Prepping: My Personal Brain Hacks

You never know when disaster will strike.  I mean, most days you will only need to really think at work for a few minutes a day.  The rest of the time, you’ll be in the process mode.  That’s when you do the “same old thing” over and over and (is it quitting time, yet?)…

Without exception, though, the people who are likely to be best prepared to survive at all times, seem (logically) to be those who have a wide range of skills and are constantly keeping themselves mentally sharp.

This “sharpness” can be measured and it’s not hard to do.  Google some online IQ tests and you’ll find a bunch.  Once you have a few you’re happy with, you can begin to measure yourself.  Like in any experiment, try to vary the testing by one variable at a time.  If you vary more than one, you won’t be sure which elementary change caused the result.

Here’s some of my personal research into the matter – but remember, your results are bound to be different.

1. Sleep and IQ

Let’s begin with sleep spindles – which you have most likely never heard of before.  Easily overcome with a read of this article at Cambridge Brain Sciences.  The source article in the Journal of Cognitive Neurosciences is also worth reading.

Also worth pondering are some studies that link sleep deprivation with under-performance (no surprise!) and other which head in the direction of too much sleep being detrimental.

My personal hack (if that’s not too much of a stretch) is to set the alarm for the same time every day, regardless of time zone we happen to be in, for example.  My sense is that all the body rhythms will, over enough repetitions, get synced up if down time and up time are routine.

2. Caffeine and IQ

In a 2010 Psychology Today article, Dr. Gary Wenk asks whether that 5th cup of coffee really does you any good when comes to raising your IQ.  Admittedly a cup, or two is good, but isn’t it a declining return?

“Most of us can push the processing speed a little without risk. Unfortunately, the neural processing speed in our brains is already just a few extra action potentials per second away from a full-blown seizure.”

Other drug compounds, similar to the caffeine in coffee, may be found in teas and in some chocolates.

There may be additional anti-cancer properties to coffee, too, so it’s useful stuff.  If TSHTF might be useful to toss a half-dozen Instant Coffee bags into the grad and go along with some quick sugar sources.  Elaine’s been known to grab a PayDay candy bar.  Allergic to peanuts, I roll with the apple Nature Valley Granola bars.

3. Fasting and IQ

No question about it, there’s a case that “Fasting diets such as 5:2 could make people smarter, finds study” reported the UK Independent last in 2017.

One of the problems I’ve run into fasting (especially with coffee even in sight) has been my blood sugar drops and I get shaky (OK, and weirder, too!).  The way I solved that lil bugger was to begin taking a small daily dose of chromium picolinate. I’ll refer you over to WebMD for additional details, but it’s cheap and you can find it many places including Amazon.

4. Meat is Bad – Or Is It?

Not to offend our vegan readers, but a 2010 piece on NPR is worth considering as “Food for Thought: Eating Meat Made Us Smarter.”

While it is true, in some studies, that vegans scored higher in certain IQ tests, we need to be cautious in drawing too many conclusions.  That’s because we may not have sufficient insight into what vegans are eating.  For example, partial vegan diets that include eggs and buts, along with pineapples and such can increase the serum levels of serotonin.

For me, the personal research question is open:  Is the meat consumption bad, OR is it possible that the vegan uptake of something beneficial is what’s at work?  Moreover, we don’t know with certainty if all types of intelligence rise on a vegan/semi-vegan diet.

This is because not all aspects of brain function are typically measured in studies..  Rather than get funding “to go find the essence of Truth” researchers writing grant applications are usually limited to testing one notion at a time.  The multiplicity of variables to ponder (like blood chemistry across a blood panel, for example) is harder to fund.  We live in a “buy the drill-down” world.

5. Beer and Pork are Good?

At the risk of offending, again, I have found that in certain mental aspects, both beer and pork may be consumed and result in higher IQ.  We move back into the blood chemistry realm because our focus here is on serum uric acid levels.

