We speak a lot here at the Trading Edge about nootropics supplementation. However as I’ve expressed elsewhere on this blog I firmly believe that a solid diet, health and lifestyle choices are the foundation upon which we can build our supplement stack. To that end I thought it would be very appropriate to have an article that discusses the foundational aspects of supplementation, specifically that you’re getting your micronutrients in order.
I would like to thank Mans Denton over at thehackedmind.com for contributing this timely article. Go check out his site and podcast if you haven’t before, there are some gems worth gleaming over there.
Now onto the guest post –
Getting Started with Micronutrients
Traders and professionals looking for cognitive enhancement are eager to try the latest nootropics and smart drugs. Media depictions of smart drugs have changed the way that people view these brain enhancing compounds, but they can be extremely useful nonetheless.
Although nootropic compounds are incredibly useful, many people could benefit from using micronutrients that improve brain chemistry and performance. Even though it may seem glamorous to look for the latest nootropic compounds, many of the essential micronutrients are more evidence based and they definitely are easy wins.
If you live in a northern climate or you have dark skin, there is a good chance you are not getting enough vitamin D. This sunlight vitamin is imperative for a healthy mind; recent studies show that serotonin synthesis and regulation are modulated with vitamin D.
You can try to incorporate more fish and marine life into your diet, but the easiest way for you to get vitamin D is through a fish oil supplement. Many omega-3 or fish oil supplements will also have 1-5000 IU of vitamin D, which should be enough to get your levels up to optimal!
Those looking for an edge know the power of exercise, but that can also lead to magnesium depletion. A lack of magnesium reduces your body’s ability to generate ATP at the cellular level, which means you can work for less time and with less quality. More importantly, magnesium can improve your relaxation at night and sleep quality so you get more efficient and better rest.
Getting enough leafy green vegetables and nuts may be difficult for some people and a busy schedule. It makes sense to take a magnesium supplement in some cases especially if you sweat a lot. Try to get glycinate and L-threonate as they are the most bioavailable.
The neurotransmitter acetylcholine is imperative for proper brain function and the dietary precursor is choline. This micronutrient is great for improving memory, enhancing the neuro protective aspects of your brain, and in some cases even improving mood and mental energy.
Unless you are eating organ meats or a lot of eggs, you probably do not get enough choline in your diet. While the diet is obviously the first place to look for choline, there are some choline supplements that are very efficient as well.
A lot of people consider things like potassium to be the most important for optimal performance, but zinc is also necessary. Without zinc there are many enzymes that the body cannot properly regulate, which prevent you from having healthy reactions. Breaking down toxins and increasing certain brain chemicals cannot happen without the right amount of zinc!
The B-vitamins are important for health, but not all of them should be supplemented. If you are a vegetarian or vegan, B12 supplementation is a good idea, but otherwise it is unnecessary. Folate (B9) supplementation is a good idea only if you do not get enough in your diet; folic acid is the supplement, which does not have the same effect on the body as folate found in food. If you are deficient, the supplements will help, but if you over-do it there are negative health consequences. Too much of a good thing can also be a bad thing!
Most people are deficient in micronutrients, which is causing significant brain related problems. By fixing some of these basic dietary related micronutrient deficiencies, there is a good chance you could improve your overall brain health and perform more efficiently and remain happier.