Cognitive Boost Routine | What I do on Days that I Film (Biohacking)

Cognitive Boost Routine | What I do on Days that I Film (Biohacking)

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Cognitive Boost Routine | What I do on Days that I Film (Biohacking)

Keep Blood Sugar Stable

Consuming high glycemic foods, such as refined sugars and carbohydrates, causes our blood sugar to rise rapidly

When blood sugar rises, insulin is released from the pancreas to move the sugar from the blood into the cells – this spike in insulin leads to a quick drop in blood sugar, leaving you feeling lethargic

Elevated Blood Sugar & Mental Clarity

Chronically high levels of blood glucose, has been linked to an elevated risk of dementia and a smaller hippocampus, a brain region critical for memory

In other words, higher levels of glucose are associated with a smaller hippocampus and worse memory

Cognitive problems often arise because amyloid plaque builds up in the brain, compromising brain function

HIIT for Mental Clarity

When you exercise, your muscle cells pump out a protein called FNDC5 – this protein, by fragmenting into a second component called irisin, ramps up production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor, or BDNF

It’s BDNF that stimulates the production of new neurons or nerve cells and actually helps your brain build new architecture – plus, BDNF protects nerve cells against damage, including damage related to aging

A study published in the journal PNAS found that in 120 older adults, that exercise increased the size of the anterior hippocampus, leading to improvements in spatial memory

Exercise increased hippocampal volume by 2%, effectively reversing age-related loss in volume by 1 to 2 years – increased hippocampal volume is associated with greater serum levels of BDNF

HIIT vs LISS – Study

A study published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise looked at the effects of HIIT vs LISS on BDNF levels in 15 volunteers

On separate days, two subsequent 30-min endurance rides were performed at 20% below the VTh (VTh – 20) and at 10% above the VTh (VTh + 10) (ventilatory threshold)

BDNF values increased from baseline after exercise at the VTh + 10 (13%) and the GXT (30%)

There was no significant change in BDNF from baseline after the VTh – 20. Changes in BDNF did not correlate with VO2max during the GXT, but they did correlate with changes in lactate

Cold Water Therapy

When exposed to cold showers, the sympathetic nervous system is activated, and the blood levels of beta-endorphin and noradrenaline is increased

Norepinephrine, an organic chemical that functions in the brain and body as a hormone that can help people feel happier, naturally is released in the brain as well

The cold water can also increase production of beta endorphins, or ‘feel good’ molecules that will give you a sense of wellbeing

Additionally, due to the high density of cold receptors in the skin, a cold shower sends an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain, which explains the immediate mood-lifting effect of immersion in cold showers is probably

The electrical impulses from peripheral nerve endings to the brain stimulates the dopaminergic transmission in the mesocorticolimbic and nigrostriatal pathway


1) Inflammatory Cytokines and BDNF Response to High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise: Effect the Exercise Volume. (n.d.). Retrieved from
2) Ferris LT , et al. (n.d.). The effect of acute exercise on serum brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels and cognitive function. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from
3) Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory. (2011, February 15). Retrieved from
4) Scientific Evidence-Based Effects of Hydrotherapy on Various Systems of the Body. (n.d.). Retrieved from
5) The Icy Benefits of Cold Showers To Your Mental Health. (n.d.). Retrieved from
6) Atkinson, M. (2016, November 14). How Cold Showers Can Change Your Brain And Boost Your Mental Health. Retrieved from
7) Higher brain glucose levels may mean more severe Alzheimer’s. (n.d.). Retrieved from
8) Immune-enhancing effects of Maitake (Grifola frondosa) and Shiitake (Lentinula edodes) extracts. (n.d.). Retrieved from
9) Mori K , et al. (n.d.). Nerve growth factor-inducing activity of Hericium erinaceus in 1321N1 human astrocytoma cells. – PubMed – NCBI. Retrieved from

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