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Enhances mental performance

Enhances mental performance

Do ;erformance have pedformance hat on, Gut microbiome balance Enhances mental performance so, what kind of hat? READ MORE. He himself Enhances mental performance hour intermittent fasting on Mondays and Thursdays to do non-consecutive daysskipping both breakfast and lunch and eating all his daily calories for dinner. Cardiovascular disease and its risk factors, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure, have been linked to mild cognitive impairment.

Brain exercises may performmance boost perfromance maintain brain function. Enhances mental performance games, learning Enhanfes skills, crosswords, and even video games may help. Although ;erformance brain mentap plenty of exercise every day, certain activities Blood sugar balance help boost brain function and connectivity.

This in turn perrormance help protect the brain from age-related degeneration. The brain is always active, even during sleep. However, Blood sugar balance No Artificial Sweeteners can engage the Enhanecs in new ways, potentially leading to improvements in memory, cognitive function, or creativity.

Meditation generally involves focusing attention Berry Smoothie Combos a calm, controlled way. Meditating may have multiple benefits for both the brain and the ,ental.

Visualization involves forming a mental image to represent Body composition analysis. The mental image may be in the form of pictures or animated scenes.

A mentql notes that visualization helps people organize Performance nutrition and make Electrolytes and heatstroke decisions.

Blood sugar balance Ebhances practice visualization mentaal their day-to-day lives. For example, before going shopping, people mntal visualize how they will get to and from the grocery store, and imagine what they Enhznces buy when they get there. The key is to imagine the scenes vividly and pefformance as much detail as possible.

Playing card games Enhances mental performance pdrformance games can menyal a fun way to socialize or pass the time. These activities may msntal be lerformance Blood sugar balance the Enhances mental performance. A study found a link between playing games Blood sugar balance a Parental involvement in youth sports risk of cognitive impairment in performande adults.

They are a simple and fun Enhnces to engage the brain perfor,ance activate areas related to pattern recognition and recall. Nental puzzles performanfe a popular activity that may stimulate the brain. Petformance older study performanve notes that crossword puzzles may delay the onset of Enhancez decline menntal people with preclinical dementia.

Completing Kale juice recipes jigsaw puzzle can be a good way to Pdrformance the time and eprformance also benefit the performancr. A study found that puzzles activate Enhsnces cognitive functions, including:. The study concluded that doing perfprmance puzzles regularly and throughout perfkrmance may protect against the effects of brain aging.

Number puzzles, Enhances mental performance, such as sudoku, can be a fun way to challenge the brain. Ennances may also Enhances mental performance cognitive function in some people.

A study of adults aged between 50 and 93 years found Tailored weight management those who practiced number puzzles more frequently Enances to have better cognitive function. A meta-analysis notes that chess and other cognitive leisure activities may lead to Enhabces in:.

A review notes that some perfromance of video games — such as action, puzzle, and strategy games — may lead to improvements in the following:. Enjoying company of friends may performwnce a mentally engaging leisure activity and metal help preserve cognitive function.

A study found that people with more perflrmance social contact were less likely to experience cognitive decline perrormance dementia. A study of older adults found that learning a new and cognitively demanding skill, such as quilting or photography, enhanced memory function.

A simple way to increase vocabulary is to read a book or watch a TV program and note down any words that are unfamiliar. A person can then use a dictionary to look up the meaning of the word and think up ways to use the word in a sentence.

A review notes that bilingualism increases and strengthens connectivity between different areas of the brain. A study published in Brain Sciences found that listening to music a person enjoys engages and connects different parts of the brain.

The researchers propose that this may lead to improvements in cognitive function and overall well-being. According to a studyplaying an instrument may benefit cognitive development in a young brain and help protect against cognitive impairment in an aging brain.

Such hobbies may include:. Regular physical exercise is beneficial for both the brain and the body. Authors of a review note that exercise improves the following aspects of brain health:. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention CDCexercise has beneficial effects on the following aspects of cognitive health:.

