12 Strategies To Blast Brain Fog
Like many people today, I suffered from brain fog for years. The constant struggle to focus, remember things, and even carry on a normal conversation was incredibly frustrating. I’ve overcome brain fog and have helped thousands of others do the same. Working with so many people over the years has really increased my understanding of the factors at play here. In this article, I’m going to share my 12 best strategies to blast brain fog so that you can reclaim your brain.
If you take the time to learn and apply these strategies, you will notice that your brain fog lifts significantly. Another thing that’s great about these strategies is the compounding benefits of increased energy, boosted mood, and overall vitality that come along with implementing them into your life!
Causes of Brain Fog
Before getting into the strategies, it is vital to first address the two primary causes of brain fog. Although there could be several factors involved, I have noticed two primary culprits that seem to be causing most of the problems; blood sugar imbalance and poor circulation.
Blood Sugar Imbalance
Blood sugar imbalance can happen to anyone. Some people believe that you don’t get blood sugar imbalances until you reach a state of prediabetes or insulin resistance, but it turns out that it’s chronic blood sugar imbalances that can actually lead the body towards these conditions.
Our society is rampantly reliant on sugar and processed foods as dietary staples. The problem with this is the way that fast-digesting sugars can send blood sugar on a rollercoaster. With spikes in blood sugar also come spikes in insulin and dopamine.
Making a habit of consuming foods that cause these spikes leads to massive inflammation in the brain, neurotransmitter imbalance, and cortisol dysregulation.
By learning to take back control of your blood sugar imbalances, you will see incredible improvements in the way you feel physically and mentally.
The brain is a powerful yet delicate organ. Incredibly orchestrating an unimaginable number of body processes all at once and even without us having to consciously control them. There are a number of ways inadequate circulation can inhibit brain function and cause foggy thinking.
Your brain requires massive amounts of energy in order to function at its peak. Most people don’t know this but your brain actually consumes around 20% of your body’s total energy at any given moment. In order to produce this energy, your cells require adequate amounts of nutrients and oxygen. If your brain is not receiving adequate blood circulation, it will be deprived of energy.
The brain also relies on healthy circulation of blood and cerebrospinal fluid to ensure that metabolic waste is removed properly. Because the mitochondria (energy producing structures in cells) in the brain are so susceptible to damage, proper clearing of waste products is absolutely vital to prevent and fix brain fog.
Some of the strategies outlined below are designed to keep your brain fluids moving to keep you fresh and focused all the time.
12 Strategies To Blast Brain Fog
Now that we’ve addressed the two major causes of brain fog that are stealing your brain, these simple strategies can be used to blast your brain fog fast. Just start by picking one of the strategies outlined below and see how you feel. Once you find something you like, play around with combining strategies. Before you know it you will have reclaimed your brain!
Drink Water With Lemon & Lime
One important strategy to address both top causes of brain fog is proper hydration. Hydrating well can help control sugar cravings, balance blood sugar, and promote healthy circulation.
This strategy goes a step further because of the unique benefits of lemon and lime juice. The vitamin C and citrus bioflavonoids contained within these fruits have been shown to help protect the brain from damage while also helping to regulate capillary permeability (1). Capillaries are where nutrients and oxygen are released from the blood and into the brain.
Another great benefit of lemon water is that it provides electrolytes for proper electrical conductance of your cells. The brain communicates with itself and the rest of the body through electrical signals and requires adequate amounts of electrolytes to do so.
Use Essential Oils
Essential oils can be a quick and convenient, yet powerful tool to quickly blast your brain fog when you need immediate relief.
Just diffusing certain essential oils and inhaling them can help by opening up your air passages, dilating blood vessels in the sinuses, and allowing more oxygen to get up into your brain. All while providing anti-stress and anti-oxidant benefits at the same time.
The most time-tested oil for this purpose is peppermint oil. Just take a nice deep inhalation of some good peppermint oil and you can feel the stimulation almost instantly. One study found this to improve aspects of attention and memory (2).
Some other great oils to try are eucalyptus, rosemary, balsam fir, or citrus. For nighttime brain support and relaxation, lavender oil can also be a great one.
Do Movement Surges
Another quick and easy way to address both factors of brain fog are to perform a quick burst of high-intensity movement whenever you start feeling mentally sluggish. Now you don’t have to go do a full workout every time you feel brain fog. In fact, all you need is 20-30 seconds of movement to increase blood flow to the brain!
This strategy is especially helpful for those of us who spend much of our day sitting at a desk. When we stop moving for long periods of time, blood flow becomes stagnant and you likely notice hampered brain function.
Some of my favorite quick exercises to boost brain function are jogging in place, pumping your arms overhead, air squats, standing twists, or really anything that gets your body moving and your heart pumping a little bit.
You could also try some SuperBrain Yoga! This movement is super effective and has even been shown to improve mood and academic performance when performed daily.
Use Rosemary & Fennel
Rosemary and fennel are common household herbs commonly used as seasonings for food. What many people don’t know is that these herbs can actually boost your mental performance.
These herbs are able to boost brain function due to a specific chemical they contain called rosmarinic acid. In studies rosmarinic acid has been shown to increase oxygenation of brain tissues and help prevent damage from oxidative stress. This compound has also been shown to inhibit the enzyme that degrades acetylcholine, which is important for memory (3).
Another great benefit of rosemary is that smelling and consuming this powerful herb can promote healthier cortisol levels. Controlling cortisol will improve brain fog by providing a better ability to control blood sugar.
