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How Can You Keep A Healthy Mind?

How can you keep a healthy mind? Our forum members share tips and supplements that will support a healthy mind and promote greater success in the gym. A detailed list of supplements and more can be found right here!

By: Topic Of The Week


TOPIC: How Can You Keep A Healthy Mind?

The Question:

It's not the number one concern for bodybuilders, but maybe it should be. The mind is what keeps us dedicated, strong and fierce.

How can you keep a healthy mind?

What are some everyday tips for keeping a healthy mind?

What are the best supplements for mind health?
Which are best for memory?
Which are best for stress reduction?

Why would one want to use supplements for mind health?

Show off your knowledge to the world!

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1st Place - Mtguy8787
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

It's not the number one concern for bodybuilders, but maybe it should be. The mind is what keeps us dedicated, strong and fierce.


How Can You Keep A Healthy Mind?

Long before the dawn of modern science, people have known that the mind is a powerful thing, and that it can have a powerful influence on the body and the physical world. Martial artists of the ancient world, as well as the modern world understood this. Until recently, anyone who suggested that the mind & the physical world were connected would have been dismissed.

Now, science is beginning to show what many people have known all along. Studies are showing that emotions can have a significant effect on health. Other work is showing that the mind can directly affect physical performance of the body.

In one study, subjects were able to increase the strength of their finger muscles with no exercise at all, merely by regularly focusing their mind on increasing finger strength. After the trial, subject who performed resistance exercise increased strength by up to 30%. Some of the subjects who only concentrated with their mind increased strength by up to 22%!

Keeping a healthy mind takes work. Just as many people are not willing to exercise and eat properly to maintain a lean body, many are not willing to do what it takes to maintain a strong mind and healthy brain.

There are 2 main aspects of keeping a healthy mind. The first involves physical care through healthy eating and nutrient supplementation. The other part consists of non-physical aspects that have just as important a role in keeping a healthy mind and brain. These consist of activities to exercise the neural pathways in the brain, as well as activities too.


Nutrition For The Brain

The brain is by far the most complex part of the body, and contains thousands, if not millions of different kinds of cells, chemicals, and compounds. Thus, getting top quality nutrition is key to maintaining a healthy brain. A healthy brain will affect every other part of the body, including muscle activity. Having a healthy brain is also key to staying sharp and maintaining mental focus.

Vitamins, Minerals, & Other Micronutrients:

    Nutrition is a major component of brain health. Bodybuilding nutrition and nutrition for the body and brain are similar, but often very different.

    Most people have heard of trace minerals, b-vitamins, vitamin C, or vitamin A. Many of these well known nutrients are known to be specifically important in brain activity. There are also dozens of other less known nutrients that are being found to play an important role.

    New nutrients are being discovered almost daily. Many compounds that were previously thought to have little role in the body are now being shown to play important, if not essential roles.

    Twenty or thirty years ago, it was believed that the only nutrients necessary for health were vitamins A, C, D, E, the B-vitamins, the basic minerals, and a few others. Other nutrients that were known at the time were dismissed as being relatively unimportant. Now there are a host of important nutrients that have been discovered, and as time passes, a host more will be identified.

    What is the point of all this? There are numerous vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, phytonutrients, and other compounds that are important for the body, specifically brain health. It would be almost impossible to supplement with every one of these, and even if one did, there would still be many, many more undiscovered, although important nutrients.

    Vitamins & Minerals:

    More information on nutritional foods & supplements is given further below.

Stimulating The Brain Cells:

    Many people exercise their muscles, but few exercise their brain. With video games, television, and other activities that require minimal mental activity becoming the choice of activity, 'mental fitness' seems to have declined as rapidly as obesity has risen.

    Mentally challenging or creative activities stimulate brain cells, much in the way that exercise stimulates muscle cells. This strengthens the neurotransmitters, the connections between the cells, and will go a long way towards keeping a sharp mind.

    Thought processes within the brain are spit into two categories known as left brain dominant, and right brain dominant. The left brain thought processes include ones such as: logic, rationalization, analytical thinking, and mathematical thinking.

    The right brain processes are more geared towards, creative thinking, creative problem solving, intuitive thinking etc. It is a very good idea to engage in activities from both categories on a regular basis.

    Left Brain Activities:

    • Crossword puzzles
    • Sudoku or other number puzzles
    • Logic problems or puzzles
    • Brain Teasers
    • Trivia quizzes
    • Analyzing information

    Right Brain Activities:

    • Creative art
    • Writing
    • Poetry
    • Activities that require visually discerning colors, shapes, dimensions, and hidden objects.
    • Intuitive & abstract thinking
    • Reading

    Here is a popular right brain test. A person with a developed right brain will be able to spot the hidden image almost immediately.

    nynerd.com/test-your-right-brain/


Tips
What Are Some Everyday Tips For Keeping A Healthy Mind?

Clean Living:

    A clean lifestyle will have a major impact on the health & state of your mind. Partying, while fun, will take its toll on the health of your brain & mind. Each time alcohol is consumed in intoxicating amounts, brain cells are destroyed. Some of these cells may even be irreplaceable.

    Alcohol:

    A common theme with most people who are highly successful, both in their careers, as well as personal life, is that they maintain at least a certain degree of clean living. Now, I am not talking about anybody who simply makes a lot of money and has a nice car - hence being successful in their personal life. Many of the most successful actors make millions, but are complete failures in their personal life.

    Replace these activities with ones that will actually help you to achieve goals in life. Trying new hobbies, doing outdoor/nature activities, volunteer work, joining a club or group of people with similar interests.