Ever see one of those Dutch masters’ painting with the burgermeister sucking down a beer with his leg propped-up on the table?  Likely, says science, acute gout  –  a kind of arthritis – and resulting from deposition of uric acid crystals in uncomfortable places.  Knee, great toe, elbow, and so forth.

Go read the paper “Study of Serum Uric Acid and its Correlation with
Intelligence Quotient and Other Parameters in Normal Healthy Adults” and pay special attention to the mean serum level bar chart (blue bars) on page 2 of the PDF.

There are plenty of foods that can push your uric acid levels around, but there’s some risk.  In my own case, I manage it closely because I have had gout and it’s a real pain.  On the other hand, when my uric acid levels are low (read{ normal) I don’t get into the “buss” or “zone mode” as easily.  Check with your doctor and ask about some colchicine  if you are at risk of gout.

Pork?  Shellfish?  Beer?  Oysters?  Yum oh yum!

6. Huperzine-A

I feel (and it’s subjective because I don’t spend all my time “lab ratting”) huperzine-A seems to help and it may have some anti-Alzheimer’s effects, as well.

All this said, the effects of any nootropic will likely vary on your own DNA, ancestry, and any ore-existing tendencies.   An article over at Vice didn’t find any help from huperzine, among five nootropics tested. 

7. Light Crown Use?

My use of a near-infrared light emitting diode (LED) array worn as a headband, illuminating the center of the forehead and both temples (trigeminal nerve packs) seems to add a bit after 2-5 days of use.  However, the “super-charging” seems to wear off after a few days.

Is that real or placebo effect?  I promise to lab rat this one as time allows.  But do keep reading the latest on photobiomodulation.  A 2010 article from MIT Technology Review “The Puzzling Role Of Biophotons In The Brain” from 2010 is a good entry point.

Is I “the Light?”  Don’t know, but the most recent article (as of Saturday) on PubMed included:

…all scream to be read.

8. Quantum Potentiation

Theory time!  Come on over to the workbench…want to show you something:

That gorgeous blue-masking tape-wrapped coil is 1,550 turns of #30 enameled wire on an 8-inch form which, when there’s 400 uf across it should resonate in the vicinity of 9.5 Hz which is one of the frequencies seen in brain studies when dreams (particularly lucid ones) are rolling by.

The theory of quantum potentiation (he said, stepping up to a whiteboard and taking a mighty huff of the pen) is theory only.  BUT there are two obvious modes to test.’

In one mode, I’ll just click a small audio generator onto the resonant circuit and go take a nap.  If there’s any tendency toward entrainment then it may become evident.

Less apparent, however, is the matter of a mode which would arise just as a tuned circuit approaches the point of oscillation – which is what I was showing you in  the Friday article in the “looking Ahead” section where I was showing you how Q-multipliers work.

Except, of course, we will be using a convenient brain (volunteers?) as we rework a Q-multiplier and excite it just to the edge of oscillation, but not quite…which is when potentiation begins to appear.  The closer to actually breaking into oscillation, the greater the potentiation, but the narrow the band of frequencies involved.

They you have it!  *(that PCB left of the coil is the metal detector (Surf PI 1.2) board, BTW)  Eight ways ranging from simple to theoretical on how to bump up the quality of thinking between your ears.

There are other methods, too.  Moderate to heavy workouts to keep the blood flow going, for example…deep breathing…so many more…

If we could only get paid on the basis of knowledge and heart directly, wouldn’t it be a grand world?

Write when you get rich,

20 thoughts on “Prepping: My Personal Brain Hacks”

  1. A rule of work law. Most think they can do the job better than anyone else, especially the boss’s job, & then wonder why they aren’t being recognized & promoted to the boss position. But life goes on & everything gets done thanks to you.

    • I’ve left many a job, some voluntarily, some otherwise and none of those places collapsed into a pile of smoking rubble after I left.

      Age may not bring wisdom but it should bring a certain degree of humility.