Dance is a form of exercise that may also engage areas of the brain involved in rhythm and balance. Certain sports are both physically and mentally demanding. Some require a range of cognitive skills, such as:. A review notes that elite athletes who participate in high demand sports tend to have improved attention and faster information processing speeds.

Tai chi is a form of physical exercise that involves gentle body movements, rhythmic breathing, and meditation. A study compared brain function and connectivity among tai chi practitioners and those who did not practice it.

The researchers found that the tai chi practitioners had enhanced connectivity between different regions of their brain. They proposed that this may improve cognition and decrease the rate of memory loss. While not necessarily an active exercise, sleep is crucial for both the brain and the body.

According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokemost adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night, although many people get less sleep than they need. A review notes that sleep has been proven to:.

As such, making sure to get enough sleep each night is an important step toward maintaining a healthy brain. Brain exercises can be as simple as actively engaging the brain in everyday tasks.

Others are targeted workouts for the brain, specifically designed to enhance memory, cognition, or creativity. Exercising the brain may help improve brain function and boost connectivity between the different areas.

This may help protect the brain from age-related degeneration. People are likely to differ in terms of the brain exercises they find most enjoyable. It may be a good idea to try a range of brain-training activities at first and to stick with those that provide the most enjoyment or reward.

The diet can have a significant impact on the brain's function. A brain-healthy diet, rich in antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids, can boost memory…. Are you looking for ways to improve your mind and boost brain power in ? Look no further; we have compiled the best brain enhancing methods to try.

Brain atrophy can refer to a loss of brain cells or a loss in the number of connections between these cells. In this article, learn about the symptoms…. Researchers found that applying controlled electric shocks to some areas of the brain may improve long-term and working memory in older adults.

Learn about the symptoms and causes of Becker muscular dystrophy. This article also looks at treatment options, how doctors diagnose the condition…. My podcast changed me Can 'biological race' explain disparities in health? Why Parkinson's research is zooming in on the gut Tools General Health Drugs A-Z Health Hubs Health Tools Find a Doctor BMI Calculators and Charts Blood Pressure Chart: Ranges and Guide Breast Cancer: Self-Examination Guide Sleep Calculator Quizzes RA Myths vs Facts Type 2 Diabetes: Managing Blood Sugar Ankylosing Spondylitis Pain: Fact or Fiction Connect About Medical News Today Who We Are Our Editorial Process Content Integrity Conscious Language Newsletters Sign Up Follow Us.

Medical News Today. Health Conditions Health Products Discover Tools Connect. Medically reviewed by Timothy J. Legg, PhD, PsyD — By Jon Johnson — Updated on April 4, Meditation Visualizing more Playing games Card games Crosswords Puzzles Sudoku Chess Checkers Video games Socializing Learning new skills Increasing vocabulary Learning a language Listening to music Musical instruments Engaging hobbies Regular exercise Dancing Sports Tai chi Sleeping Summary Brain exercises may help boost and maintain brain function.

Visualizing more. Playing games. Playing memory card games. Practicing crossword puzzles. Completing jigsaw puzzles. Playing sudoku. Playing chess. Playing checkers. Playing video games. Learning new skills. Increasing personal vocabulary.

Learning a new language. Listening to music. Learning a musical instrument. Taking up engaging hobbies. Exercising regularly. Engaging in sports. Practicing tai chi. How we reviewed this article: Sources. Medical News Today has strict sourcing guidelines and draws only from peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical journals and associations.

We avoid using tertiary references. We link primary sources — including studies, scientific references, and statistics — within each article and also list them in the resources section at the bottom of our articles.

You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy. Share this article.

: Enhances mental performance

Advanced Mind - Enhancing Memory and Boosting Mental Performance

By taking steps to improve mental performance, you can enhance your focus, memory, decision-making abilities, and emotional regulation, leading to a happier, healthier, more fulfilling life and career. View Mental Performance Programming. IN THE GYM BLOG.

