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Ketosis Mental Performance

Your Brain On Ketones

Your Brain On Ketones

The modern prescription of high carbohydrate, low fat diets and eating snacks between meals has coincided with an increase in obesity, diabetes, and and increase in the incidence of many mental health disorders, including depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. In addition, many of these disorders are striking the population at younger ages. While most people would agree that diet has a lot to do with the development of obesity and diabetes, many would disagree that what we eat has much to do with our mental health and outlook. I believe that what we eat has a lot to do with the health of our brains, though of course mental illness (like physical illness) has multifactorial causes, and by no means should we diminish the importance of addressing all the causes in each individual. But let's examine the opposite of the modern high carbohydrate, low fat, constant snacking lifestyle and how that might affect the brain. The opposite of a low fat, snacking lifestyle would be the lifestyle our ancestors lived for tens of thousands of generations, the lifestyle for which our brains are primarily evolved. It seems reasonable that we would have had extended periods without food, either because there was none available, or we were busy doing something else. Then we would follow that period with a filling meal of gathered plant and animal products, preferentially selecting the fat. During the day we might have eaten a piece of fruit, or greens, or a grub we dug up, but anything filling or high in calories (such as a starchy tuber) would have to be killed, butchered, and/or carefully prepared before eating. Fortunately, we have a terrific system of fuel for periods of fasting or low carbohydrate eating, our body (and brain) can readily shift from burning glucose to burning what ar Continue reading >>

Whether You Want To Improve Your Athletic And Mental Performance, Lose Weight Or Improve Your Health And Wellbeing, We Have You Covered.

Whether You Want To Improve Your Athletic And Mental Performance, Lose Weight Or Improve Your Health And Wellbeing, We Have You Covered.

Just imagine if you could kick-start ketosis in your body anytime, anywhere…! PERFECT KETO – the most effective, best tasting, and most affordable exogenous ketone supplement on the market. Continue reading >>

The Best Ketosis Research: An N=1 Keto Experiment

The Best Ketosis Research: An N=1 Keto Experiment

Truth-be-told, I probably went a little overboard when explaining why I decided to ditch “paleo” . Yeah, I included a lot of words, and one hell of a fancy graph. But…after the article made a few rounds, I realized I was missing something important – I never mentioned my replacements for “paleo.” If you read my last article, you learned that I ditched paleo because, to me, it was more of an ideology, rather than a collection of rational thoughts. But, truthfully there isn’t really a clear consensus on what is officially considered “paleo.” In other words, you can’t actually measure the state of paleo. You can, however, debate about whether or not people long ago may have consumed foods that we now call “paleo” – but, that’s about it. You get my point? The truth is I didn’t want to be categorized, as a religious zealot due to my food choices anymore. Rather, I wanted to use rational thoughts, paired with the best information available, to choose a particular set of nutritional choices that could help me achieve my goals. I wanted…something that I could specifically measure and manage. I tried to decide what type of diet to follow, and suddenly it dawned on me – a ketogenic diet. “What! You just said those types of “diets” are bad!” Yes, you are right. Thank you for paying attention! However, ketosis isn’t an ideology or belief system, in and of itself. Ketosis is also not religious or opinion-based. So, what is it? Well, ketosis is science. More specifically, ketosis is a measurable state of metabolism. Literally. Therefore, there is no room for interpretation. So, either you have measurable amounts of ketones, floating around in your blood (used as a primary energy source) or you don’t. Plain and simple. But, really, you don Continue reading >>

The Effects Of The Ketogenic Diet On Behavior And Cognition

The Effects Of The Ketogenic Diet On Behavior And Cognition

Go to: Experimental animal findings Ketogenic diet and seizure models Application of the KD to multiple animal epilepsy models has demonstrated therapeutic effects, e.g. KDs can increase induced-seizure threshold, delay seizure development, attenuate seizure risk and decrease the seizure severity (Maalouf et al., 2009; Todorova et al., 2000; Xu et al., 2006; Mantis et al., 2004). While careful attention has been paid to the effects of KD upon seizure activity, less is known about its effects upon cognition. Neuroprotective capacity of the ketogenic diet Data are available that suggest that the KD has neuroprotective effects that could be applied beyond its treatment for epileptic conditions. Several studies have demonstrated that KDs can enhance cognitive function in both pathophysiological and normal healthy experimental animal systems (Appelberg et al., 2009; Xu et al., 2010). For example, KDs were able to improve the motor coordination and cognition recovery in young rats suffering from traumatic brain injury (Appelberg et al., 2009). Pro-cognitive and memory enhancement effects of KDs have been demonstrated in normal, healthy, aged rats and to a lesser extent in young rats, suggesting that age may not be a confound for KD use (Xu et al., 2010). In a murine model of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in which mice express a mutated human amyloid precursor protein (APP) transgene, KDs have been shown to attenuate the production and accumulation of the cytotoxic proteolytic products of APP, i.e. amyloid-β 40/42, that are thought to underlie the etiology of AD (Van dA et al., 2005). Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; Lou Gehrig’s disease), like AD, is a neurodegenerative disorder often linked to oxidative stress of neurons. Murine models of ALS, in which transgenic mice pos Continue reading >>

