The Brain Hackers of Silicon Valley

What if I told you that the smartest people in the room are staying one step ahead of everyone with a simple dietary change – fasting. Yes, the simple decision to not eat for a prolonged period of time has been scientifically proven to improve brain function.

Several firms in Sicilian Valley have decided to bring this study into fruition by asking their employees to fast for a 36-hour period from Monday – Wednesday. These firms have claimed that by doing so, their employees are consequently “super-charging” their brains. Before anyone gets ahead of themselves, keep in mind that during this period, the firms are allowing their employees to drink water, coffee or tea – dehydration is never good for the body!

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The concept behind fasting is that after the body runs out of carbohydrates to burn, it begins to burn fat, this state is referred to as ketosis. Studies have shown that the state of ketosis prevents children from having seizures and many energy hungry entrepreneurs have claimed that it’s helped them stay focused and alert.

The core idea behind fasting is forcing your body to attain energy through different means. When a person consumes food daily, they are supplying their brain with a steady flow of glucose. For the body to be able to create glucose, it must break down glycogen first, which is primarily stored in the liver and muscles. The issue is that if the body is completely dependent on glucose for energy, then a person must continuously feed their body for energy.

This is where it gets interesting, after three days with no food, our body forgoes the idea of breaking down glucose, and instead, the liver begins to use body fat to create chemicals; these chemicals are known as ketones. The specific ketone we want to focus on is beta hydroxybutyrate, which has been proven to be a fantastic fuel source for the brain. When the brain is no longer as dependent to glucose as it previously was, it’s able to spare amino acids and muscles that it was previously breaking down and utilizing to gather energy.

A Harvard medical school professor, George F. Cahill Dr. Cahill has stated that beta hydroxybutyrate improves antioxidant function, improves energy production, increased cellular survival and enhances the growth of new brain cells.

Furthermore, Doctor Gabriel Cousen, the founder of Tree of Life Rejuvenation Center has said, “I often observe in fasting participants that concentration seems to improve, creative thinking expands, depression lifts, insomnia stops, anxieties fade, the mind becomes more tranquil, and a natural joy begins to appear. It is my hypothesis that when the physical toxins are cleared from the brain cells, mind-brain function automatically and significantly improves, and spiritual capacities expand.”

When a person fasts, they force their brain to power itself instead of it using food for energy. Once the brain is powering itself, it begins to unlock potential and capabilities that simply weren’t attainable when utilizing food for energy.

Initially when someone hears that fasting can lead to better productivity, it sounds ridiculous, but science has repeatedly proven that there is a scientific explanation behind the idea. Ultimately, if a person wants to improve their cognitive functions, they must either choose the path of fasting, or take a risk with buying an over the counter brain supplement. While research has accurately determined the benefits and risks of fasting, research is still limited when it comes to the risks derived from consuming brain supplements.