Monday, March 12, 2007

How to naturally mimic the effects of stimulants to improve concentration | smartkit Brain Enhancement News

How to naturally mimic the effects of stimulants to improve concentration | smartkit Brain Enhancement News

Catecholamines are a special category of brain chemicals used for neurotransmission. They include epinephrine, norepinephrine, and dopamine.

Unfortunately, however, these drugs often have very harmful side effects (both long- and short-term), and taking them can sometimes result in death. What most people don’t realize is that there is a much safer, more natural way to boost brain catecholamines: Acute Bouts of Aerobic Exercise.

Both stimulants and aerobic exercise exert similarly powerful effects on: norepinephrine, dopamine, and epinephrine. There is quite a bit of evidence in the scientific literature to back this up. [see References 1-6 below].

Since it is widely believed that the beneficial effects of stimulants stem from their ability to boost catecholamines in the brain, it certainly makes sense that aerobic exercise would produce these same beneficial effects (dramatic increases in mental energy and concentration). Is there any direct evidence to support the idea that aerobic exercise actually enhances cognition? Absolutely:
“Acute exercise can improve learning and mental performance.”[Reference 7]
“Acute bouts of exercise selectively facilitate multiple cognitive processes; exercise can, under certain conditions, enhance response speed and response accuracy, and it can facilitate cognitive processes that are central to problem-solving and goal-oriented action.”[Reference 8]
“Exercise produces a condition during which individuals are able to perform both simple and complex tasks rapidly and efficiently.”[Reference 8]
“Acute bouts of exercise improve the ability to block irrelevant information and to select and respond to task-relevant information.”[Reference 9,10] (Note: This is the basis of concentration)
“Recent studies have provided the research community with clear support for an improvement of cognitive performance during exercise”[Reference 11]

So yes, it’s true. One of the most powerful nonpharmacologic ways to boost your ability to concentrate and focus while studying is to exercise aerobically beforehand.

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