  2. Dont know if I have mentioned this before. I lost a lot of wt. on purpose and also didnt do it right. Lost a lot of muscle. Found this Perfect Amino by Advanced Bionutrionals. Started on 5 perday and quit losing muscle. Found out needed for me to take 10 per day and gained back my muscles. This has been going on for about a year and take no other protein. I dont know but wonder if this might have helped with my perfect lab results at Nov. yearly physical. I started using Perfect Amino after seeing an interview with 70ish Doc who competes in Iron Man competitions.

  3. Oh God George, was that heavy! You sort of lost me at the bacon and beer point. Now I have to cook up some bacon or Brats for the football game and maybe and extra 6 pack in the frig? Hmm? Good thinking – thanks.

  4. I did some experimenting with biofeedback a long time ago.. back in my mad scientist mode..

    what I found is when I was in the military there was a trial that they had to study sleep dep.. anyway.. they gave up on it after three months and nothing more was said..after I got out of the military I discovered that the recession of the eighties was to much and I had to go into overtime. I used what I had learned and it was the answer. although trying to cram three lifetimes in one took its tole on my body.. even today I still find it hard to break the habits.. no alarm clock instant awake ..

    try meditation it falls along the same line as what you are trying to achieve ..

    below is some pretty good beginning meditation .. relax and give it a try.. what is thirty days..

    I listen to these on low while I read.. enjoy..

  5. Hi George,

    The curriculum at the Barbara Brennan School of Healing (4 yr college), includes instructions on holding various frequencies and through resonance bring about a change in the client’s bio-chemical electromagnetic field. Holding a ‘frequency’ during meditation might also help boost one’s signal. By the way, Brennan, at one point in her life, was an Astrophysicist for NASA.

    Hemi-sync and the Gateway series might also be of interest.

    For past lives try Dr. Brian Weiss, MD, he has written many books and offers a course on past life regression, I believe at the Omega Institute, very interesting stuff!


    • I had the privilege of meeting Barbara Brennan decades ago! I attended a workshop with her in Santa Fe. Is she still with us?

      She had the ability to connect with an awesome power that I can’t even describe. She’s been one of many important influences on my life. It’s good to know her school is still functioning, though I was not metaphysically ready for it back then. I still might not be, but who knows? I really liked her as a woman and as a person.

      • Yes, I believe she is still among the living but is no longer able to take an active role in the school due to health issues. However, the school was recently sold and will continue without Barbara (or her daughter’s) involvement.
        Once Barbara gave me a ‘healing’ during the whole school meditation. It WAS amazing. I was fortunate to attend while she still owned it and was involved in the daily operation.

  6. George

    “Theory time! Come on over to the workbench…want to show you something:”

    I have “The more cluttered the work bench the more exotic the project” theory of engineering progress.

    I can see by the photo your moving into the higher realms of build and test.

    Be careful you don’t create a portal to a different dimension and get sucked off the planet never to be heard of again.

  7. I’m thinking you may not even need to ‘excite’ the coil tank circuit with an audio generator. Schumann resonance of the globe is roughly 7.5 hz, but it is a VERY broad, noisy hump. The coil would likely get some natural Schumann excitation… expecially if there are thunderstorms within a few hundred miles. Hmmm…. the 8 to 11 hz band of ‘dreaming’ brainwaves is very close to the global Schumann resonance. Wonder if that is significant?

    Brainwaves are very tiny. EEG measured from scalp contacts it is still in the microvolts range. It should not take very much to “QP” them. Use caution. It may be possible to induce an epileptic seizure with too much excitation.

    • I made it for George. Hand wound on a manually-cranked, custom constructed coil winder on an 8-inch plastic wheel form… with a turns counter.

