by Tony Gjokaj May 03, 2021 6 min read
When I was studying in college, I committed to various activities that allowed me to retain more information, improve focus, and ultimately make things easier for me.
Some of the more notable differences consisted of exercise and supplementing with nootropics.
So in this post, we are going to go over 7 ways to transform your mental fitness so that you perform your best - regardless of what you do.
Let's dive in!
Whether it's for studying, work, health, exercise, and more, cognitive performance is of utmost importance to all of us.
The following are some practical ways to improve our mental fitness.
Exercising is one of the best ways we can improve our mental or cognitive performance. Exercise has been shown to improve mental health through means of reducing anxiety, depression, and more.
In addition, exercise has been shown to improve cognitive power in the additional ways:
What I would propose to optimize your fitness for cognitive performance is the following:
Sleep can play a huge role in our mental fitness, as there is an inverse relationship when it comes to sleep and depression: with symptoms of depression, it is difficult to sleep, and sleep-deprivation has been shown to cause depression. In addition, poor sleep can impair alertness and concentration.
We need to consider sleep a restorative process. It takes out the waste our brains have accumulated, helps us recover, and helps us perform our best.
Here are some strategies we would recommend if you find difficulty getting a good night's rest:
Improving your nutrition through means of consuming less processed foods and more whole foods can not only improve your body composition, but your brainpower and focus as well!
For practical strategies around nutrition, I have listed some recommendations we should take to optimize our nutrition for cognitive performance.
To get a proper nutrient intake, you should eat a diverse palate of fruits and vegetables per day. This can be easily achieved by eating about 3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
Here is what we mean by serving sizes:
In doing so, you not only get a great amount of vitamins & minerals, but you also get a good amount of fiber in your diet.
Protein is an essential macronutrient that helps us rebuild muscles, hair, skin, and brain neurotransmitters.
According to one study, protein has a large impact on cognitive performance because of its neurotransmitter production. As most neurotransmitters are amino acids, protein consumption produces neurotransmitters like dopamine.
What we recommend in getting the right amount of protein is the following:
According to Harvard Medical School, a survey of 6000 found that the individuals who consumed more monounsaturated fats (olive oil, nuts, and avocados) performed best on cognitive performance tests.
Monounsaturated fats are fats that can aid to lower your LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels. To add to that, a recent study found that high levels of monounsaturated fat consumption are correlated to greater levels of intelligence.
This means that we should focus on including more monounsaturated fats in our diet.
Here are some recommendations in monounsaturated fat consumption:
Research has shown that individuals who committed to most ambitious goals led to higher performance levels. This is due to the fact that there is a correlation to goal-setting and the part of our brain that elicits emotion.
Another studyshowed that high-performance individuals reach their goals because they are emotionally-attached to them. The more emotionally-invested the individual was to their goals, the more you will perceive the obstacles you encounter to be less difficult than they appear.
So strive towards accomplishing big goals every day.
We recommend starting off with the following:
A 2013 study found that learning new skills helps aid in cognitive function as we age. As such, we should pursue knowledge in some form every day. For example, reading can facilitate cognitive improvements based on knowledge.
When it comes to pursuing knowledge daily, we recommend the following:
According to a Michigan State University study, childhood participation in arts and crafts led to more creativity and innovation as these children reached adulthood. This makes sense, as taking more risky endeavors can lead more creative opportunities.
Here are some recommendations to improve your mental fitness:
Nootropics are brain boosters that help improve mental performance, notably from memory, concentration, and more.
Believe it or not, many nootropics are found in various foods we consume, but in small amounts.
Supplementing with more potent amounts of nootropics, like N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine have been shown to aid in stress-induced memory and attention deficits.
Our Nootropic Energy Elixir, Impulse, is my go-to nootropic that I have been using pretty much everyday for the last two years.
There are only a few ingredients in Impulse, but each ingredient is efficaciously-dosed to provide you the cognitive focus necessary to grind through work, exercise, studying, and more.
To conclude, here is a simple breakdown, the TLDR of this post:
As you can see, many of these strategies can be implemented by simply adding or reinforcing current lifestyle habits. Organizing your life around multiple habits allows you to create a routine that automates your health & fitness - physically and mentally.
With that being said, I want to personally thank you for taking the time to read this post!
If you have any questions, comments, or insights, feel free to email us at email@example.com or follow us on Instagram!
Until next time, Reforged Legion!
Tony is the Owner of Reforged Performance Nutrition. He is a PN1 Certified Nutrition Coach and has been in the fitness space for over a decade. His goal is to help bridge the gap between physical & mental health through fitness.
by Tony Gjokaj September 17, 2021 5 min read
When you're depressed, even when you're not expending a lot of energy... you don't feel like you have any energy to spare to begin with.
It can be aggravating to hear that you need to work out to boost your endorphins, (or whatever your friends say to you).
In reality, they aren't wrong... but how can you exercise if you can't even get out of bed?
Is there something wrong with us?
Absolutely not. This happens with depression.
The thing with depression is that your whole body may feel like it is against you... and it's very frustrating.
I've been there.
But I was forced to work out once I committed to it because of an accountability partner I had.
In this post, we are going to go over some ways that may help you get off the couch when your mind & body are against you.
by Tony Gjokaj September 13, 2021 2 min read
Hydration is paramount to your health and wellbeing.
When I worked my previous management job, I ran three rental car branches simultaneously at a time where one of the other managers was gone for over a month.
I would try to get my water in regularly, but the locations were incredibly busy. You would always find me at the front desk with customers swarming in.
This played a large part in my stress and I never knew it did until I found a way to actually get drink more water.
In this short post, we are going to go over why hydration is essential for mental health.
Let's dive in!
by Tony Gjokaj September 08, 2021 3 min read
When I was overweight, I was inactive, depressed, and had insomnia.
I would isolate myself from social interaction, which led me down a dark path where I contemplated suicide.
Eventually, fitness was my salvation, as physical activity led to me sleeping better, eating better, feeling better, and thinking better.
Prior to exercise, I was stuck in what was deemed an Inactivity Trap.
So in this post, we are going to go over an article that was written in 2009 with the same name, called "The Inactivity Trap". This article included studies that supported their claims from a psychological standpoint which intrigued me as well.
So let's dive into what the Inactivity Trap is.
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