Ketosis Carbohydrates And The Brain – Q&a

Ketosis Carbohydrates And The Brain – Q&a

Question: I’ve been doing the CKD effectively. However, I have a major exam on Friday. Is there any effect on limited carbs on cognitive processes? Does limiting carbs ( 20g / day) have a negative effect or could it retard my performance on a major exam, i.e. MCATs, Series7, etc? Is there any study or suggestion you could give based on your research? Answer: First a quick definition for anyone who isn’t familiar with the abbreviation: as discussed in the Comparing the Diets Series , a CKD refers to a cyclical ketogenic diet. This is simply a diet that alternates between periods of very low-carbohydrate eating (typically 4-6 days) and very high-carbohydrate eating (1-3 days). Dan Duchaine’s Bodyopus, Mauro DiPasquale’s Anabolic Diet and my own Ultimate Diet 2.0 are all examples of CKD’s. My first book The Ketogenic Diet discusses CKD’s generally in mind-numbing detail. Now back to the question: does ketosis negatively impact on cognitive function? And the answer is one huge it depends. Certainly early studies found that, in the short-term (first 1-3 weeks), low-carbohydrate diets tend to cause some problems. For this reason short-term studies (usually a week long) tend to report decrements in a lot of things including cognitive performance. Empirically, as well, many report fatigue, lethargy and a sort of mental ‘fog’ until they adapt to the diet (the brain adjusts to using ketones for fuel over those first 3 weeks). I’d note that supplementing with sodium, potassium and magnesium seems to go a long way towards limiting or eliminating that feeling of fatigue. So, for most I certainly wouldn’t recommend starting a very low-carbohydrate/ketogenic diet right before some major test or cognitive challenge. Odds are it’s going to cause problems. But what Continue reading >>

Ketosis And Mental Performance

Ketosis And Mental Performance

To understand Ketosis and its effects on mental performance we first have to understand the underlying systems. By understanding how energy is formed and used we will have a foundation on which to build. For the sake of everyone's sanity we will try and keep this article as brief as possible, but we will have to dive into the world of biochem, so fair warning. What is ATP Lets start with Adenosine triphosphate (ATP), ATP is basically an energy currency. It is what every cell in your body needs to contract, excrete, move, function. Without it your heart would freeze up, your lungs wouldn't be able to contract and you would die, very quickly. How is ATP Formed When you eat food it is broken down into Fatty acids, Carbohydrates, and Proteins, and through a series of chemical reactions the Krebs cycle converts ADP to ATP. This of course is a very elementary version of what is actually going on. The figure below shows the Krebs cycle in its entirety and explains exactly how many ATP you acquire from one Molecule of Glucose. Glucose Break Down to ATP 1 Glucose Molecule -->(Glycolosis) = 2 Pyruvate 2 Pyruvates react with CoEnzyme A to form 2 molecules of Acytle CoA 2 Acytle CoA later go through Krebs cycle (Citric acid cycle) and release 38 ATP The main point to remember here is that one Glucose molecule will yield around 38 ATP, think of them as 38 batteries your body can use to move, and function. Fatty Acid Break down (Beta-Oxidation) We also derive ATP from Fatty acids, this is a bit more complicated, but after a series of steps, the fatty acid chain is broken up and made into acyl CoA which is dehydrated, rehydrated and made into Acytle CoA. Each Acytle CoA is run through Krebs Cycle where it is converted to ATP. This is a repetitive process and each time Acytle CoA enter Continue reading >>