Use a Wobble Board
When we sit immobile for long periods of time, circulation to the brain plummets. Not only does blood flow slow down, but cerebrospinal fluid becomes stagnant as well. The result is poor oxygenation AND accumulation of damaging waste in the brain that absolutely robs your brain of its potential.
One way to combat this is to purchase a wobble cushion (such as this one) and sit on it throughout the day. While maintaining good posture, rock your hips from front-to-back, side-to-side, and in circles both directions.
Taking breaks to do this throughout the day will make a huge difference by moving oxygen to the brain while maintaining proper lubrication and structural integrity in the spine.
Sit Tall & Breathe Deeply
This is a simple yet overlooked strategy to blast your brain fog. A lot of times, poor oxygenation of the brain is simply a result of not breathing properly. The average person takes short, shallow breaths that deprive the brain (and body) of oxygen.
You should focus on sitting up straight and taking long, deep breaths to help enrich your body with oxygen. Most people take about 12-18 breathes per minute which means that each full breath is only 3-5 seconds!
You should really shoot for 10-20 seconds per breath, meaning 5-10 seconds for inhalation and 5-10 seconds for exhalation. Take short breaks to focus on this throughout the day!
The human body runs on electricity. Proper flow of electricity relies on adequate hydration and minerals because these are both conductors of electric current.
Studies have shown that when we have barefoot contact with the earth, there is a beneficial electrical charge that is transmitted into the body. This charge has anti-oxidant, stress relieving, and inflammation reducing benefits for the body (all of which can benefit brain fog).
All that is needed to accumulate some of these benefits is to spend some time barefoot outside. You can go for a walk, run, or simply stand outside on the grass. Even better would be to stand on wet grass or at the water’s edge of a river, lake, or ocean.
Taking a cold shower can be a great strategy to boost circulation to the brain. The acute exposure to cold causes a rapid constriction of blood flow to the extremities. Following up with warm water or a quick sauna session rapidly opens the blood vessels and allows blood to rapidly recirculate.
Immediately after, and especially if practiced regularly, improved circulation will increase oxygenation of the brain and boost mental performance (4). It’s not surprising that cold showers have been shown to improve depression, anxiety, and mental lethargy.
Another great strategy is to simply switch over to cold water for the last 30 seconds of your shower. You will find that immediately after you feel invigorated and mentally sharp.
Take a Power Nap
When it comes down to it, most Americans are sleep deprived. Not getting adequate sleep throws off blood sugar, hampers the immune system, increases inflammation, and as a result, robs you of brain performance.
If you can take time in the early afternoon for a brief nap. Studies have shown doing so regularly can lower inflammation and boost immunity. Together these benefits will help support optimal brain function.
Snack On Raw Chocolate
Chocolate is not only a delicious treat, but also a great brain booster. It acts as a mild stimulant while also helping to promote healthy blood flow to the brain.
Theobromine, a compound found in chocolate, can actually stimulate the cardiovascular system resulting in improved blood flow and oxygenation of brain tissue. The flavonoid compounds in raw chocolate also provide powerful antioxidant effects that protect the brain from oxidative stress.
In addition, chocolate contains amino acids and polyethylamine which help boost up dopamine and serotonin which can help you feel uplifted and more motivated.
Try out one of our amazing chocolate-infused recipes or snack on raw cacao nibs when you need some extra brain power.
Get Healthy Sun Exposure
Getting healthy sun exposure every day will provide many health benefits. In terms of mental benefits, sunlight helps balance neurotransmitters and reduce inflammation. Also, vitamin D has been highlighted extensively for its role in brain health so sun exposure is absolutely vital!
At least three times a week get outside and expose as much skin as possible to sunlight. The amount of time you should spend in the sun varies depending on the UV index in your location as well as your personal skin tone.
Based on skin-tone, I recommend the following:
Light skin = 15-20 minutes daily
Medium Skin = 25-30 minutes daily
Dark Skin = 40-45 minutes daily
Be sure to nourish the skin with coconut oil, aloe vera gel, or something like a green tea infused lotion following sun exposure to help prevent any skin damage.
Listen To Music
In today’s society, we seem to get settled into our lifestyles. We often find ourselves performing the same tasks every day for extended amounts of time, but this can lead to some detrimental effects on brain performance.
For instance, we have the right brain that is associated with emotions and creativity while the left brain is more rational and analytical.
Let’s say that you spend most of your day preforming a highly analytical job like accounting, you could listen to some classical music to stimulate your right brain and prevent any imbalances that might occur. Going in the opposite direction, if you spend your day doing lots of creative work you can listen to music with an inspirational message and focus on singing the lyrics to help balance out the left brain as well.
I use this strategy every day as I go about my work and notice it helps keep me mentally balanced.
Sources For This Article Include:
- Oudemans-van Straaten, H. M., Spoelstra-de Man, A. M., & de Waard, M. C. (2014). Vitamin C revisited. Critical Care (London, England), 18(4), 460. PMID: 25185110
- Meamarbashi, A. (2014). Instant effects of peppermint essential oil on the physiological parameters and exercise performance. Avicenna J Phytomed, 4(1), 72–78. PMID: 25050303
- Bigford, G. E., & Del Rossi, G. (2014). Supplemental substances derived from foods as adjunctive therapeutic agents for treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and disorders. Advances in Nutrition (Bethesda, Md.), 5(4), 394–403. PMID: 25022989
- Mooventhan, A., & Nivethitha, L. (2014). Scientific evidence-based effects of hydrotherapy on various systems of the body. North American Journal of Medical Sciences. PMID: 24926444
- Lovato, N., & Lack, L. (2010). The effects of napping on cognitive functioning. Progress in Brain Research, 185(C), 155–166. PMID: 21075238