The Neuroscientific Way to Be More Bulletproof with Caffeine
By: Dave Asprey
August 1, 2012
When it comes to being Bulletproof, eating is only a small part of what you can do to perform better. You won’t find many Paleo bloggers who follow neuroscientists, but I consider neuroscience and psychology to be as important for personal performance as food. If you eat crap, you won’t perform. If you eat well but you think like crap, you won’t perform either.
That’s why I was pretty excited to come across neuroscientist Chris Chatham‘s piece titled, “Caffeine: A Users’s Guide to getting Optimally Wired.” Chris is one smart dude who really understand how the brain works and spent some time digging in on how to best use caffeine for mental performance. Business Insider even covered his write-up!
Here is what he says:
· Moderate doses of 20 to 200 mg of caffeine per hour provide the most optimal mental boost. ( About 1 cup of tea or 1/2 cup of coffee per hour)
· Long term consumption of caffeine is associated with several health benefits
· Use caffeine to work faster and harder doing things that are easy to start the team moving rather than solving challenging problems
· Caffeine can help you extend wakefulness, and may even be comparable to modafinil at 600 mg
· Don’t smoke (or use the patch or gum for mental performance) because nicotine speeds caffeine metabolism
· Hack absorption of caffeine by adding a little sugar or grapefruit with it.
The 1st four points make great sense. The final one though, is lacking. Anyone who’s tried Bulletproof coffee knows that the best way to feel your coffee is to blend it with MCT oil and grass fed butter as explained here. And grapefruit doesn’t just slow caffeine absorption; it blocks liver detox for all sorts of things (estrogen and cancer to start). You can have a little grapefruit every now and then but I wouldn’t do it daily.
So there you have it neuroscience recommends regular dosing, specific tasks, and hacked absorbtion rates.
Because Chris was writing about caffeine not coffee specifically, this piece doesn’t include the effects of things like histamine, a neurotransmitter that is found in most types of coffee. My upgraded coffee is designed to have the lowest levels of histamine and mycotoxins for better mental performance.
In fact, we are in the process of conducting a study in conjunction with Stanford University and Quantified-Mind to prove that upgraded coffee with butter has mental benefits apart from a typical mass-market dark roast with the toxins it contains. If you’d like to be a part of the study, sign up here. If you are one of the first 100 to complete the 8 day study, you may qualify for a free pack of upgraded coffee!