Brain gains

Welcome to the positive corner of wellness. If you're new here, or just downloaded Arnold's guide, we hope you enjoy being a...

Welcome to the positive corner of wellness. If you're new here, or just downloaded Arnold's guide, we hope you enjoy being a part of The Pump Daily. Here’s a daily digest designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. But first, a message from Arnold.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • The power of one month

  • Better than shrooms

  • Sleep deprivation does what?

Does “Dry January” Work?

Mathematicians might disagree, but science suggests 30 days of sacrifice can have 365 days of impact.

London researchers examined whether giving up alcohol for one month changed the long-term behaviors of people who typically enjoy a couple of drinks daily. Consider this the ultimate “Dry January” test, and the results were worthy of a passing grade.

Those who gave up booze for one month lost an average of 4 pounds, lowered their blood pressure, and reduced their risk of diabetes — despite changing no other behaviors.

Most impressively? When the researchers followed up more than 6 months later, those who abstained for one month were drinking significantly less per week, while those who didn’t were still drinking just as often.

But this research is bigger than just drinking. It's more evidence that if you are willing to start small and stay consistent, then you don't need to be perfect for big changes to follow.

Are you doing dry January or another short-term challenge? Tell Arnold about it and what you’re doing to stick with it.

Brain Gains

Adaptogenic mushrooms (not the magic kind) like lion’s mane get all the press, but an old muscle-building staple might be one of the best super-nutrients for your brain.

Creatine has long been celebrated for its ability to improve muscle and strength, but recent research suggests it also pumps up your brain. A new study found that creatine can help improve cognitive performance, memory, and executive function. The scientists found that creatine benefits people of all ages, but the greatest impact was for those older than 60.

If you've never used it before, creatine safety is supported by hundreds of studies, produced naturally in your body, and found in foods like meat, fish, and dairy. If you want to strengthen your muscles and your brain, research suggests 3 to 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per day is your best bet.

A Good Reason To Prioritize Sleep

If living longer, improving metabolic health, and strengthening immunity weren’t enough reasons to prioritize sleep, here’s one more thing men should consider: a lack of shuteye might harm sperm quality.

A recent study found that sleep deprivation caused DNA fragmentation that reduced sperm quality. The catch? This research was done on mice. So while more research is needed to determine if these findings apply to humans, there’s reason to suspect there’s something to the sleep-sperm relationship. Survey research suggests male fertility rates are down, and sleep quality is also decreasing…meaning it could be more than a coincidence. If you are not getting enough rest — or know someone who isn’t — maybe this will be the incentive that creates positive change.

In general, aim for a minimum of six hours a night, but ideally, try to get 7 or 8 hours of sleep.