Hey it’s Luke the Lion and I hope your day is going great!
Today I wanted to share some of the things I do that help me say goodbye to brain fog, boost mental energy, and improve focus on a daily basis.
Now before we begin a quick disclaimer: None of this is medical advice.
I’m sharing these things to help you, not hurt you, so it would break my heart to hear my influence conflicted with your medical treatment.
Please check with your doctor before implementing any of these ideas if you have a serious medical condition.
Okay now for the fun stuff:
Those of you who are familiar with my story know that I went through a major health crisis back in 2014 which led me to spend over $50,000 consulting with the top doctors in the US.
I tried over 300 supplements and pills and protocols and most didn’t work.
Lion’s mane was one of the few things that actually helped (which is why I founded our company)… And it’s my goal in sharing this info that you can save your money on a lot of the bologna out there and skip straight to the good stuff…
So in this article, I'm going to do my best to condense everything I've learned over a decade of biohacking into about 10 key things that made the biggest difference.
Hope you get some good nuggets out of this! Enjoy!
1. Fasting in the morning.
I used to do a bunch of elaborate biohacks to maximize performance in the morning but I realized most of those things were just slowing me down.
Today, all I have is "supercharged" water (I'll explain below), black coffee, lion’s mane, and that's about it until 12pm.
The reason why I fast is not for weight loss. It’s for mental clarity.
See, there’s an ancient adage that says, “full stomach, empty mind”. And that's true for me in my experience. This is how I feel after a big meal. 👇
Personally, I think much better and make superior decisions without my precious blood flow being allocated to the gut to help digest food.
However, I'm particularly sensitive to postprandial somnolence. If you're not familiar with the term, that's just a fancy way of saying I get sleepy after I eat.
On days when I do have to eat in the midst of mentally demanding work activities I use a couple tricks to combat the post meal fatigue:
And a nice walk after my meal. About 10-15 minutes.
These "biohacks" help reduce the blood sugar impact of a heavy meal, and especially come in handy when you're about to eat a lot of carbs.
Additionally, I've found that I have a lot more energy throughout the day when I skip carbs in my first meal (which is around 12pm).
My lunch is typically a big grass fed steak. Or a nice piece of salmon, or cheaper fish like cod if I'm on a budget. If I'm craving some sugar I'll throw in a few low sugar berries like blueberries and maybe pineapple if I'm feeling frisky.
I'll share more about nutrition for brain health at the bottom of this article if you want to dive deeper...
2. I wait to workout until important work is done.
I’ve experimented with countless workout protocols under the guidance of elite biohackers, doctors, and performance coaches…
What works best for me is to workout at either 11am (before lunch) or 5/6pm (before dinner). I alternate between the two times depending on my current priorities.
If my body is looking weak or I’m feeling sluggish, I’ll prioritize health and allocate that morning energy to the workout at 11am after I’ve completed about 4-5 hours of work.
If my health is up to my standards and I need to push harder with business, I’ll shift my priority to business and delay the workout until the end of the day.
I NEVER workout in the morning.
My prime seed of energy is in the morning and that’s my time to SERVE. Serve clients, serve you, serve my employees, and my future family by building my business.
I like to train HARD. And if I do it before work is done, my service will suffer.
Keep in mind, I've never been one who has to force himself into the gym. I love training. So if you need to knock out your workout first thing in the morning or it's not getting done, go for it. You do you!
I'm just sharing what works for me based on my goals :)
3. I nap 😴. Like a Lion.
On days where I exercise at 11am, I eat and take a short nap afterwards to recharge. The nap usually lasts about 20-30 minutes. Sometimes, it takes the form of a meditation or guided Yoga Nidra session.
It’s not a super deep sleep. And sometimes it just feels like I’m closing my eyes, not necessarily sleeping. But I feel phenomenal when I “wake up”.
I usually drink 2-3 cups of black coffee per day… One about 1 hour after I wake up, and another when I wake up from that nap.
This is also when I take my lion’s mane extracts. I love the combo of lion's mane and coffee. It's my happy place where I feel "in flow"...