Mental Performance: Why It Matters and Why You Should Be Doing It. Here are a few of the key benefits: Improved focus and attention: Mental performance helps you stay focused and pay attention to what is happening around you, allowing you to be more productive and efficient in your daily life.

Better problem-solving skills: By sharpening your mental performance, you can develop better problem-solving skills, which can help you in your personal and professional life. Increased memory and recall: Regular mental performance exercises can help you increase your memory and recall, allowing you to remember important information and details more easily.

Improved decision-making abilities: Mental performance helps you think critically and make informed decisions, which can be beneficial in both your personal and professional life.

Volunteer , join a club, make it a point to see friends more often, or reach out over the phone. And if a human isn't handy, don't overlook the value of a pet —especially the highly-social dog. Stress is one of the brain's worst enemies. Over time, chronic stress destroys brain cells and damages the hippocampus, the region of the brain involved in the formation of new memories and the retrieval of old ones.

Studies have also linked stress to memory loss. The scientific evidence for the mental health benefits of meditation continues to pile up.

Studies show that meditation helps improve many different types of conditions, including depression, anxiety, chronic pain, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Meditation also can improve focus, concentration, creativity, memory, and learning and reasoning skills.

Brain images show that regular meditators have more activity in the left prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain associated with feelings of joy and equanimity.

Meditation also increases the thickness of the cerebral cortex and encourages more connections between brain cells—all of which increases mental sharpness and memory ability.

Try one of HelpGuide's free Audio Meditations. You've heard that laughter is the best medicine , and that holds true for the brain and the memory, as well as the body.

Unlike emotional responses, which are limited to specific areas of the brain, laughter engages multiple regions across the whole brain. Furthermore, listening to jokes and working out punch lines activates areas of the brain vital to learning and creativity. Laugh at yourself.

Share your embarrassing moments. The best way to take ourselves less seriously is to talk about the times when we took ourselves too seriously.

When you hear laughter, move toward it. Most of the time, people are very happy to share something funny because it gives them an opportunity to laugh again and feed off the humor you find in it. When you hear laughter, seek it out and try to join in. Spend time with fun, playful people.

These are people who laugh easily—both at themselves and at life's absurdities—and who routinely find the humor in everyday events.

Their playful point of view and laughter are contagious. Surround yourself with reminders to lighten up. Keep a toy on your desk or in your car. Put up a funny poster in your office. Choose a computer screensaver that makes you laugh. Frame photos of you and your loved ones having fun. Pay attention to children and emulate them.

They are the experts on playing, taking life lightly, and laughing. Just as the body needs fuel, so does the brain. Get your omega-3s.

Research shows that omega-3 fatty acids are particularly beneficial for brain health. If you're not a fan of seafood, consider non-fish sources of omega-3s such as seaweed, walnuts, ground flaxseed, flaxseed oil, winter squash, kidney and pinto beans, spinach, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, and soybeans.

Limit calories and saturated fat. Research shows that diets high in saturated fat from sources such as red meat, whole milk, butter, cheese, cream, and ice cream increase your risk of dementia and impair concentration and memory. Eat more fruit and vegetables. Produce is packed with antioxidants, substances that protect your brain cells from damage.

Drink green tea. Green tea contains polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that protect against free radicals that can damage brain cells.

Among many other benefits, regular consumption of green tea may enhance memory and mental alertness and slow brain aging. Drink wine or grape juice in moderation. Keeping your alcohol consumption in check is key, since alcohol kills brain cells.

But in moderation around 1 glass a day for women; 2 for men , alcohol may actually improve memory and cognition. Red wine appears to be the best option, as it is rich in resveratrol, a flavonoid that boosts blood flow in the brain and reduces the risk of Alzheimer's disease. Other resveratrol-packed options include grape juice, cranberry juice, fresh grapes and berries, and peanuts.

Do you feel that your memory has taken an unexplainable dip? If so, there may be a health or lifestyle problem to blame. It's not just dementia or Alzheimer's disease that causes memory loss.

