Nootropics…winning the mental game

colin coffee

Posted on: 15th May, 2017

Category: Sport & Fitness

Contributor: West Cork People

Originally from Clonakilty, Colin Murphy is a fitness professional, workout specialist, founder of the fitness website properlybuilt.com, certified personal trainer, author and blogger. He is an Ironman, sub 3-hour marathon runner, occasional CrossFitter and all-round fitness fanatic

We’re all looking for that edge. The one little thing that will make us one per cent better. For years, fitness and nutrition companies have focused on getting us physically ready for exercise. They brainwashed us into thinking we needed high sugar drinks before and after our sessions to keep our energy up.

What happened was people gained weight, didn’t make any progress, and subsequently threw in the fitness towel before they truly got started. The wrong message coming at them over and over again finally destroyed their desire and hope.

Now things are beginning to change. Instead of primarily focusing on being physically ready, what if we looked at being mentally ready first? From my own experience, when I miss a training session it’s rarely because I’m physically exhausted. Mentally I’m just not up for it. This is where nootropics are beginning to step in.

The term “Nootropics”, was coined in 1972 by Doctor Corneliu Giurgea, when he was looking to find a cure for motion sickness. He used the Greek combination of ‘nous’ meaning mind, and ‘tropo’ meaning to bend or change, to invent this new word. Giurgea gave a list of five criteria that a substance had to meet if it was to be called a nootropic.

The substance had to: 1. Enhance memory. 2 Help brain function. 3. Protect the brain. 4. Increase the efficacy of neuronal firing. 5. Be non-toxic

Nootropics is a term for a class of chemicals, some naturally occurring, and some man-made, that give cognitive benefits to the human brain. They basically make your brain a little sharper and can enhance memory, creativity, and motivation in healthy individuals.

An example of a naturally occurring nootropic is L-theanine , which is found in black and green tea and supports brain clarity. Interestingly, when this is mixed with caffeine, it neutralises the ‘crash’, and works together to provide the boost in clarity, focus, and energy, that caffeine naturally provides. Kimera Koffee has L-theanine and is an example of this. You get the caffeine boost but avoid the usual crash.

This can have huge benefits for athletes and gym goers, that can go through periods of low motivation and mental fog. It isn’t however, a substitute for getting enough sleep, eating properly, and training responsibly. It can be used when you need it, like during early morning sessions, or after a mentally taxing work day.

I have had a lot of success drinking a coffee/nootropic mix as a pre-workout (Kimera Koffee has a blend of four nootropics: L-theanine, Taurine, Alpha GPC, and DMAE). Your blood sugar levels do not get messed about, and you feel ready for your session.

Depending on what else is going on in my body, I can feel revved up and super focused, or calm and mentally strong. Either one will have me at a place where I am in an optimal state to get the best out of myself.

So, instead of always worrying about whether or not your body will be able for your training session, focus on your mind. If you get that right, then everything else falls into place. If you’re concentrated, and excited about the work that lies ahead, a slightly tired body has no chance of stopping you!

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Submarines, American Sailors, and the Underwater War in Irish Waters, 1917-1918
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on Thursday Oct 26 2017 at 8.30 pm

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Dr John Borgonovo is a lecturer in the School of History at UCC. His publications include Spies, Informers, and the 'Anti-Sinn Féin' Society: The Intelligence War in Cork City, 1920-1921; The Dynamics of War and Revolution: Cork City, 1916-1918; Exercising a close vigilance over their daughters: Cork women, American sailors, and Catholic vigilantes, 1917-18; Something in the Nature of a Massacre: The Bandon Valley Killings Revisited (with Andy Bielenberg). His latest publication (with co-authors John Crowley, Donal Ó Drisceoil and Mike Murphy) is the highly acclaimed and magnificient Atlas of the Irish Revolution. In July of this year, he organised a very successful conference on Winning the Western Approaches - Unrestricted Submarine Warfare and the US Navy in Ireland 1917-1918.
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Apple Juicing Day in Clonakilty next Sunday Sept 30th. All welcome to bring their apples from 2-6pm to the Clonakilty Community Garden (on entrance road to Clonakilty Lodge).

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Volunteers will be at hand to assist in the procedure. Bring along your apples washed; clean containers to freeze your juice (milk/juice bottles or cartons, plastic bottles with caps); clean, sterilised glass bottles to pasteurise with swing caps or suitable for 26 mm diameter metal cap.

A limited number of new 3 litres juice bags that are suitable for freezing and pasteurising, can be purchased for a nominal fee on the day also.

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For further information, please contact Xavier at xavierdubuisson@gmail.com or text at 086/0476124.
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In May 2016, Kerry man Tom Crean, along with Ernest Shackleton and four other crew members, landed the James Caird lifeboat on the rocky isle of South Georgia. The navigation of that small boat, across 1500 km through icy winds and towering seas, is regarded as the greatest ever feat of navigation. They then trekked across the forbidding and inhospitable mountains and glaciers of South Georgia to seek help for the rest of their crew, who were left behind on Elephant Island after their ship, the Endurance, was crushed by the Antarctic ice.

One hundred years later, Crean’s grandaughter, Aileen Crean O’Brien, set off with her sons and partner to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps. Join Aileen and Bill to hear of their adventures (and misadventures) on the Southern Ocean and the island of South Georgia.
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