How To Use The Ketogenic Diet For Productivity And Mental Performance

How To Use The Ketogenic Diet For Productivity And Mental Performance

Beginning in the 1920’s, the ketogenic diet, or “keto” diet — which involves eating mostly fat and protein as an energy source with low intake of carbohydrates — has been used by many for weight loss and in helping patients with diabetes or epilepsy. But there’s another less-talked about benefit of this diet: ketosis for mental performance. If you’re experiencing brain fog, lack of productivity, or poor mental performance, ketosis might be a solution for you. We’ll go over some of the ways ketosis can have a positive effect on cognition and may help you be more productive throughout your day. KETOSIS FOR MENTAL PERFORMANCE First, let’s start with a little refresher around ketosis and energy. The basis of the ketogenic diet is that it uses specially designed macronutrient balance to get a certain response from the body. Those on the keto diet eat normal amounts of protein, higher amounts of fat than the average person, and they keep their carbohydrate intake very low, less than 50 grams per day. When carb intake is this low, it triggers a response in the body that is similar to how it would act during starvation. Instead of simply utilizing glucose, the primary source of energy, the brains pulls from its alternative energy source: fat. But before fats can be used by the body, the liver has to first convert them to ketone bodies. Then, these ketone bodies are used as energy for the body and brain when there is lack of glucose. This is how ketosis works. Now that we’ve understood that, let’s talk about how ketosis might be used as an advantage for your mental state and productivity. KETONES IMPROVE BRAIN FUNCTION The standard Western diet is deficiency in many areas, including the very important essential fatty acids. This is detrimental to health bec Continue reading >>

A Deep Dive Into Ketosis: How Navy Seals, Extreme Athletes & Busy Executives Can Enhance Physical And Mental Performance With The Secret Weapon Of Ketone Fuel

A Deep Dive Into Ketosis: How Navy Seals, Extreme Athletes & Busy Executives Can Enhance Physical And Mental Performance With The Secret Weapon Of Ketone Fuel

Prepare to have your mind blown as today’s audio podcast with Dr. Dominic D’ Agostino takes a deep dive into ketosis – showing you how navy seals, extreme athletes and even busy executives can enhance physical and mental performance by using the secret weapon of ketones. During this interview with Dr. D’ Agostino, you’re going to discover… -Why extreme Navy Seals are using ketosis… -Can you get into ketosis by eating ketones (and still consuming high amounts of carbohydrates) instead of eating a high fat, low carb diet? -How ketosis can be used to control diseases such as cancer, Alzheimers, ALS… -The mechanism by which ketones can “juice up your brain”… -How ketosis can enhance blood vessel dilation and wound healing… -Whether the consumption of ketones is actually safe… -How to improve your oxygen efficiency with ketone intake… -Why ketones can be used to enhance mental performance and not just exercise function… -Practical ways you can use keto salts and ketones to enhance physical performance… -And much more! Dr. Dominic D’Agostino, PhD (pictured right) is an assistant professor at the University of South Florida College of Medicine. He teaches courses in molecular pharmacology and physiology, and maintains involvement in several studies researching metabolic treatments for neurological disorders such as seizures, Alzheimer’s, ALS, and cancer—all of which are metabolically linked. His entry in to this field began when, in 2007, the Office of Naval Research funded his study into seizures related to oxygen toxicity experienced by Navy SEAL divers using closed-circuit breathing apparatus. At this juncture, he came across the ketogenic diet, which has already been confirmed as an effective treatment for epilepsy and a variety of sei Continue reading >>

What Is A Ketone And Why It’s Essential To Peak Mental Performance

What Is A Ketone And Why It’s Essential To Peak Mental Performance

We hear about Ketones and how they are important and can contribute to our nutrition and exercise performance. A person who is diabetic must be careful and watch out his/her ketones in the urine. Patients with diabetes, are asked to reduce their carbohydrate intake and increase good fats in diet, with optimal proteins. Doing so decreases blood glucose therefore keeping blood sugar at an optimal level. Studies have now shown that ketogenic diets are also used to prevent and improve brain function, improve diabetes and prevent cancers. Therefore, we will be discussing what are ketones, how they are essential for mental, physiological and general performance. Ketones are the result of the body burning fat for energy or fuel. Ketones are an acid remaining when the body burns its own fat. The liver converts fatty acids taken from fats that we consume into ketones which are then released into the bloodstream for use as energy. It is normal to have a low level of ketones as ketones are produced whenever body fat is burned. Why are we discussing Ketones? Our body normally utilizes carbohydrates and its simplest form for energy called as glucose. When there is a low amount of glucose in the body and our blood sugar is low, body looks for an alternative source of energy that is ketones. This process can happen when a person is fasting, after prolonged exercise, during starvation, or when eating a low-carb, ketogenic diet. And when the body begins breaking down fats for energy, ketones are formed for use as fuel for the body and brain. This is known as ketosis. People following a ketogenic diet specifically reduce their carbohydrate intake for this reason: to create ketones for energy. Our bodies are not designed to break down fats or ketones, therefore we program our bodies to ut Continue reading >>