Experience The Outdoors/Nature:

    Hiking, backpacking, river trips, fishing, or any other outdoor/wilderness activities are excellent for maintaining a healthy mind. I live in a place where I am able to do all of these activities regularly, and it never gets old.

    If you live in a big city, plan a trip a few times a year to get out into nature. There is just something about being out in nature, either along or with friends, that has a powerful affect on the mind. People from big cities who I have taken on day trips into the mountains have told me that it was the most amazing experiences they had ever had.

    I have even been told it was one of the most relaxing, despite the sweating & muscle soreness. Perhaps it is the peacefulness & tranquility. Perhaps it is the sounds. Or maybe it is the sunlight. Or maybe a combination of all the above. Whatever it is, I would rate this as one of the top ways to help relieve stress & maintain a healthy mind.

    If you have never been on such an experience, plan one. You may have to drive a ways, but it will be well worth it. A week long trip makes for an excellent change in summer activities. Go for a day hike when the whether is nice. Eat lunch by a creek or on a mountainside. If you go camping, bring a comfortable chair, a few good books, and just relax.

Laughter:

    Genuine laughter is something that everyone should do regularly, or at least be able to easily do. Laughter is a way of expressing and releasing emotions. Science is now clearly showing that emotions have a strong physical effect on the body & health.

    Laugh
    Click Image To Enlarge.
    Genuine Laughter.

    If you find it hard to laugh when the situation arises, find a way to do so. This may be a sign of pent-up emotions, built up stress, or a number of other things. Just try not to be someone who laughs at anything & everything. Genuine laughter & expressing those emotions is a good thing. Frequent, fake laughter is just plain annoying.

Try Different Forms Of Exercise:

    Most people reading this article are probably familiar with weight training & bodybuilding workouts. However, there are many other benefits to be had from form of exercise such as yoga, classic forms of martial arts, and outdoor exercise. In addition to promoting greater circulation to the brain, trying various types of exercise can also benefit your state of mind in many ways.

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Stay Hydrated:

    Most people don't drink enough water. Many people who think they drink enough water do not drink enough water. Most of you reading this are probably aware of the need to consume protein regularly, all day. Well, water is another one of those things that needs to be consumed regularly.

    Water:

    Drink more water, and once you are sure you are consuming enough, drink a bit more to be sure. Also keep in mind that electrolyte minerals are a part of retaining water. If you always have to urinate minutes after drinking water, you are most likely deficient in one of more of the electrolyte minerals - barring some sort of bladder or kidney disorder.

Eat Plenty Of Fruits & Vegetables:

    Most people don't get nearly enough of these either. There are many nutrients that can only be found in plant sources. If you don't eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and/or green powder supplements, chances are you're missing out on some pretty important nutrients, including ones essential for brain & mind health.

Eat All Your Colors:

    This sounds like a silly phrase that one would say to a child. In fact, it is a useful phrase to remember. Raw fruits & vegetables contain different types of phytonutrients. Different types produce different colors in the skins & flesh of these foods. By eating a wide variety of colors, you will be getting the best variety of nutrients.

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Use Nutritional Supplements:

    It can be hard to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. They may not be available at times, or you may just not like them. Nutritional supplements can help to fill the gap. Even if you are eating plenty, they can still be beneficial. The best type of nutritional supplement in my opinion is a green powder blend. More details are given below.


Supplements
What Are The Best Supplements For Mind Health?

Greens Powder Blends:

    Certain vegetable & other plant powders contain huge amounts of nutrients, many of which are not contained in man made supplements. New nutrients are being found in many of these substances all the time. In my opinion, a good greens powder blend is the best multi-vitamin, multi-mineral, and multi-nutrient supplement you can take. Taking such a supplement is almost guaranteed to improve brain/mind health by giving your body a huge array of valuable nutrients.

    Some of the best ingredients to look for are:

Multi Vitamins:

    Taking a multi vitamin packet is a good way to meet your basic vitamin/mineral needs. However, as discussed before, there are dozens, if not hundreds of nutrients that are not included in man-made vitamin supplements.

    The best sources of these nutrients are usually foods, often fruits and vegetables. So do not think that because you take a multi vitamin you are getting everything you need.

    View Multivitamins Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

Essential Fatty Acids:

    The essential fatty acids omega-3 and omega-6 are important for numerous aspects of health, performance, and brain health. They are essential components of many neurotransmitters and cell-signaling compounds used in the brain.

    Most people get little/no omega-3, and that can have a huge impact on health & performance. The typical diet contains a very large amount of omega-6. Both are important, but omega-3 is the one that most people severely lack.

    There are a few sub-categories of omega-3. They abbreviated at EPA, DHA, and ALA. EPA and DHA are found in fish, while ALA is found in plant sources. Both are good, but it is a good idea to get a blend of both in the diet. ALA can be converted to EPA/DHA, but the efficiency at which it can do this is debated. Some sources say that only 10% of ALA is converted to EPA/DHA.

    The best sources of omega-3 acids are:

    View EFA Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

Trace Minerals:

    There are major minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and sodium, which are all essential to the body. However, there are many other minerals which are also very important, just in trace amounts. It can be hard to supplement these, due to absorbability, as well as the 'trace mineral' factor. It is easy to overdose with a man-made supplement when the amount needed is only a few millionths of a gram!

    There is a natural supplement which contains most, if not all of the trace minerals needed. Unrefined sea salt contains over 70 trace elements for the body to use. This makes it an excellent supplement for health, as well as performance.

