetted specifically at your brain. I have a list of foods that you will want that I have curated over time, and it has each of the 10 nutrients that are great for your brain and also the interaction with your visual system. I regularly eat these foods and over time I have seen an improvement in weight loss, mental clarity, sleep, lower blood pressure, etc. I am not promising that all of that will happen for you, but it might. Part of the reason people overeat is that they did not get the nutrients the body craves, when you eat more nutritious foods, you can be satisfied with less.
Hydrate For More Than Neck Down
Of course you have to drink water, as all the conducitivity of your brain requires moisture. I have a simple inexpensive scale at home that measures my hydration, and while it’s probably not 100% accurate, when the numbers go up and down it makes sense, because either it was amazingly hot in recent days, or I was drinking like a champ. My hydration has improved from 61.2% in November 2020 to 62.8% currently. Yes, it sounds like such a small difference, but the results have been amazing. Perhaps I can get to 63% by the end of the year, by not giving myself too much permission to drink alcohol in excess, and the recent reduction in coffee drinking should also help. I may also completely cut out coffee, or limit to one cup per day.
There are nutrients for your brain and visual system that are vital to performance.
Sodium is also a huge part of your ability to conduct electricity in our brains.
Astaxanthin works to prevent cataracts, macular degneration and blindness.
Omega 3 Oils - ALA, DHA, and EPA help keep things lubricated, and are also antioxidants which help you reduce the amount of waste to eliminate. When your brain has excess waste, then you get brain fog.
Vitamin D - Reduces the affects of aging, and there is also a very long list of positive processes in your body that require this vitamin. Be sure to read the label if you supplement, because too much Vitamin D easily causes some problems. I have experienced those.
Lutein - This is the nutrient that major league baseball players are getting from marigold flowers, and they report that visual acuity has improved. Organic eggs by pastured hens are a great source.
Beta-carotene - You thought this would be first, because your mother told you to eat your carrots. But their are better sources, and you will want to get my list. This helps with night vision, and keeping eyes moist, preventing dry eye.
Anthocyanins - help reduce inflammation of the eyes, health of the cornea, and blood vessels in the eye. Get the red out!
Zeaxanthin - Also helps with age related degeneration of the eyes.
Bioflavinoids - Quercetin being chief among them, some studies suggest that they boost your overall immune system, and are often found in foods that feature Vitamin C.
Magnesium - This mineral is involved in most every chemical process in your body. We also burn through this one the fastest, so replacing it is largely ignored. This one really helps with sleep and stress reduction as most processes proceed more smoothly.
If you want to full food lists that give you many options, send me an email, and I will send you a free .pdf of the list. It is also shown in ranked order from best sources to not as strong, but you might decide that number one on the list is not to your liking, so you can choose number two on the list. Another strategy is to find a dish that has the top ingredient cooked into it, and that you find that slightly more palatable. Send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Bill Patton has been in the Sports Coaching Industry for over 30 years, and has mastered his craft. He currently works with CEOs of Start Ups, High Ranking Military Leaders, The Winning Summit, Tennis Innovation Week, and BrainSports.Coach a new site that delivers cutting edge brain research. Bill’s mission is to give you the competitive edge by delivering fundamental, non-conventional, counter-intuitive, nuanced skills to take your game, coaching, learning and parenting to a new level. The main objectives of this blog is to give the very latest, most ignored, and opposing views of conventional wisdom, so that you won’t have to make the mistakes Bill formerly made in using his own supercomputer. Much has been about becoming 1% better, and Coach Patton is dedicated to his own constant improvement and yours. Get a FREE 20 minute Sports Brain Consultation.
Bill is the author of 12 books, formerly a certified tennis teaching professional for over 25 years, before now settling on the title Sports Neuroscientist. He has a B.S. Industrial Psychology, and written a Masters Thesis in Education.