This is a post with some ideas that have been bouncing around in my head about things we can do to optimize our state of mind for competitions, by optimizing our body. As I don’t plan to compete, I decided to share them so they might possibly benefit others that do plan to compete. First things first: Always do a test(or several) to see what works best, at what timing, and how much of an improvement it gives.
Also, this is obviously only for those on the elite level(except for juicing, that’s for everyone), and should only be used after optimizing the big three areas, sleep, eating, exercise.
And of course, the standard warning: Don’t try this at home, if you try anything make sure it’s under the supervision of a qualified physician, if you don’t consult a physician you may die… Make sure to research everything thoroughly
1. Juicing. No, not steroids, but juicing fruits and vegetables to extract most of their nutrients in a concentrated form. Juicing is a very efficient way of getting your fruits and vegetables into your system. Some have compared it to basically injecting nutrients straight into your veins. Because the juice is so concentrated, and there is no fiber and such, it’s basically optimized for absorption by your body. You can supercharge your body with nutrients.
Only small drawback is that it costs a couple hundred dollars for a good juicer, but it’s an investment in your health. I have no doubt it would increase performance. If you go on a juice fast(3-7 days), you will feel worse for the first day, but after that you start feeling amazing. I forget the exact term, but basically, all the toxins leaving your body are causing you to feel bad. If you wish, experiment, see if it works, when it works best, etc.
Also, always try to “juice the rainbow”, as different colors allegedly represent different antioxidants.
2. Fasting. After around 20 hours of not eating(for me), I have an extremely clear state of mind, which some justify as your body not having to focus on digestion, and can just focus on performance. Here is an interesting article. Sadly, this cannot be combined with #1(well, unless your last meal is a huge home-made juice out of a rainbow of colored vegetables, which actually sounds fantastic).
The “after-lunch slump” could also be avoided by simply restricting carbohydrates.
Read leangains for more info on fasting.
3. Pre-memorization routine. Establish a rigorous routine before memorization to help prepare your mind-body for memorization. I personally have found this useful for working out; having the exact same routine(ie: first stretch lower body, then upper, then do body-squats, then pull-ups, etc) works very well for getting into the right mindset. If you’re distracted, nervous, etc, you will usually stop if you have a routine, because that routine is such a deep trench in your mind, such a powerful nerve pathway, that it’s very difficult to not go down it once you start.
4. Supplements. I usually discourage supplements for memory, but if you’re planning on competing, they can be beneficial. First thing; make sure they all work on different neural pathways, or by different mechanisms. Each mechanism usually has a ceiling to which it can be improved, after which it’s either negative to improve it, or nothing changes. So, if one supplement is a stimulant, you want to learn the optimal amount of it to take for best improvements, and you don’t want to take another stimulant with it. Some other pathways to consider; Increased blood flow to the brain, increased glucose content in blood, increased nutrient absorption in the brain efficiency, more oxygen in blood, increased neuroplasticity, etc.
Comments, questions, ideas, etc, welcome.
More may come later.