    I usually take 1-2 teaspoons with water before working out. If you are able to eliminate much of the sodium found in food, and replace it with pure sea salt, it would be a good idea for just about everyone. Keep in mind that sea salt does not contain iodine, which is an important mineral. Many sea foods, including seaweeds, are rich in iodine.

    There are also many trace mineral supplements available. The best ones usually come in liquid form. A good supplement will contain many trace minerals, often as many as 30 or 40.


Which Are Best For Memory?

Ginkgo Biloba:

    Ginkgo Biloba is a fairly well known supplement today. It has been used by ancient civilizations, and is being used by modern civilizations today. It is an herb - a large tree to be exact. The leaves are the part used. Ginkgo helps to increase circulation to the brain, which is an important part of brain/mind health. All the nutrients in the world would not do any good if they did not reach the area where they were needed.

    There are many ginkgo biloba supplements of the market today. Personally, I feel that 99% of these are of inferior quality. This is partly due to money - companies use cheaper, inferior herbs and/or use less herb than is stated. This herb is effective, but the majority of products are not. I believe the best way to use this is by making a tea.

    Leaves can be ordered in bulk, or sometimes purchased locally. Look for green leaves; I have seen many stores which sell brown ones, which will be far inferior. To make a tea, simply steep the leaves in the hot water, the same way you would with any other tea. A mesh tea ball is cheap, and is excellent for the job.

    View Ginkgo Biloba Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

Choline:

    Choline is not defined as a vitamin, but it is an important nutrient for brain health. It can be synthesized in small amounts, but for optimum health, one should consume it in the diet, or supplement it if foods are unavailable.

    Choline is an important component of a compound known as acetylcholine, which serves an essential function as neurotransmitters. It is also a key component of two other compounds used in cell signaling. It is also an important part of the nervous system's ability to signal muscle tissue.

    The recommended daily intake for choline is approximately 550 mg for adolescent and adult males, and between 400 and 425 mg for women. There are a few good food sources of choline. Choline in foods is usually found as phosphatidyl choline, which is a precursor for the actual nutrient. Phosphatidyl choline only contains 13% choline.

    These amounts represent the approximate amount of actual choline that can be extracted from the phosphatidyl choline.

    • Beef liver, or other liver - 355 mg per 3 oz serving
    • Wheat Germ - 172 mg per cup
    • Eggs - 155 mg each (varies with size)
    • Cod - 71 mg per 3 oz serving
    • Salmon - 56 mg per 3 oz serving

    Choline Supplements:

      Choline supplements usually contain choline in the form of salts. Supplements are also found in the form of phosphatidyl choline. Remember that this form is only 13% choline, so you would have to take 769 mg of this supplement to get 100 mg of choline.

    Side Effects:

      Supplementing with 7.5-16 grams or more of choline salts may cause a fishy body odor, vomiting, and increased sweating. It may also cause a drop in blood pressure. These side effects are not usually present when taking phosphatidyl choline supplements, which is the form of choline found in most foods.

    View Choline Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

Phosphatidyl Serine:

    Phosphatidyl serine is a major component of cell-to-cell communication in the brain. Synthesis in the body requires sufficient amounts of folate, vitamin b-12, and the omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids. Soybeans are the main dietary source of this nutrient.

    View Phosphatidyl Serine Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

Food Sources Of Folate:

  • Chicken Liver
  • Beef Liver
  • Soybeans
  • Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Spinach
  • Avocados
  • Wheat Germ

Food Sources Of Vitamin B-12:

  • Beef liver (very high)
  • Salmon & trout (moderately high)
  • Most red meats
  • Other types of fish (much less than salmon and trout)
  • Fortified foods

Sources Of Essential Fatty Acids:


Which Are Best For Stress Reduction?

There are many supplements that can aid with stress relief and relaxation. These include both man made ones, and herbal supplements. It is my opinion that in most cases, herbal choices are the superior choice. Man made supplements of this sort can have many more side-effects. Some would say that the side effects of these herbs are unknown. However, these herbs have been used for thousands of years. They are what our bodies are designed to handle.

Peppermint/Spearmint:

    Sometimes the simplest choice is the best. Mints are a classic herb for reducing stress and relaxing the body. A tea is the best way to go, and is easy to make. Simply place the herb into a coffee strainer or a mesh tea ball, and steep in hot water until the desired strength is reached. The fresh plant makes a better tasting tea, but dries leaves will work as well.

Valerian:

    Valerian has a strong calming/sedative effect on the nervous system. It is excellent for relaxation or as a sleep aid. In my opinion, this is probably one of the best nerve calming, stress relief and/or sleep aid herbs there is!

    The root is the part that is used. An extract or a tea can be used. A tea is a far better choice than a commercial extract, in my opinion. Drinking a cup/several cups of tea is also much more relaxing than popping a few pills.

    A tea will have a strong, distinct flavor which often requires some getting used to. Honey or stevia sweetener can be added to mask the flavor. Again, a mesh tea ball is perfect for steeping the root. Keep in mind that roots usually take longer to steep than leaves do.

    View Valerian Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

St. Johns Wort:

    St. Johns Wort is a shrub. The flowers are the useable part. This herb has a calming effect on the nervous system, as well as a blood purifying effect. This can be used in an extract or a tea. As with all the other herbs, a tea is easy to make with this. Just fill a mesh bag, and steep for several minutes. Honey or stevia sweetener can be added if desired.

    View St. Johns Wort Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.


Why Use Supplements
Why Would One Want To Use Supplements For Mind Fealth?