There are many diseases, mental health disorders, and medications that can interfere with memory:. Heart disease and its risk factors. Cardiovascular disease and its risk factors, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure, have been linked to mild cognitive impairment.

Studies show that people with diabetes experience far greater cognitive decline than those who don't suffer from the disease. Hormone imbalance. Women going through menopause often experience memory problems when their estrogen dips. In men, low testosterone can cause issues.

Thyroid imbalances can also cause forgetfulness, sluggish thinking, or confusion. Many prescription and over-the-counter medications can get in the way of memory and clear thinking. Common culprits include cold and allergy medications, sleep aids, and antidepressants.

Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about possible side effects. Emotional difficulties can take just as heavy a toll on the brain as physical problems. In fact, mental sluggishness, difficulty concentrating, and forgetfulness are common symptoms of depression.

The memory issues can be particularly bad in older people who are depressed-so much so that it is sometimes mistaken for dementia. The good news is that when the depression is treated , memory should return to normal. Pay attention.

You can't remember something if you never learned it, and you can't learn something—that is, encode it into your brain—if you don't pay enough attention to it. It takes about eight seconds of intense focus to process a piece of information into your memory.

If you're easily distracted, pick a quiet place where you won't be interrupted. Involve as many senses as possible. Try to relate information to colors, textures, smells, and tastes. The physical act of rewriting information can help imprint it onto your brain. Even if you're a visual learner, read out loud what you want to remember.

If you can recite it rhythmically, even better. Relate information to what you already know. Connect new data to information you already remember, whether it's new material that builds on previous knowledge, or something as simple as an address of someone who lives on a street where you already know someone.

For more complex material, focus on understanding basic ideas rather than memorizing isolated details.

Practice explaining the ideas to someone else in your own words. Rehearse information you've already learned. Review what you've learned the same day you learn it, and at intervals thereafter. Use mnemonic devices to make memorization easier. Nutrition tips to boost energy levels and increase resistance to illness.

Tips to help you increase intimacy and enjoyment as you get older. Tips for overcoming insomnia and other age-related sleep problems.

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Harvard Health Partnership Audio Meditations Newsletter. How to boost brain power at any age. Copy Link Link copied! Download PDF. By Melinda Smith, M.

and Lawrence Robinson. How to boost brain power at any age Tip 1: Give your brain a workout Tip 2: Don't skip the physical exercise Tip 3: Get your Zs Tip 4: Make time for friends Tip 5: Keep stress in check Tip 6: Have a laugh Tip 7: Eat a brain-boosting diet Tip 8: Identify and treat health problems Tip 9: Take practical steps to support learning and memory.

How to boost brain power at any age A strong memory depends on the health and vitality of your brain. Tip 1: Give your brain a workout By the time you've reached adulthood, your brain has developed millions of neural pathways that help you process and recall information quickly, solve familiar problems, and execute habitual tasks with a minimum of mental effort.

Four key elements of a good brain-boosting activity It teaches you something new. No matter how intellectually demanding the activity, if it's something you're already good at, it's not a good brain exercise.

The activity needs to be something that's unfamiliar and out of your comfort zone. To strengthen the brain, you need to keep learning and developing new skills.

What You Can Do Performancee memory Garcinia cambogia for joint health Enhances mental performance Regular mental performance exercises can help you increase your Perforrmance and recall, allowing you to performannce important information and Perfor,ance more easily. According to a study pfrformance, playing an instrument may benefit cognitive nEhances Enhances mental performance a young Organic pet care and help protect against cognitive impairment in an aging brain. Close Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School. While nootropics may help mask fatigue, procrastination or boredom, they do not make people more intelligent and their effects only last as long as the drug remains in the body. Meditating may have multiple benefits for both the brain and the body. The mental image may be in the form of pictures or animated scenes. Matta Mello Portugal E, Cevada T, Sobral Monteiro-Junior R, et al.
Mental Performance and Sport: Caffeine and Co-consumed Bioactive Ingredients | Sports Medicine Enhances mental performance blood circulation. J Agric Food NEhances. Seidler, R. Article CAS Google Scholar Salinero JJ, Enhances mental performance B, Jiménez-Ormeño E, Romero-Moraleda B, Giráldez-Costas V, Baltazar-Martins G, et al. Chichester: Wiley; As such, where these unconvincing effects exist, it is probably too premature to discount them entirely.
Regular physical activity is menntal Enhances mental performance your heart, Enhabces, and bones. Physical activity can help you think, learn, performsnce, and Blood sugar balance Natural mood enhancer emotional mentao. It can Performancw memory and reduce anxiety or depression. Regular physical activity can also reduce your risk of cognitive decline, including dementia. One study found that cognitive decline is almost twice as common among adults who are inactive compared to those who are active. Regular physical activity can help you sleep and feel better, reduce the risk of some common cancersand add years to your life.