Combine Nootropics & Ketosis For Peak Performance

Combine Nootropics & Ketosis For Peak Performance

Ketosis describes a metabolic state where the level of ketones in your bloodstream elevate and the body burns fat for energy. Ketosis may sound like a strange and exotic phenomenon, but it is quite natural - humans evolved to use fat as energy. Nowadays this seems weird because we are over-consumers of carbohydrate and live sedentary lifestyles. A state in which we are never short of a carb refuel. The rule of thumb for Nutritional Ketosis is that caloric intake is determined as follows: Carbohydrate (total, not “net”): less than 50 gm/day, but ideally closer to 30 gm/day Protein: up to 1 to 1.5 gm/kg, but ideally below about 120 gm/day Fat: to satiety People enter ketosis through some combination of intermittent fasting, endurance training, carbohydrate avoidance, increased fat consumption or ketone supplementation. Ketosis & Nootropics for Peak Mental Performance On some level, the brain-boosting power of ketosis is intuitive. In the evolutionary context, an organism without an abundance of energy sources had to be sharper and more focused to survive. I contend that ketosis can give people 'empty stomach intelligence.' The body burns stored fat for energy. This is good because excess stored fat is linked to reduced memory capacity and impaired learning. Ketosis returns the body to an optimal state. Just like a car getting a tune-up. During ketosis, the body relies on ketones (broken down fatty acid molecules) for energy throughout the body, including the brain. Think of this as switching the body's fuel from low-octane carbohydrate-based glucose to the high-octane fatty fuel it evolved to run on. Clinical studies have found that ketosis improves cognitive abilities like memory and reduces symptoms of Alzheimer's and epilepsy. Subjective reporting from n=1 biohacke Continue reading >>

Diet-induced Ketosis Improves Cognitive Performance In Aged Rats.

Diet-induced Ketosis Improves Cognitive Performance In Aged Rats.

Abstract Aging is associated with increased susceptibility to hypoxic/ischemic insult and declines in behavioral function which may be due to attenuated adaptive/defense responses. We investigated if diet-induced ketosis would improve behavioral performance in the aged rats. Fischer 344 rats (3- and 22-month-old) were fed standard (STD) or ketogenic (KG) diet for 3 weeks and then exposed to hypobaric hypoxia. Cognitive function was measured using the T-maze and object recognition tests. Motor function was measured using the inclined-screen test. Results showed that KG diet significantly increased blood ketone levels in both young and old rats. In the aged rats, the KG diet improved cognitive performance under normoxic and hypoxic conditions; while motor performance remained unchanged. Capillary density and HIF-1alpha levels were elevated in the aged ketotic group independent of hypoxic challenge. These data suggest that diet-induced ketosis may be beneficial in the treatment of neurodegenerative conditions. Continue reading >>

The Ketogenic Diet

The Ketogenic Diet

As I’ve said many times before, I’m eating for ketosis. Here’s why I do the ketogenic diet and why you should go keto. What is it? It’s a low carb, high fat, moderate protein diet that makes your body use fat as a primary fuel source instead of glucose. There are a lot of benefits to being in ketosis and eating keto. I’ll go through them and give you the reasons why I do the ketogenic diet. #1 Burning Fat for Fuel The first most obvious advantage is that your body will begin to burn its own stored fat – that blubber around your waistline – as fuel. Ketosis isn’t magical and you still need to be in a caloric deficit to lose weight. But it’s much easier to do it on keto. How? Because being in ketosis produces ketone bodies – they’re fat molecules created by the liver – that give 25% more energy than glucose. This keeps your body and brain constantly satiated and reduces hunger quite significantly. The foods eaten on keto have a lot of fat, fiber, and protein, which are the most satiating macronutrients so you can easily undereat without even noticing it. But I’m not trying to lose weight. I’m building muscle and gaining strength but I still choose to do the ketogenic diet to do so. Why? #2 Enhanced Brain Power With Ketones Because ketones keep my brain energized. If I don’t get hungry and if I have constant mental energy, then I can direct that mental clarity into other things, such as writing, editing videos, reading or focusing on anything more important. For optimal cognitive performance, keto is probably the best diet out there because ketosis protects against inflammation and neurodegeneration. It’s used to treat epilepsy and Alzheimer’s as well. #3 More Energy on Keto The reason for this is increased mitochondrial density. The mitoc Continue reading >>