Using the right nutritional supplements is an excellent way to ensure that your body gets the nutrients it needs. Nutrient deficiency is common - much more common than most people think. Many of these nutrient deficiencies do not have acute, rapid side effects, so a shortage is rarely noticed. This does not mean that they are insignificant, however.

Ensuring that you get all of the nutrients your body needs is essential for maintaining a healthy brain, mental focus & clarity, and a good memory. So even if you feel 'fine', you will still be better off by using the nutritional supplements listed.

Supplements which directly enhance brain function are proven to work. These herbs have been used for thousands of years, and have stood the test of time. It is important to remember that many of the herbal products on the market are incredibly inferior.

In 9 times out of 10, the best option is to simply make a tea using the raw herb. I have used these herbs in tea format, and have seen excellent results. I have used brand-name extracts, and have failed to see any of those same results.

Supplements to calm the nerves and mind can save the day in many situations. When you arrive home, stressed out, and unable to focus on anything, a cup of nerve-soothing tea can be the perfect remedy. The herbal supplements listed can also serve as effective sleep aids, without the side-effects of many commercial sleep aides.

Referenced Materials:

  1. lpi.oregonstate.edu
  2. www.whfoods.com
  3. www.supplementnews.org
  4. www.mayoclinic.com
  5. www.rawfoodlife.com
  6. www.ota.com
  7. www.funderstanding.com
  8. www.indiaparenting.com
  9. en.wikipedia.org


2nd Place - LJ57
View This Author's BodySpace Here.


A Healthy Mind
How Can You Keep A Healthy Mind? What Are Some Everyday Tips For Keeping A Healthy Mind?

Nutrition plays a key role in the health of the mind and thorough attention should be paid to it in order to promote mental functioning. Different foods and nutrients can effect neurotransmitters in a variety of ways.

Carbohydrates can have a calming effect and reduce levels of anxiety. Protein can provide you with a physical and mental energy boost. Foods rich in essential fatty acids, such as fish and almonds, can increase focus, memory, and even combat depression. It is important, however, to eat a balanced diet that gives your mind and body all the nutrients it needs to function optimally.

Choose healthy proteins such as fish, complex carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, and good fats such as those that come from fish, almonds, and avocados. Avoid sugar and simple carbohydrates that will not give you the sustained mental and physical energy you need. Add some whole grain foods and leafy green vegetables to your diet and you will be well on your way to creating a much healthier mind and body.

Laughter may indeed be the best medicine according to many researchers. Laughter can lead to a decrease in the stress hormone cortisol, which leads to lowered stress levels, and improve overall health in general.

It is estimated that children laugh about 400 times per day while adults laugh only 25 times per day. Watching funny movies, stand up comedy, or just telling jokes with friends can be of great benefit in keeping the mind and body healthy.

Exercise is not only good for the body, but is also very beneficial for the health of the mind. Aerobic exercise can promote relaxation, reduce stress, and even increase one's ability to concentrate. It is known to boost blood flow to the brain due to its ability to increase circulation. If you feel stressed, angry, or in a negative state of mind, cardiovascular exercise can quickly help alleviate the problem.

Another form of exercise, sometimes referred to as "neurobics", can also help keep the mind healthy. Neurobic exercise involves activities that keep the mind active and involved in intense concentration and focus.

Word games, chess, and puzzles are all forms of mental exercise that can help you keep your brain functioning at peak performance. Just as you employ exercise for physical improvement, you can use it for mental performance as well.

Relaxation is very important for mind health. Studies on relaxation and its effects have been carried out since the 1960's and reveal that it can be a great tool for physical, emotional, and mental health. There are a variety of means for inducing relaxation including meditation, deep breathing, and visualization.

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If you prefer a simple method of relaxation that can be done conveniently and without long periods of training then deep breathing provides a great method. Find a quiet place to sit comfortably or lie down. Try clearing your mind of all thoughts and breathe deeply through your nose.

Allow your abdomen to rise on the inhalation. Exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat this for 15-20 minutes per day and you will soon notice the benefits of being deeply relaxed. Concentrating on your breath will help keep your mind focused while minimizing the intrusion of mundane thoughts that may try to occupy your mind.

Try taking supplements that have a good track record of enhancing the health of the mind. The supplements described later in this article will improve mind health in a variety of ways. They can help reduce stress, improve memory and cognitive function, and elevate mood in addition to many other benefits.

Before trying one or more of these supplements, you should ensure that you are taking a high quality multiple vitamin/mineral. This is a prerequisite for anyone concerned with mind health.


Supplements
What Are The Best Supplements For Mind Health?

SAM-e:

    SAM-e, a derivative of the amino acid methionine, has been successfully used to treat depression. SAM-e is prescribed more for depression in Italy than pharmaceutical anti-depressants.

    Unlike anti-depressants, though, SAM-e works very quickly; often within just a few days of starting it. Although safe and effective, anyone suffering from bipolar disorder should consult with their physician before using SAM-e.

    View SAMe Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

St. John's Wort:

    St. John's Wort, also known as hypericum, is an herb that works as an anti-depressant and also helps reduce anxiety. This supplement has been thoroughly researched and prescribed in Europe, and in fact it accounts for over fifty percent of the anti-depressant market there. St. Johns Wort does not begin working overnight and may take 4-6 weeks before there is a noticeable effectiveness.

    View St. Johns Wort Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

Tryptophan:

    Tryptophan is an effective anti-depressant and sleep aid. Tryptophan became a banned supplement after a contaminated batch led to the result of several deaths in 1988. It is now available again from many companies as a high purity supplement.