  8. George, for your consideration:

    Choline, raises IQ, increases mental clarity, focus, concentration, and memory function. It is essential for the formation of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. 500-3500mg

    Creatine, boosts muscle power by helping to supply energy to cells in the body and assisting in the growth of muscle fiber but also has been shown to improve memory and attention span. 5,000mg

    Caffeine, when consumed in conjunction with L-theanine, creates a boost to working memory, rapid visual information processing, and especially attention switching. 100mg per cup of coffee

    Dark chocolate stimulates brain perfusion and an array of other neurological processes in regions that involve learning and memory. 90% cacao, 35 to 200g

    Piracetam (Nootropyl, Lucetam), improves the function of (ACh) transmitters and receptors, increases mental clarity, spatial memory, and gives an overall boost to brain functioning. Choline needs to be ingested along with it. Piracetam+choline is a popular supplement in the subculture of lucid dreaming. 900mg + 900mg choline (300×3)

    Omega-3 fatty acids stave off the effects of age-related cognitive decline, including neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. A recent study published in PLOS has shown that the same brain boosting effects also work for perfectly healthy adults. Benefits of Omega-3 DHA/EPA include improved ability to focus and improved mood. 1200-2400mg

    Bacopa monnieri is used to enhance memory, learning, and overall cognitive performance (in addition to its use as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, and sedative.) The active ingredients include sulfhydryl and polyphenol, compounds that lessen oxidative stress. Stack with Piracetam + choline to improve long term memory. 150mg

    Ginkgo Biloba improves memory and concentration, improves the speed of attention factor, increases attention, faster memorization, and improved quality of memory. Ginkgo is commonly stacked with Bacopa monnieri 240-360mg

    Asian ginseng improves working memory, attention, calmness, mood, and even reduce fatigue, can decrease fasted blood-glucose levels and modulate cognitive performance in healthy adults. 1000mg (500mg x2)

    Rhodiola rosea improves cognition and memory, reduces feelings of fatigue and anxiety, can improve a person’s overall level of mental and stress-induced fatigue and complex perceptive and cerebral functions (such as associative thinking, short-term memory, calculation, ability to concentrate, and speed of audio-visual perception.) 100-1,000mg

    Spanish Sage boosts acetylcholine function, enhances memory and mood, has anxiolytic (calming), antioxidant, estrogenic, anti-depressive, and anti-inflammatory properties. 300mg

    My personal brain-science experiment is —

    Day: citicholine 250mg, alpha GPC 600mg, uridine 350mg,
    sulbutiamine 300mg, choline bitartrate 900mg, ginkgo 120mg, ginseng 600mg, sage 240mg, creatine 1000mg, omega 3 1200mg, huperzine A 200mcg

    Night: choline bitartrate 400mg, inositol 400mg, DHEA 100mg, ornithine 250mg arginine 500mg, ginkgo 120mg, ginseng 600mg, sage 240mg, creatine 1000mg, omega 3 1200mg, huperzine A 200mcg

    I went from PQQ and huperzine before a trip, to every morning, in May, and went to both morning and evening doses, in September.

    Although I don’t usually add more than one supplement at a time, I added 100mg of fisetin to both my day and night stack, two months ago, and SWITCHED my day/night quinone dose from “Life Extension Mitochondrial Energy Optimizer with PQQ,” to Jarrow Labs 20mg pure PQQ — INSTANT BOOST IN BOTH IQ AND COGNITIVE FOCUS! I started with a night dose, and could feel the difference the next morning. I had more energy, better focus, and was better-rested. I will be adding theanine and Piracetam to the stacks before summer…

    I got most of the stuff above from the Web, and some (from memory) from The Nutrition Almanac by John Kirschmann (2nd ed, IIRC. I read it cover-to-cover in 1983.) BTW, I STRONGLY suggest this book to anyone who might be interested in self/holistic/herbal medicine. I think it’s up to about the 6th or 7th edition, on Amazon…

    • On second thought, I won’t be adding Piracetam, since it is prescription, and unavailable in the U.S…

  9. Partial vegan diets with eggs and buts?

    I’m vegetarian though not vegan. I love my eggs, but I’ve never been a fan of eating buts!

    I can think of other body parts that are far more tasty.

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