3 Reasons Why Keto Is Better For The Brain

3 Reasons Why Keto Is Better For The Brain

The rigors and stress of life often leads us astray when it comes to our diet. Whether it’s a lack of proper nutrients or consuming either too few or too many calories – this can put our bodies out of equilibrium. With a failure to maintain an equilibrium, the body’s energy levels decline and performance on day to day tasks can suffer. We also observe deterioration in more complex tasks. Plus, as we age, it becomes more important to maintain a balance to perform and succeed in daily life. The keto diet is the answer to this! We’ll go over three reasons why the ketogenic diet is great for you and your brain. Increased Energy A lack of energy is an all too familiar feeling for most of us. As many of us try to squeeze more time out of each day, we find ourselves constantly running on fumes, nearing the end of our “tank”. As each day passes, we progressively become more fatigued and sluggish – we see that our mental performance and physical drive declines. But, there’s good news! Research has shown that those who follow a ketogenic (ketone) based diet can develop an increase in mitochondrial function and a decrease in free radicals. (1) What does this mean for you? In a nutshell, the major role of mitochondria is to process the intake of food and oxygen and produce energy from that. An increase in the mitochondrial function equates to more energy for your cells – which leads to more energy for you. Free radicals are formed when oxygen interacts with certain molecules in the body. They are highly reactive and the danger comes from the damage they’re able do to our mitochondria. When this occurs, cells may function poorly or die. Reducing the production of free radicals can lead to better neurological stability and cellular performance, leading to more ene Continue reading >>

Ketones For Optimal Cognitive Performance And Deep Ketosis

Ketones For Optimal Cognitive Performance And Deep Ketosis

I’ve previously written about some experiments I’ve conducted involving ketosis, from intermittent fasting to longer five-day fasts and caloric restriction, to help my body kick-start production of ketones. However, in these cases getting into ketosis involved a lot of work so I was looking for ways to shortcut/“hack” the process. In recent years, exogenous ketone supplements have become very popular. They elevate blood-ketone levels without having to eat large amounts of fats, follow (excessively carbohydrate-restrictive) ketogenic diets, or fast constantly. These ketones (beta-hydroxybutyrate) come in two forms, ketone salts and ketone esters: Ketone Salts: While the body uses and makes BHB ketones salts naturally, in supplement form ketone salts are synthetically (lab) made compounds that combine sodium (and/or potassium, calcium, or magnesium) with BHB. The salt is used to raise the pH and make things less acidic. Currently, all ketone supplements on the market are made from ketone salts. While they raise ketone levels, most people will only experience mild nutritional ketosis (~0.6-1.0 mmol/L). Ketone Esters: These are not normally found in the body, but exogenous ketone esters convert into BHB once it is in the body. They are also synthetically (lab) made compounds that link an alcohol to a ketone body, which can then be metabolized by the liver into a ketone. They are like ketone salts on steroids as they have 5-10 time more BHB per serving/maximum daily intake than ketone salts. To date, pure ketone esters have been very expensive to produce and have only been available to researchers, elite athletes (Tour de France cyclists), and the US Department of Defense (people have spent more than $20,000 to have an independent lab produce a single serving!). A re Continue reading >>

Ketones: Using The Ancestral Brain Stack

Ketones: Using The Ancestral Brain Stack

Tim Ferriss has the ability to move markets. With hundreds of millions of podcast downloads and millions of book sales, it’s no wonder a small percentage become devotees in the cult of Ferriss. Even more impressive is the fervor to which they push an idea into the mainstream. When Ferriss interviewed researcher Dom D’Agostino about ketosis and exogenous ketones, it seemed like everyone was going from low-carb to no-carb. Today there are many products selling ketone salts to improve brain health and mental performance. Many of these products are well-intentioned, but the true effects of a ketogenic diet or ketones is still in the air. We’ll first provide a basic understanding of ketosis and exogenous ketones, then help you understand the benefits, and finally give a few words of wisdom before parting ways. A State of Ketosis In simplified terms, ketosis is a state in which the body’s energy comes from ketone bodies in contrast to blood glucose as is the norm. Usually, there are two types of ketogenic states to take advantage of: Starvation Nutritional Starvation The state of starvation sounds more harsh than it is. In reality, fasting (abstaining from eating for long periods) is a form of starvation and it only takes 24 – 72 hours for your body to start producing ketones for your brain to use. In a fasted state, the production of the ketone bodies will help your brain and body survive until food is consumed. This type of ketosis may cause the loss of muscle mass and comes with other benefits and side effects because no calories are being consumed. Nutritional The sate of nutritional ketosis is different than starvation mode. Instead of eating no food, this consists of eating very certain foods. In a ketogenic diet, one consumes copious amounts of fatty acids an Continue reading >>

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