    Tryptophan works much like anti-depressants but without the adverse side effects. It converts directly to serotonin while anti-depressants work by blocking the reuptake of serotonin at synapses in the brain.


Which Are Best For Memory?

Fish Oil:

    Fish oil may prove to be the most important of all supplements for improving memory and mental function. In fact, there is now a prescription fish oil supplement that doctors can prescribe to their patients. Although overpriced and no more effective than commercial fish oil products, the fact that it has become a prescription supplement illustrates the importance that even the medical establishment now acknowledges.

    Eicosapenraenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) are the two components of fish oil that are responsible for the many health benefits it delivers. Together they make fish oil a beneficial supplement for improving memory and ability to concentrate.

    View Fish Oil Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

Ginkgo Biloba:

    Ginkgo biloba, the world's longest living tree, has been used for thousands of years in China to improve memory and concentration. Glycosides and terpene lactones are the two components of Ginkgo that impart its medical benefits. Extracts from the leaves of this tree are used to increase circulation, improve mental functioning, and prevent memory problems.

    View Ginkgo Biloba Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

Huperzine A:

    Huperzine A is extracted from a moss plant that grows in China. As a supplement, Huperzine A can increase the neurotransmitter acetylcholine by preventing its breakdown. This leads to better memory and concentration ability.

Vinpocetine:

    Vinpocetine is derived from the periwinkle plant and has been used as a prescription treatment for increasing cognitive function in people with cerebrovascular disorders. Studies have shown that it increases circulation to the brain, dilates blood vessels, and improves oxygen utilization. Vinpocetine can easily cross the blood-brain barrier and lead to improvements in memory and concentration.

    View Vinpocetine Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.


Which Are Best For Stress Reduction?

Bacopa Monnieri:

    Bacopa Monnieri is an Ayurvedic herb from India that has a wide range of cognitive enhancing benefits. Used for over 3,000 years, it improves memory, concentration, and has even been shown to lessen stress-induced anxiety. Bacosides, two substances found in Bacopa, can assist in the repair of damaged neurons.

Holy Basil:

    Holy Basil is an Ayurvedic herb that has been used in India for millennia. It is widely used to combat stress and control blood sugar. Although this supplement has only been on the American market for a few years, the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Many users report less stress and an improved sense of well-being from taking Holy Basil.

Kava:

    Kava has been traditionally used by natives in the Pacific islands for thousands of years. Consumed as a beverage in these cultures, kava promotes relaxation and reduced levels of stress, as well as improving the quality of sleep.

    Unfortunately, kava has gotten a bad reputation over the last few years due to the fact that liver toxicity has been attributed to its use. The truth, however, is that this supplement is very safe and effective when used properly.

    The problem with toxicity is believed to have been caused by use of the aerial leaves and stems of the plants in cheaper kava products. The root, however, is entirely safe and even contains the antioxidant glutathione which helps protect liver cells. It is important to note, however, that kava should never be consumed prior to driving or performing any task that could be considered dangerous.

    View Kava Kava Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

L-theanine:

    L-theanine is an amino acid found in green tea. Green tea has always been reputed to have the ability to induce relaxation. It is has been discovered that L-theanine is the substance in this green tea responsible for this.

    It promotes relaxation without causing the drowsiness associated with many sedatives. It has been demonstrated that L-theanine crosses the blood-brain barrier and increase alpha brain waves which are associated with deep relaxation.

    View L-Theanine Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

L-tyrosine:

    The amino acid L-tyrosine has a solid track record of being extremely effective for reducing stress, enhancing the body's ability to cope with stress, and improving cognitive ability.

    In fact, the United States Army has researched this amino acid for its ability to assist soldiers in performing under stressful circumstances such as sleep deprivation and fatigue. Tyrosine should be taken in the absence of protein due to the fact that it competes with other amino acids for absorption.

    View L-Tyrosine Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

Phenibut:

    Phenibut is derived from the neurotransmitter gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). Unlike GABA, however, Phenibut can cross the blood-brain barrier. It has been used in Russia for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia for decades but is a relatively new supplement in the US. It should not be used in conjunction with sedatives or alcohol as it will potentiate their effects.

    View Phenibut Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

Phellodendron & Magnolia Extracts:

    A blend of phellodendron and magnolia extracts also have their uses. Studies show that this blend lowers cortisol levels during periods of stress and increases overall feeling of well-being. The blend (in the right amount) is a safe and effective and is most frequently used by those who are dieting and wish to avoid stress eating. It is, nonetheless, a great supplement for anyone who wishes to reduce stress and feel better.

Rhodiola Rosea:

    Rhodiola rosea is a supplement that has been shown to be very effective for reducing stress and fatigue, improving mood levels, and improving physical and mental performance. Rhodiola rosea is an adaptogenic herb that helps increase the body's resistance to stress. Adaptogens, such as Rhodiola, can increase the performance of the mind without causing the stimulation that substances such as caffeine do.

    View Rhodiola Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.


Why Use Supplements
Why Would One Want To Use Supplements For Mind Health?

The mind is the control center of the body. Devoid of a healthy mind, the physical body will certainly pay the price. Good physical health starts with good mental health and many supplements have a demonstrated ability to assist in the enhancement of physical and mental well-being. They can reduce stress, lift mood, improve memory and cognitive function, and help give one a feeling of overall well being on both a physical and mental level.

