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Learning diet?

  1. Jul 23, 2007 #1
    I know that if I want my muscles to grow stronger, I should eat lot of protein containing food, apart from only training hard. And taking protein precisely after the training and before sleeping is probably most effective.

    Does the way I eat also have an effect on my ability to learn new things? After all, learning is about training the brain, and changing it physically. I see that my brains don't get bigger, like my muscles do, as result of training, but that alone is probably not enough to conclude this idea false.

    I know that just thinking about some things (and doing related exercises) is the key to start understanding them (and not eating!), similarly as training muscles is key to make them stronger, but since the food does have effect on the effectiveness of the muscle training, I might guess that something similar happens also with learning.
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 13, 2007 #2
    I am by no means an authority on this, but general reasoning is that food that makes the body "happy" is the best one for learning. Food that irritates the systems of the body, food that is hard to digest or to process, food that is particularly hot or sweet or sour is not as good as one that is the opposite.

    one good way to think of it is to look at what food makes you sleepier/thirstier and avoiding it and prefering the ones that keep you fresher.

    Drinking a lot of water (up to 5 litres a day) is a good thing as far as I know. Mental stimulants are also not preferred, as they tend to become habbits and once they become habbits their "stimulation" part keeps dulling everytime, and finally, to keep yourself "stimulated" you need to consume a lot of them, which will ruin your body. Coffee is one such, which is better not "relied" upon.

    loads of fruits, vitamins and water are good. stuff that is particularly pungent or hot is not so good generally, just like oily food.

    Other than that, i think anything goes! Just stay away from intoxicants as much as possible and work out the brain as often as you can!

  4. Aug 23, 2007 #3
    Sounds like "be healthy for the best results". Most probably true.
  5. Aug 23, 2007 #4
    Totally true -- nutrition is very important to keeping your mind sharp. You want to feed the brain all the nutrients it needs, as well as making sure you don't eat any toxins that sap the brain of vital nutrients.

    For example, magnesium is critical to proper brain function, and many people don't get enough of it. (It's important in the rest of the body too :)) But what's also interesting is that if you do eat enough magnesium, there are chemicals which, if eaten, will sap it away. Flouride is one example of a magnesium-sapping chemical (it shouldn't be ingested -- it should only be applied to your teeth and then spit out; it fuses with tooth enamel to strengthen it, as well as kills bacteria, but it's very bad to ingest).

    Once you've got nutrition taken care of, mental exercise is a great way to sharpen your mind. (Physics, of course, is a good workout, but there are others. :)

    I was browsing in the bookstore, and I ran across this book:


    I haven't read the whole thing, but I skimmed it, and I really like the layout -- it covers everything, nutrition, exercise, brain theory -- and it has a lot of data: bullet lists, tables, etc. (my favorite kind of book. :))

    If any of this ends up being helpful, let me know. ;D
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2007
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