What a world it would be if you could waltz into the supermarket and find drinks labeled, “Get smart,” “Be strong,” “Fountain of Youth,” “Lose weight” and “Lift my mood.” Unfortunately, life isn’t scripted that way—and products that do claim they’re great for helping you lose weight or boost strength are usually packed full of sugar, and not good for you at all. In this article, I’ve chosen a list of drinks that actually do boost brain power.
These drinks can make you feel like your IQ has increased. They’re not special products manufactured by a particular company, they’re just extremely healthy choices. It’s also important to know what drinks to avoid in order to be kind to your brain. Moderate alcohol intake is fine, and can be beneficial, but going overboard not only harms the liver, but causes brain fog, too—and it’s cumulative.
Sugary drinks are not just bad for your heart and waistline, but over time, they cause significant neurological issues, affecting memory and concentration. Drinks with artificial sweeteners and dyes are toxic to the brain, eventually affecting normal cognition. Studies have shown them to be carcinogenic and mutagenic. So start playing some “brain games” on your smart phone or do it the old-fashioned way with crossword puzzles, and grab one of these drinks to amp up your intelligence.
Pomegranate juice This exotic fruit has tons of unique antioxidants that have been shown to improve cognition and memory. Drinking a glass of this daily will make you smarter.
Tea Choose green or black, whichever your particular cup of tea may be. Drinking tea is a great way to enhance the activity in your brain, sinceEGCG, or epigallocatechin-3-gallate, which is found in green tea, has been shown to increase brain cell production while sharpening memory. Tea is also loaded with antioxidants, and drinking even one cup of black tea daily has been shown to improve reaction time
Dark chocolate cocoa The flavonols in cocoa relax the lining of blood vessels and decreases blood pressure, which means there are less damaging effects to the brain over time. Drinking a cup of hot chocolate may reduce risk for stroke and cognitive deficits.
Berry smoothies Load up on blackberries and blueberries, and you’ll feel like you can win the next Scripps National Spelling Bee. Both of these berries enhance neuronal activity and connection in the brain, and prevent early onset of mental decline. Memory—along with motor and cognitive skills—is sharpened.
Cinnamon and turmeric tea This is one of my daily secrets, along with some other herbs; cinnamon contains two compounds, proanthocyanidin and cinnamaldehyde, which may decrease tau proteins in the brain that cause plaque build-up implicated in dementia.
Turmeric has also been shown to inhibit dementia development due to its active component, curcumin. Add a dollop of olive oil, which contains oleocanthal, a compound thought to guard against. Alzheimer’s, for good measure.
Moderate alcohol intake Studies have shown that alcohol, be it vodka, beer or wine, can enhance cortical function in the brain, thereby increasing creativity—but your BAC shouldn’t exceed 0.07, because too much of a good thing turns bad: moderation is key.
Plain water Besides the fact that we are composed of 70 percent water and that we need water to flush out toxins, make our skin look great and stay hydrated, water also helps deliver oxygen to the brain to optimally function. That’s why when you’re dehydrated, you cannot think straight and you get headaches—which is the brain’s way of saying it needs some TLC.
Red wine Research has shown that the polyphenols found in wine (and even chocolate… so indulge in both) increase blood flow to the brain, thereby boosting its power. The resveratrol in wine also contributes to a healthy brain, but remember, it’s all about moderation. Cheers to that!
Beet, carrot and apple juice Throw these in a whole food blender and not only will you make a fabulously colored beverage, but the amount of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in this drink will make you feel like you can win the Nobel Prize in physics.
Beets increase nitric oxide production in the brain, which improves circulation. Carrots contain beta-carotene, which is not only good for the eyes, but helps to halt brain degeneration. Apples prevent neurodegenerative disease including Alzheimer’s—and we all know that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Coconut water and coconut milk All the ingredients in coconuts, whatever form you consume them in, are beneficial to overall health, especially the brain. Early onset dementia can be prevented by this drink: Aside from being rehydrating, the electrolytes, vitamins and minerals improve circulation and blood flow to the brain.