The relationship between the health of the mind and dietary supplementation has been well established in recent years. There is plenty of evidence to suggest that many supplements, such as fish oil and ginkgo, can play a positive role in enhancing the health of the mind.

Other supplements, often too new to be backed by a significant amount of scientific research, are supported by the enormous amount of anecdotal feedback coming from users who have noted the benefits they impart. Holy Basil and Phenibut are two such supplements that have recently become very popular for mind health.

There is sufficient first-hand feedback that these supplements work amazingly well despite the fact that they have not been heavily studied.


3rd Place - bigcalves
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Everyone has heard the phrase: Bodybuilding is a marathon, not a sprint. But what exactly does it really mean? Let's look at the analogy real fast. Sprinters require a short explosive second movement, while marathon runners can run for hours.

In order to be a great marathon runner you need to have a solid mindset on what you are doing. You need to have your goals clear in your head so when the time comes when you are faced with burden or it gets hard, you will keep pushing and pushing. Bodybuilding is one big marathon.

It's a journey that is sometimes nice and enjoyable and on days it's hard and brutal. Not everybody can be a bodybuilder, and certainly not everyone can finish the journey. In my opinion, the mind is the most important aspect in bodybuilding.

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Since bodybuilding is about a set schedule and repetitions day after day to be the best, the mind will play an important role when it comes down to goals and achievements. Your mind is the best muscle you have. Since you have to make tons of goals on variety of subjects such as rest, training, supplements, goals, your mind will be the deciding factor in your success. It's very important and it should be the number one concern for bodybuilders.

Imagine being up in the gym and trying to get 12 reps. You already have 10 and it's burning. Your body is telling you to drop the weight. You know that you can physically get 2 more reps. It's hard and it burns, but you know that you can do it.

After having set a goal before the set, your mind is focused and you push yourself to the limit and get those 12 reps. Let's say you are in the kitchen and your girlfriend Jessica made a fantastic chocolate cake that looks delicious.

You have a contest in 4 days. You are hungry. It smells fantastic. Your meal is a dry microwave chicken breast. Your mind is the deciding factor if you either eat what you are supposed to have, or jump on the cake and get instant satisfaction but ruin your entire plans for the upcoming contest.


A Healthy Mind
How Can You Keep A Healthy Mind?

Keeping a healthy mindset involves a lot of factors. First you have to have set goals and know what you want to do for sure. Once that is out of the way you can focus on all the little factors that make or break your day. Once you have figured out what makes you go motivated and strict you can use that to the best of your knowledge to fulfill your goals.

Find something that drives you to the edge and makes you focus. That something can be anything from a motivating movie to a place that gives you certain memories. Keeping a healthy and focused mind involves staying stress free and dealing with as little as stress as possible. Being rested and not stressed will give you a nice healthy mind.


Tips
What Are Some Everyday Tips For Keeping A Healthy Mind?

Set A Schedule:

    Set a schedule and be organized. Most people would not even know the benefits of this until they try it. It shouldn't take you 30 minutes to pack your gym bag, or 2 hours to get to the gym. Don't stop at your girlfriends house before you workout or go see your mom at work. You have to be focused and determined. Set aside a time for you and that way you will avoid stress and trouble in your mind.

Find Motivation:

    Motivation is the drive that makes us succeed. Without it, it's hard to focus and go the last mile. Find stuff that motivates you and focus on it. It can be a movie, a place or a person. Personally I liked watching pro bodybuilders' workouts before I do mine.

    Just a short video clip for a few minutes of Marcus Ruhl doing shoulders will set me off on delt day. On back day I always watch Ronnie Coleman and his lifting style at Metroflex Gym.

Stay Stress Free:

Set Goals:

    Before every workout I lay down on my back in my bed. I close my eyes and take 5-10 minutes to visualize the workout ahead of me. It could be back or it could be chest and tri's. I focus and try to feel each muscle without moving it.

    The mind-muscle connection is there you just have to learn to use it for your advantage. So I visualize the muscle that's about to be worked. I set little mini-goals in my head, such as get X amount of reps on X movement. That way I keep my mind relaxed since it knows what to do, and it's easier to focus when I'm in the gym since I've already familiarized myself with the workout.


Supplements For The Mind

ZMA:

    ZMA is a unique blend of zinc, magnesium and vitamin B-12. It is mixed in such a way that it promotes the body to fall asleep faster and stay in a calm state of sleep. It is excellent for all bodybuilders. It raises natural testosterone and promotes good sleep which in return would yield a higher production of hormones throughout the night. All of this is linked to less stress and clearer mindset.

    View ZMA Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

GABA:

    By calming the brain and giving you good night sleep, GABA is a good choice for everybody that wants less stress and easier night's sleep. This amino acid is perfect for people that want more calm sleep.

    View GABA Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

Ginko Biloba:

    "Studies show that it can support brain and memory function by enhancing oxygenation, support the heart and maintain blood circulation already in normal range, and help preserve general vitality and health. Good blood circulation is essential for good health." Ginko Biloba supports brain function and memory. Perfect for people that want to get their mindset right.

    View Ginkgo Biloba Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

Melatonin:

    Melatonin sends a message to the brain that it needs to go to sleep. In humans and animals our highest melatonin content is late in the evening. People take it after long flights to help with the jet lag, but melatonin is perfect for those that can't fall asleep on time. It promotes deep and calm sleep.

    View Melatonin Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

Valerian Root:

    Valerian root helps promote sleep. It puts you in a deep sleep state and your body is able to produce a high amount of hormones. It improves the sleep cycle. It aids relaxation and promotes sleep the natural way!