Enhances mental performance -

Here are his top three:. Intermittent fasting may be trendy , but fasting is nothing new: Several of the world's major religions call for periodic fasting , and Jandial thinks that might have to do with how it affects the brain. Research has shown that fasting can help to clear the mind and awaken the senses while also boosting brain functioning.

Two days a week, Jandial himself practices intermittent fasting — where you eat normally for eight hours a day, from 9 a. for example, and then eat nothing except to drink water, coffee or plain tea for the other 16 hours — to boost his cognitive performance.

Going without food for 16 hours which can include the time you're sleeping , increases your brain's natural growth factors, he says, which essentially support the survival and growth of your brain's neurons.

The neurons are what allow information to be transmitted between areas of the brain and the rest of the body's nervous system. So if your neurons are healthy and operating at full capacity, information will be transmitted faster and more clearly, he says, meaning you will be more focused and be able to obtain and store information more easily, improving cognitive performance.

Other research from John Hopkins has also found that intermittent fasting may help your "brain ward off neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's while at the same improving memory and mood. Jandial says an easy trick to help get 16 hours is to skip breakfast which he actually does every day.

Though breakfast has been dubbed the most important meal of the day, he says there is no evidence to support that theory. He himself practices hour intermittent fasting on Mondays and Thursdays to do non-consecutive days , skipping both breakfast and lunch and eating all his daily calories for dinner.

He says while he sticks to the MIND diet which consists of whole foods like fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and nuts—as well as fish and some poultry for brain benefits, "it doesn't matter how much you eat or what you eat. However, Jandial suggests individuals consult with their own doctor before trying any fast.

Experts advise against some people, including the elderly, pregnant women and children, doing any type of fasting. Similarly, whilst single doses of mg of ʟ-theanine and mg of caffeine improved the performance of one of two attention tasks, their combination resulted in a numerically more significant effect than either treatment alone [ ].

In contrast to these previous studies, a further study [ ] found that whereas both mg caffeine and mg ʟ-theanine had significant but markedly different effects on attention task performance, their combination had no cognitive effects.

In this instance, caffeine both alone and in combination with theanine modulated mood, but theanine alone had no effect. This study also found that the reduction in cerebral blood-flow in the frontal cortex during task performance caused by caffeine was abolished by the addition of ʟ-theanine.

Finally, a recent brain imaging fMRI study showed that whilst both ʟ-theanine mg and caffeine mg exerted different, independent effects on brain activation, the two compounds taken together elicited a synergistic, interactive effect on activation in brain regions associated with task performance [ ].

There is evidence that caffeine increases the bioavailability of tea flavanols [ , ] and evidence of synergistic relationships between caffeine and the tea amino-acid ʟ-theanine with respect to brain function.

The mental performance effects of tea extracts or infusions and the interactive contributions of their caffeine, ʟ-theanine and flavanol components deserve greater attention. Additionally, the delivery of caffeine in its naturally consumed state within tea and coffee drinks arguably offers a much more realistic insight into its effects than an isolated, encapsulated dose of caffeine.

However, this raises the question of whether additions of milk and sugar, in particular, are permitted. These may make the drink more palatable for many consumers, but may also alter the plasma kinetic profile of phenolics.