I take a couple droppers when I wake up, and again when I wake up from the nap. Also before I go to bed because lion’s mane helps with sleep.
On days where I'm not lifting weights, I'll often skip the nap. It's not necessary. I just like to give my body (and specifically my brain) some extra time to recover so I can bring my A game into working on this business.
4. Biohacker’s Mocktail, AKA, Supercharged Water
Every morning I like to start with a FAT glass of water with a couple bonuses inside. I use those Mason jar QUART glasses so I’m getting about 32 ounces of water first thing every morning and I highly recommend you do the same.
I weigh about 220 pounds so if you’re less you can get away with more like 20 ounces.
Here’s what I put in my water:
A dash of “Cream of Tartar” for potassium
A pinch of himalayan pink salt for sodium, aka, electrolytes...
And maybe squeeze a lemon/lime in if I have some around.
These additions will add vital nutrients that your body burns through while you’re sleeping and replenishes your energy much better than water alone. I often slap the lion’s mane and cordyceps extracts in here if I haven't already taken them.
If you’re sensitive to taste you can add SweetLeaf Vanilla Creme stevia in here but there’s mixed opinions on stevia online, so I encourage you to do a little research on Stevia first.
Personally, I think if you’ve got to sweeten it up to stick to the habit, the benefits of this health boosting mocktail outweigh any stevia drawbacks...
Additionally, you can add some fulvic ionic sea minerals and/or iodine to the mix but that’s getting more advanced.
I recommend working with a naturopath to design a custom protocol before you mess with some of those more "serious" minerals like Iodine to see if you really need it. I.E. Thyroid panel testing, etc.
5. Walk and Learn
Directly after I drink my biohacker's mocktail I hit the pavement with an audiobook/podcast.
I go barefoot or use Vibram Five Finger shoes so I can connect with the earth and improve my posture.
I don’t have a set time limit but I just make sure I move and learn a bit every morning before I dive into the daily responsibilities.
Some good books to get you started:
Fredrick Dodson's "Levels of Energy" if you're into spirituality.
Jim Rohn's "Leading an Inspired Life" for overall self improvement.
Dr. Nicole LePera's "How to Do the Work" for emotional healing and trauma work.
And Steven Pressfield's "Turning Pro" for motivation and entrepreneurship.
I’m sure you know the benefits of exercise for mental and physical health… So I won’t dive into that here. Subjectively, I feel like I’m “on track” in life and doing what I should be doing when I’m reading and learning daily.
So this is my time to kill two birds with one stone… Get some blood flow to the brain and eat some new information.
Some hidden benefits of doing this are that you become a more interesting person because you have cool things to talk about from your learning sessions.
You get to share that information and help people, and because you’re exercising, you’ll have more energy to have those conversations and connect with the people you love.
6. Morning sunlight
During this walk time, I’m getting morning sun exposure which is amazing for the brain and body on many levels.
Sometimes I walk really early in the morning and it’s pitch black outside. So I always make it a point to take a quick work break and watch the sunrise on those days, when possible.
If I miss the sunrise, I just get outside at the earliest convenience so I can help my body align with the circadian rhythm of the earth.
The sun exposure helps tell your body when to produce energy.
I find that I’m able to sleep and stay asleep much easier when I stick to this discipline. I also try to get a minimum of 20 minutes of sun exposure during the day around lunch time. Eating outside with no shirt when possible.
7. Blue Light Blocking
This has to be one of the most hyped “biohacks” ever but it’s 100% legit IMO.
The blue light blocking glasses work, to a degree, but what the glasses companies fail to inform you is that your skin also has light receptor cells called melanocytes that are sensitive to the blue light as well…
So if you’re on the couch with blue light blockers and watching a movie shirtless, your body is still getting the signal to WAKE UP. I remain conscious of this but I don’t obsess over it.
If I’m watching a movie late, I cover up under a blanket and throw the blue light blockers on. I also have a red light panel in the same room that helps balance out some of the blue light emitting from my TV.
You don't have to buy the super expensive panels. I just got a cheap one on amazon for about $40.
My lights in my bedroom are the philips hue color changing LED bulbs so I can shift to red at night. My bedroom bathroom lights are red/amber.