    View Valerian Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.

Vitamins:

    Everybody needs vitamins. A,C,D,K,E. And the list grows on. Vitamins are needed by the body to maintain a normal state. Production of hormones, immune system, the mind, stress, it all can be helped and improved by taking your daily dose of vitamins. Everybody should be taking multi's, especially bodybuilders.

EFA's:

    Essential Fatty Acids are needed by the body for normal brain functions. They help with hormone production and testosterone production. EFA's also keep you healthy and stress free. They further help with the lubing of joints so that also lowers the chances of injuries in the gym.

    View EFA Products Sorted By Top Sellers Here.


Why Use Supplements
Why Would One Want To Use Supplements For Mind Health?

Today's research clearly proves that supplements work. All the studies done on variety of supplements and subjects prove that if we take supplements we are out performing ourselves and improving to a new level.

In order to fully understand how good supplements really are we should take a look at the athletes in the 60's and 70's and compare them to the ones in the 21st century. A lot of things have changed. Supplements have clearly proven that they work and that if you want the edge you should take them.

This brings us to today's topic. Mind health. There are tons of supplements out there that are proven to work and help you with stress, energy and the general mental health. Why not take them is beyond me.

If you have the financial means, I strongly suggest that you buy supplements for mind health. After all, I don't know about you, but before I buy something that will improve my pump in the gym I will buy something that will help me recover, be stress free and produce natural hormones to the max. It's stupid not to take advantage of the wonderful supplements that we have for mental health.


3rd Place - runningtherack
View This Author's BodySpace Here.

Let's make this clear:

First of all, what does "a healthy mind" mean? Here is my definition:

  1. You are feeling good all the time. Whatever happens to you, you always see the positive side. When something bothers you, you are proactive about it.
  2. You have no stress or excessive worries. You are confident and relaxed. You have control over your own actions, thoughts and emotions.
  3. You mind is capable of processing information optimally, resulting in faster responses, better reasoning and improved memory.

If you find these 3 criteria perfectly describe you, then do me a favor and stop reading this, because I really doubt my article will be of any benefit to you.

Now for the others, I would like to tell them that what I'm about to share is my own very subjective point of view. It is solely based on my personal experience. It may or may not work for you. But if you don't try it out, you will never know if it does. :)

    "Why do I have an unhealthy mind? It's so unfair!"

What makes the mind healthy or unhealthy? Here's my take on it: it's 90% physiological and 10% psychological. Let me explain: Some molecules in the body like hormones and neurotransmitters determine whether you are happy or not.

When these levels are high, you have a healthy mind (happy, proactive, confident, calm, spontaneous, etc...), no matter what happens to you (psychological factor).

When these levels are low or unstable, you have an unhealthy mind (lazy, stressed, slow to think, etc...) and your mood depends on what is happening to you (psychological factor again).

So what we want is boost those healthy molecules as much as we can in an extended period of time. And naturally of course. ;)

    "Yeah, right. But how do I do that?"

There are three stages in a bodybuilder's life: Workout, diet and sleep. We have to optimize each stage health-wise so we can reap the benefits of a healthy mind.

1. Workout:

    Train Very Heavy:

      I'm talking 3-4 rep max. I recommend pyramiding before getting there, so you don't get injured. My reps for one exercise look like this : 14/8/6/6/3. Compound is better than Isolation health-wise.

      Why? Very heavy weights cause a MAD boost in hormones (namely Testosterone and Growth Hormone), endorphins and serotonin. You know you're doing it right when you're out of breath at the end of a heavy set.

3-4 REP MAX CALCULATOR
Weight Lifted Reps
Results
3-4 RM

    Train 5+ Times A Week, Preferably In The Morning.

      Why? The bad news is the hormones' influence on the brain only lasts one day (from what I can tell), after that it really tapers off. The good news is it lasts ALL DAY LONG. So train often and train at the start of the day and you can have sky-high levels all the time.

    Training Should Last No Longer Than 60 Min.

      I personally stay below the 40 min threshold. Also, avoid long cardio sessions (30+ min).

      Why? Short training sessions mean high growth hormone and low cortisol. In other words, you keep your motivation to the top.

    Follow The Basic Training Rules:

      Control the weight, good form, full range of motion, etc...
      Why? You all know why...so stop asking. :)

2. Diet:

    Take EFA's

      Why? These are the building blocks for your hormones. No fats no hormones. It's that simple.

    Avoid Simple Carbs. No Soda, No alcohol, No Ice Creams.

      Why? Simple carbs put your metabolism in a comfort zone. And comfort means no need for testosterone. In other words, less sugar=more testosterone.

    Drink Water:

      Drink water regularly and in large quantities on a daily scale. I recommend a gallon a day.
      Why? Water is the basis of chemical processes in your body, including healthy molecules' production.

3. Sleep:

    Take ZMA:

      Why? The magnesium helps you fall asleep without forcing your body to do so. The Zinc supports healthy testosterone levels and is clinically proven to be very efficient for this task.

    Do Not Drink 2 Hours Before Bed - Except For The ZMA Of Course.

      Why? Pressure on the bladder during sleep prevents optimal testosterone production.


Supplements

    "I want a supplement list so I can be superman"

I'm not advocating any supplements other than ZMA because I feel ZMA should be all you really need - that is unless you suffer from a particular disease.

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Healthy hormone levels give you many benefits like improved memory, reduced stress and overall mind health and I believe looking for supplements instead of improving your lifestyle - i.e. optimal training, diet and sleep - would be a mistake to say the least.