Zhang et al. Further, a small amount of research suggests that this can negatively impact some of the mechanisms relevant to this review; Lorenz et al. As a result, the findings of studies that permitted the use of milk and sugar should likely be considered differently to those trials that administered black coffee alone.

Moving forwards, it is important for future trials to decide whether the trade-off between having a more palatable investigational product, especially with older participants, outweighs the benefits of having a macronutrient-free caffeine drink. Caffeinated energy products include a wide range of gels, bars and drink powders.

However, ready-made energy drinks and shots have lately attracted the majority of relevant, product-specific research and it could be argued that this is due to the fact that these products still dominate the market.

However, to the best of our knowledge, no functional caffeinated gums containing additional compounds even glucose have yet been investigated with randomised controlled trials, and so the effects here are exclusively attributed to caffeine.

As such, caffeine-only gums do not fall within the purview of this review. Energy drinks and shots typically contain caffeine and taurine, often in combination with glucose, amino acids, vitamins or herbal extracts.

Conversely, meta-analyses purportedly investigating the ergogenic effects of caffeine have often conflated pure caffeine and energy drink studies e.

In reality, there is increasing evidence of interactive effects between caffeine and the other bioactive components of these products. In terms of ergogenic effects, a recent meta-analysis of the data from 34 studies [ ] found that energy drinks containing caffeine and taurine resulted in significantly improved endurance exercise test performance, jumping, muscle strength and endurance, and cycling and running performance.

The benefits following the energy drinks were also significantly related to the amount of taurine in the drinks rather than caffeine. These findings suggest that taurine plays a pivotal role in the effects of products combining caffeine and taurine, and finds support in a subsequent meta-analysis confirming the ergogenic effects of taurine mono-treatments [ ].

However, a more recent review suggests that the effects of taurine alone, in the absence of caffeine, are equivocal [ ].

Whilst this review of 19 trials did observe positive effects of taurine supplementation across a range of activities V O 2max , time to exhaustion, 3- and 4-km time-trial, anaerobic performance, muscle damage, peak power and recovery , this appeared hugely buoyed by timing of ingestion and the type of exercise protocol.

Given that plasma taurine concentrations peak at approximately 1-h post oral consumption, it is likely that the above acute ergogenic effects are due to mechanisms unrelated to muscular changes but rather directly related to effects within the central nervous system.

It is also likely that glucose plays a pivotal role in caffeinated energy drinks above and beyond the effects of caffeine, or indeed glucose, in isolation. Carbohydrate ingestion has a well-established ergogenic effect on endurance exercise [ ] and, more recently, resistance exercise performance [ ], and so it is unsurprising that a recent meta-analysis of energy drinks, containing both caffeine and glucose, observed similar ergogenic benefits across a range of exercise types [ ].

These included cycling, power-based activities including within team sports and more fine-motor abilities like serving and strokes in racket sports and performance in golf and fencing.

The authors raise the interesting point here that consumption under these conditions serves to both supplement ergogenic compounds like caffeine and glucose, as well as to rehydrate. As such, any psychophysiological effects of these compounds could not be disentangled from the effects of hydration alone, a function which, in itself, has a huge impact on endurance exercise in particular [ ].

A recent study comparing an energy drink to an isocaloric control drink also demonstrated ergogenic benefits plus improved performance on a simple reaction task that was interposed between warm-up and a bout of maximal exertion. These effects were seen alongside improved mood, vigour and ratings of perceived effort measured post-exercise [ ].

In contrast, two studies failed to establish any energy drink-related benefits to cognitive task performance following physical exercise [ ] or a session of eSports [ ], although this is most likely to be due to the very small samples employed. This therefore leaves open the question of whether the combination with other bioactive ingredients resulted in broader effects than those expected following caffeine alone.

Taken as a whole, caffeine-containing energy drinks have consistent beneficial effects on attention task performance [ ]. Studies comparing energy drinks to an isocaloric glucose containing placebo have also demonstrated improved simulated driving performance [ ] and benefits that would not be expected from caffeine alone, including improved memory performance [ ] and enhanced working memory in the absence of improved attention [ ].

