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Millions around the globe start their day with the wonderful brain-altering stimulant, caffeine. Whether through naturally caffeinated beverages like coffee and tea, or through artificial substances like soft drinks and energy drinks, caffeine is often credited with erasing the morning brain fog and providing clarity and concentration for the day.
Caffeine, however, does have its drawbacks. Oftentimes, caffeinated beverages are loaded with sugar or artificial sweeteners. Then there’s the dreaded “crash.” Caffeine can also worsen symptoms for those suffering from anxiety, high blood pressure and other health challenges.
Caffeine reduces blood flow to the brain and can negatively interact or interfere with other medications.
Perhaps our team at BIPRI has consumed our fair share of caffeine! But we also recognize that there are other ways to obtain stable, safe, ongoing mental concentration and clarity. If you are looking for alternative paths to concentration, read on! You do have healthy options that may support mental clarity without caffeine.
Physical activity is one of the best ways to increase oxygen in the blood and to the brain. Whether you do intense weightlifting, a medium-paced walk, or a calming mind-body program, exercise leads to clarity. An oxygenated brain is more ready to concentrate on tasks, process information and make decisions.
Harvard Medical School agrees, noting, “Caffeine can provide a boost in alertness and energy levels that may help you to think faster and better, for a while. But even a short burst of exercise can do the same, maybe more, and for longer.”
You don’t need anyone to tell you that eating fast food three times a day is probably not good for your brain (or the rest of your body.) And maybe you are following a healthy diet… for the rest of your body. But are you feeding your brain well?
Brain-centric foods may include:
This varied diet offers essential healthy fats, vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients that may support a healthier brain.
Just like any part of the body, repetitive use leads to fewer gains. Muscle memory absolutely is an awesome and wonderful thing. But if you do bicep curls with 10 lb weights for 20 years, you probably aren’t getting any stronger.
You have to mix it up! You have to shock your muscles out of complacency. The brain needs those same challenges and strategies.
Love music? Learn a new instrument.
Like baseball? Learn to switch hit or throw.
Like crosswords? Try sudoku.
Love to knit? Learn to crochet.
Or, take a chance on something completely different by introducing your brain to a new exercise or discipline.
Like anything in life, if you want to achieve top performance, you must fuel, feed, and train the muscle; or, in this case, the brain. Don’t limit yourself to relying wholly on caffeine to have the concentration and focus you want and need to be at the top of your mental game.
At BIPRI, we are here to help you get the most out of your brain! For questions, ideas and advice how to support healthy concentration simply open up the online chat in the bottom right of your screen or call (888) 549-5519.
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