How To Jumpstart Your Brain Without Caffeine

When your mind needs to be supercharged, a quick workout might do more than just support better health.

Welcome to the positive corner of the internet. Every weekday, we make sense of the confusing world of wellness by analyzing the headlines, simplifying the latest research, and offering quick tips designed to make you healthier in less than 5 minutes. If you were forwarded this message, you can get the free daily email here.

Today’s Health Upgrade

  • Number you won’t forget

  • Post-workout protein

  • An instant brain boost

  • Arnold Q&A

Arnold’s Podcast

Want more stories from Arnold? Every day, Arnold’s Pump Club Podcast opens with a story, perspective, and wisdom from Arnold that you won’t find in the newsletter. And, you’ll hear a recap of the day’s items. You can subscribe on Apple, Spotify, Google, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

Number You Won’t Forget: 75

About one out of every three adults in the United States suffer from metabolic syndrome. And if you’re the one, research suggests you have a 75 percent increased risk of getting colon cancer.

Metabolic syndrome is characterized by conditions that put you at higher risk for many diseases. These risk factors include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, and a large waistline.

If you have at least three of those conditions, you have a greater likelihood of stroke, heart disease, and diabetes, too.

But here’s the good news: metabolic syndrome isn’t permanent. One study even suggests that 50 percent of people could reverse metabolic syndrome with a combination of diet and exercise. If you want to improve your outcome, eat more fiber and protein, aim for 150 minutes of movement per week, prioritize your sleep, cut back on calories, and work on stress reduction by reading, writing, connecting with friends, or meditating.

Post-Workout Protein

Two weeks ago, we had a Pump club hangout on the beach. It was fantastic.

Everyone came together to do a ruck down the beach and a Q and A at the Momentous office. Arnold showed up and surprised everyone during a surprise tour of his office.

One of the best parts was bringing our Pump Club partners together. Our friends from Maui Nui flew in from Hawaii and came bearing gifts. They must have brought 300 venison sticks to supply extra post-ruck protein.

And not a single one was left. They’re the official Pump Club travel snack because they are 55 calories and 10 grams of protein. And that’s just scratching the surface. Per 3.5 ounces, Maui Nui’s nutrition label is about as good as it gets: 21.5 grams of protein, 107 calories, 1.5 grams of fat, and 1.9 grams of carbs. Not to mention, their meat has 2-4 times as many antioxidants and 22 percent more protein per serving.

But there’s a deeper reason Maui Nui is the official Pump Club snack —  we believe in their mission. 

They’re helping Maui deal with an invasive species of deer that isn’t meant to be there and is eating the vegetation that used to protect the coral reefs from destruction. What we love even more is that they give back to their community. Through their holo'ai program, they’ve donated more than 138,550 pounds of meat to anyone needing food on Maui. They were there to feed people after their disastrous fires.

So yes, we all pack their sticks in our bags and use them for amazing low-fat protein snacks when on the go. As a member of the positive corner of the internet, you get 20% OFF your first order. We feel fantastic about the nutrition and even better about the impact.

An Instant Brain Boost

The next time you process things a little too slowly, head to the gym and give it your all. 

New research suggests a high-intensity workout can provide a short-term boost to brain activity. 

Scientists compared two types of workouts — moderate-intensity and high-intensity — to determine how exercise affects brain activity. The moderate-intensity group exercised for about 20 minutes at 65 percent of their VO2 max. The high-intensity participants pushed at 85 percent for 3 minutes, 95 percent for 2 minutes, and 100 percent for one minute. Each set included one minute of rest and was completed twice. 

The researchers assessed chemical changes associated with brain performance (BDNF, S100B, and NSE) and cognitive performance. Participants saw improvements in both conditions, but there was a bigger boost in BDNF, S100B, NSE, reaction time, and cognitive performance in the high-intensity intervals. 

In other words, exercise improves memory, cognitive performance, focus, and efficiency while increasing the chemicals that help promote brain growth and protect against neurodegeneration — with the biggest improvements occurring in high-intensity exercise. 

Interestingly, the elevated performance from high-intensity training (compared to moderate-intensity training) appeared to taper off after about an hour. So, if you need a mental break, you’ll likely benefit from any exercise. But if you want to maximize brain performance for a short-term window, about 20 minutes of high-intensity training (running, weights, etc.) will likely lead to the best outcome. 

Arnold Q&A

Yesterday, Arnold joined The Pump app for his 33rd Q&A. Here are a few answers to some of the questions.

Arnold Vs. ______

Arnold On Kids Working Out

Arnold’s Thoughts About What Makes the United States Different

Arnold and Meditation

In A Muscle Plateau? Why Arnold Suggests Stripping…

Arnold On No Plan B

And that’s it for this week. We hope you all have a fantastic weekend, and we’ll see you back here on Monday.

-Arnold, Adam, and Daniel

Publisher: Arnold Schwarzenegger

Editors-in-chief: Adam Bornstein and Daniel Ketchell