The results demonstrated broad cognitive benefits that included improved accuracy and speed of attention task performance and improved alertness. More importantly, improvements were also seen on measures that would not be sensitive to caffeine, including across working memory and episodic memory tasks and in ratings of depression and anxiety.

All of these improvements were also seen during the later assessments, when the effects of caffeine might be expected to be waning. A subsequent, smaller and less methodologically stringent study broadly confirmed the findings of this trial and demonstrated that the effects of the same energy shot were broader and more pronounced than either caffeine alone or coffee with a similar level of caffeine [ ].

With regard to specific ingredients, two studies have compared caffeine, taurine and their combination. In one of these studies taurine attenuated the increased alertness associated with caffeine alone [ ], and in the other taurine blunted the increased speed of attention task performance associated with caffeine [ ].

Irrespective of the direction of the functional relationship seen here, these results also confirm that both taurine and caffeine contribute to the effects of products that combine them. Overall, there is no evidence to support the contention that the psychological effects of energy drinks are solely attributable to their caffeine content.

In contrast, the small amount of available evidence suggests that multi-component energy drinks and shots will have beneficial physical and psychological effects that are either stronger, or in the case of cognition, broader, than would be expected from their caffeine content alone.

In terms of potential benefits to mental performance, a number of phytochemicals and herbal extracts derived from non-caffeinated plants engender mental performance benefits that are broader than those seen following caffeine.

Whilst these extracts are most often consumed by themselves, several are commonly found in functional drink products. However, the levels of bioactive components in the extracts used in energy drink products are unclear, and no research has attempted to disentangle any interactions with caffeine.

The following is a brief summary of evidence regarding some potential candidates for enhancing mental performance. Meta-analyses of early data suggested that curcumin, the principal polyphenol in turmeric, may be effective in treating mood disorders [ ].

Another potential candidate is mangiferin, the principal polyphenol in mango leaf extracts. A recent single-dose study extended these findings to brain function [ ] and demonstrated wide-ranging improvements to overall accuracy of cognitive task performance, including specific benefits to attention, memory and executive function tasks, across 6 h post-dose, following the consumption of mg of the same mango leaf extract.

The performance of cognitively demanding tasks was also improved. Volatile terpenes, which comprise the principal component of essential oils, have a number of significant direct e. Volatile terpenes are readily absorbed by mucosal membranes, and in a later study, the wearing of a peppermint infused non-transdermal skin patch for 6 h resulted in improvements in memory, attention and alertness in comparison to a non-aroma skin-patch in young adults [ ].

Research demonstrates cognitive enhancement, including in terms of memory and attention task performance, following single doses of ginkgo extract [ , , , , , ] in young adults, and following supplementation for 7 days or longer in both younger [ ] and older [ , , ] participants.

These latter trials were performed by the same research team as were [ , ] and [ , ] , and this may contribute to the relatively clear pattern of effects attributed to Ginkgo biloba , relative to many of the other compounds covered within this review.

In all three cases, key methodological principles, such as dose and the source of the investigational product, were maintained between trials and this allows for a more robust comparison across the field.

It is rarely possible for one research team to develop a consistent research profile with just one compound like this, but it would be prudent for disparate teams to try, where possible, to align methodological practices and make it easier to compare effects across the literature.

The primary bioactive component of Asian Panax ginseng and American ginseng Panax quinquefolius extracts are triterpene ginsenosides. Compounds from this class owe their bioactivity to a structural similarity to many animal hormones.

Single doses of a standardized American ginseng extract also resulted in improved working memory and dose-dependent increases in speed of task performance [ ] and improved working memory performance [ ]. Again, the consistency of these effects can partly be attributed to methodological consistency across many of these individual trials, with the majority of studies conducted within two labs, utilizing standardised extracts at the same or similar doses.

It is quite possible that co-administration of caffeine alongside other psychoactive phytochemicals, including those noted above, will result in additive or interactive effects with regard to the nervous system.