One of the common blue light mistakes is flipping that bright bathroom light on to use the toilet at night and shocking your circadian rhythm out of alignment.
That’s a scientific fact confirmed by Stanford Neuroscientist, Dr. Andrew Huberman. So be mindful of your blue light exposure.
There’s a couple one time steps like swapping the lightbulbs and they’re relatively inexpensive, so why not try it?
I personally notice a huge difference in my sleep quality and how refreshed I feel in the morning when I wake up. I’m confident you will too.
8. Routine “Brain Reboots”
My stress levels and productivity changed for the better, almost instantly, when I was introduced to the concept of “Mental RAM”.
Essentially, Mental RAM is your limited capacity for processing thoughts, tasks, and emotions… The main takeaway is that we all have limited space in our beautiful brains.
If you’re talking on the phone while driving and trying to order DoorDash simultaneously, odds are that you might crash… This is obvious, still, a lot of us are trying to focus on work while we’re thinking about what we’re going to do when we get off work, or processing a conversation we had earlier in the day, etc…
The cool thing I discovered is that you don’t always have to “close the loops” and complete the tasks to unlock your focus. Often, you can just dump all of your thoughts on paper and they release their hold on you.
So about once every 3 months, I’ll simply exorcize all of the tasks, fears, dreams, unspoken conversations, and anxieties rolling through my brain and confront them.
After executing the brain reboot, I always realize my fears are not so scary. My tasks are not so daunting. And my dreams are not so far out of reach.
When all this mental chatter is materialized and brought into conscious awareness, I suddenly feel lighter, more empowered, and my ability to focus increases significantly.
I’ve taught this brain reboot process to countless friends, clients, and employees and they all report the same liberation from stress, anxieties and a massive productivity boost.
Give it a shot and comment below to let me know how you feel :)
9. Sunsama Productivity Software
Once I cleared my Mental RAM, I needed a way to keep it clear. So I tested more than 20 personal productivity softwares, read all the books, including David Allen’s “Getting Things Done” and “The Checklist Manifesto”, and countless others.
Ultimately, I developed my own system that utilizes Ashutosh Priyadarshy’s Sunsama Software as the main hub, and implements the principles of David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology.
This one applies more for the work from home entrepreneurs, but can absolutely be used for the home-maker, 9 to 5 worker, or anyone looking to 10X their personal productivity.
It’s a comprehensive system that takes some time to get used to, but everyone who’s implemented it describes it as nothing short of life changing.
If you have any questions comment down below and I’m happy to assist.
10. Gut Health Optimization
If you’re into fitness or health you’ve definitely heard that we’ve got a “second brain” in our gut.
Most of our “happy chemicals”, aka serotonin, are produced in the tummy… And the amino acids necessary to produce dopamine are also assimilated through the digestion process.
So if your gut is off, in any way, be that through bloating, indigestion, or gut distress of any kind… Your mental performance will suffer.
I went through a major health crisis back in 2014 and it stemmed from a parasite I had in my gut that was destroying my brain health as a consequence.
I consulted with top gastroenterologists, biohackers, and naturopaths, and ultimately healed up my gut and reclaimed my mental clarity.
If you have questions, feel free to comment below :)
BONUS #11. A deeper dive on nutrition for brain health…
Nutrition is a BIG pillar when it comes to optimizing mental performance.
There's a lot of conflicting opinions on nutrition, so I'm not trying to start beef with anyone here. By no means am I claiming to be an expert in nutrition, but I have experimented with keto, carnivore, vegan, fruititarian, paleo, AIP, and almost any dietary protocol you could imagine.
I put together a video that summarizes my personal research on the subject and what makes my brain function the best.
The video below shows you what I've settled on after all my experimentation and at the least, it will serve as a springboard for your own research on the subject.
Again, please consult with your doc before trying any new approaches to supplementation or diets :)
I've got a lot more to share but we'll wrap this post up here today.
If there's anything you'd like me to dive deeper on in another post or have any questions on the information in this article, please comment below.
If this impacts you in any way please share your experience below.
Luke "The Lion"