The human body is not meant to deal with exotic herbs and synthetic molecules. It is meant to exercise, eat and sleep. Anything beyond that and you're risking your health, which would really be paradoxical provided the purpose of this article.

However, if you're convinced your lifestyle is already very healthy and you feel like your mind could be healthier with some supplements, then go ahead but please do it wisely.


3rd Place - andy92187
View This Author's BodySpace Here.


Introduction

We have all seen the people in the gym pushing and lifting weights. We hear the screams and struggles, the clanking of the weights. However, some very important factors are often overlooked, aside from nutrition the next biggest factor is the human mind.

The human mind is a phenomenal thing that controls our day to day responses, our thought process, our actions, but also our motivation. To keep the mind healthy there are several things that one must do one is to keep you mindset right; the next is to find your motivation.

Mindset:

    Mindset is something that we are not granted with. Mindset is what you get when you apply yourself. It is how you keep yourself in a 'state of mind' by fueling it with your motivation and not stopping until you get there. Along with mindset comes belief in ones self. You simply cannot do something if you don't first believe that you can do it.

Motivation:

    Motivation is what keeps you going, your fuel, which pushes you to the next level. Motivation is something that once you get you have to constantly remind yourself of or it is easy to fall astray. My suggestion is to do whatever it takes.

    If you have to hang up a picture of where you would like your progress to be then so be it. This ideal can also apply to life if you have goals of where you want to be in school, in the business world then do what you need to constantly remind yourself of how pursuing your goals will behoove you.

    There are many ways to stay motivated and each person is different. For some it is as I previously listed, others include listening to music while lifting and goal setting. I don't want to turn this into an article on goal setting, however, it must be touched on in relation to this topic.

    Goal setting is pivotal in self motivation. Goal setting gives persons inspiration and can be very rewarding when a goal is attained. A good platform for goal setting is that if you do not have a plan/goal of where you want to be then how do you get motivated to get there?

WHAT'S YOUR GOAL?
Choose Your Goal Below.
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    That is why goal setting is essential in everyone's life. One thing that must be understood by a person setting goals is that you need to make reasonable and attainable goals. Saying that you are going to bench press 100lbs more in a day is just not feasible. Remember, Rome was not built in one day.


Tips
What Are Some Everyday Tips For Keeping A Healthy Mind?

Some tips for keeping a healthy mind include taking time out of your day for reflection. We all too often get caught up in the troubles of everyday life and forget about what is most important to us. People should take time out of everyday and do something that will completely alienate them from the outer world.

For some it will be going for a walk or sitting by a lake, others will go to the gym. Whatever your choice is you need to stick with it, clearing of the mind once a day can be a great relief from stress and lead to freedom of mind which will ultimately add up to a healthy mind.


Supplements

Mind Health:

    SamE (s-adenosylmethionine) - Is a nutrient that the body can utilize in many ways. It can be used for mind health because its ability to maintain the balance of your bodies neurotransmitters.

    A neurotransmitter is essentially a chemical messenger that transmits signals between nerve cells and the brain, thus stimulating brain function. Without healthy functioning of the neurotransmitters, hormone production would be unstable and not normal.

    Fish Oils - Omega 3's fatty acids, such as fish oils and flax oils are important because your brain needs essential fatty acids or EFA's daily in order to properly function.

    Multi Vitamin - This is not a directly linked to brain function however many of the nutrients and vitamins contained in a daily multi vitamin are important to the body and can help in brain function.

Memory:

    Ginkgo Biloba - Used because of its ability to greatly enhance the effects of oxygen to the brain, thus enhancing brain function in turn elevating memory function. It basically increases blood flow to the brain.

    Ginseng - Has been known to stimulate that mind and enhance mind set. And has many characteristics that parallel Ginkgo.

    No2 - Nitric Oxide supplements similar to ginkgo effect blood flow. Blood flow to the brain means more oxygen to the brain and more oxygen to the brain means more brain/memory function.

Stress:

  • Ginseng - Can also be thrown into this category because it has also been known as a remedy to relieve stress.
  • Rhodiola - Works by stimulating the neurotransmitters of hormones for healthy production. By creating a healthy balance of hormones your body can be relaxed and your mood altered.
  • Kava Kava - Is a product that has been linked to relaxation of the body further granting a relief from stress.
  • GABA - An amino acid that inhibits the amount of neurons being used in the brain making it do less work forcing a calm sense to come over the body.
  • 5HTP - An amino acid that is a precursor of serotonin. By affecting the serotonin levels it can affect many things. Serotonin is a hormone produced in the body that affects many factors of body regulation such as appetite, temperature, and mood. By affecting the mood and stabilizing the body's regulation it can promote relief from stress.
  • Melatonin - Melatonin is usually used for treatment of 'Jet lag', the common term for describing a person's disruption of sleep due to traveling through several time zones. However, it also promotes healthy sleep, and we all know that healthy sleep can be a big relief of stress.
  • ZMA (Zinc Monomethionine Aspartate plus Magnesium Aspartate and vitamin B-6) - Promotes healthy sleep and healthy hormone production which are all directly linked to stress reduction.


Supplements
Why Use Supplements For Mind Health?

Well let's face it a healthy mind can make or break you, and without it you would be nothing. Motivation and mindset are all directly linked to one having a healthy mind. Any supplements that can help you attain a healthy mind to further effect motivation will bring better gains.

RELATED POLL
Do You Take Supplements For Mental Health?

Yes.
No.
No, But I Will.


How Can You Keep A Healthy Mind?
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