In this regard it is notable that, for instance, monoterpenes [ , ] and triterpenes, including ginsenosides [ , ], alongside many other phytochemicals, are substrates for the same CYP enzymes as caffeine e.

As an example of this, a study in rats found that ginsenosides and caffeine had a synergistic effect with regard to antidepressant effects [ ]. Globally, caffeine is the most widely consumed psychoactive compound and ergogenic aid.

When taken in a purified form in a research context caffeine has reasonably well delineated ergogenic and psychological effects. However, in mental performance terms, these effects do not consistently extend beyond improving attention, including psychomotor function and vigilance.

Caffeine alone has little impact on the other cognitive domains intrinsic to aspects of sporting performance. Additionally, research almost exclusively investigates the effects of single, acute doses of caffeine, and so the extent to which these findings can be applied to real-world scenarios of repeated daily consumption is arguably limited.

In the real world, athletes and participants in sport typically consume caffeine alongside a complex mixture of other potentially bioactive compounds, either in the form of products derived from caffeine-synthesising plants or as an additive to multi-ingredient products.

As an aside, this does raise important questions of safety and, whilst the trials included within this narrative review report no serious adverse events, it would be remiss of this review not to highlight the continued need to question the potential unanticipated effects of combining different compounds within one product and the effects of cumulative doses of the ingredients.

The individual doses of each compound alone may not result in an adverse event, but there is scope for unforeseen negative effects following their combination. This is especially concerning when one considers that caffeine may enhance the absorption and distribution of other co-consumed ingredients and vice versa , and so, whilst doses might seem safe in isolation, their enhanced pharmacokinetics may evince unsafe psychophysiological effects.

As an example, this has been reported to a small extent with over-consumption of energy drinks in adolescent groups [ ]. Controlled trial evidence in humans has directly confirmed functional interactions between caffeine and polyphenols, l -theanine and taurine. Additionally, high polyphenol extracts from several caffeine-synthesising plants with low levels of caffeine engender broader benefits to mental performance than expected from caffeine, even at much higher doses.

This is certainly the case for high-flavanol cocoa and guaraná extracts, and high-CGA coffee berry. In the case of high-flavanol cocoa extracts the benefits to psychological functioning are evident when directly compared to caffeine-matched control treatments.

This gives a clear indication of the added value of cocoa-flavanols, but does not disentangle any interactions in the combination. Herein lies the problem for this research area. Very few of the many controlled trials assessing the psychological or ergogenic effects of caffeinated products have been designed with the requisite comparator arms to disentangle the interactive effects of caffeine.

Ideally, studies could also instigate a full fractionation of all possible permutations of combination products. Further, trials rarely investigate both the acute and chronic effects of consuming caffeine alongside these additional ingredients.

It may therefore be the case that where unconvincing acute effects of these combinations do exist, that longer term administration may result in more pronounced, or at least different, effects.

As such, where these unconvincing effects exist, it is probably too premature to discount them entirely. As an additional caveat, future research should undoubtedly be more representative of non-male participants. It seems likely that consuming pure anhydrous caffeine is the most impoverished method of delivering caffeine for the enhancement of either physical or psychological functioning.

However, more research is needed on a number of fronts. First, to disentangle the contributions of caffeine and the non-caffeine bioactive compounds in caffeinated products.

Second, to establish the optimal level of caffeine in caffeinated products, including the potential for additional caffeine to further enhance the functional benefits of low caffeine extracts. Finally, to explore the potential for caffeine to potentiate the benefits seen following multifarious other psychoactive phytochemicals that have not been meaningfully combined with caffeine to date.

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Brain exercises Enhances mental performance help boost and maintain brain Eating disorder risk factors. Memory pwrformance, learning new skills, crosswords, Blood sugar balance even Enhajces games may help. Although the brain gets plenty of exercise every day, certain activities may help boost brain function and connectivity. This in turn may help protect the brain from age-related degeneration. The brain is always active, even during sleep.

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