What exactly is brain fog, and how can we overcome this woolly-headed feeling?
What is brain fog?
Most people have experienced mental fog or brain fog. While it can feel similar to the effects of stress or sleep deprivation, it’s not the same as dementia. It does not signify structural brain deterioration and people usually recuperate from it.
As we age, we undergo physiological changes that can cause glitches in brain functions – some we may even have taken for granted. You may notice it takes longer to comprehend and remember information, and the feeling that you’re not as mentally sharp as usual .
You may experience similar symptoms after a minor head injury, infections, or during menopause. Brain fog is also typical if you have anxiety, depression or stress.
What causes brain fog?
Lack of sleep and overworking are some of the leading causes of brain fog. Although it’s not a medical condition, it can be a symptom of other medical disorders. It’s a kind of cognitive dysfunction resulting in:
- A deficiency of mental clarity
- An inability to concentrate
- Inadequate concentration
- Memory problems
There are several reasons why brain fog may occur, but fixing the problem usually requires determining the underlying cause. Here are some possible causes:
- Stress: chronic stress can debilitate the immune system, raise blood pressure, cause mental fatigue and trigger depression. When your brain is exhausted, it gets more challenging to focus, think and reason.
- Lack of sleep: insufficient sleep can interrupt how well your brain operates. Aim for around 8 to 9 hours of sleep every night. Sleeping too little can lead to cloudy thoughts and poor engagement.
- Diet: what you eat and drink can play a part in contributing to brain fog. Vitamin B12 sustains healthy brain function, and being deficient in this can bring about brain fog. It can also be triggered by certain foods – if you have sensitivities or allergies to aspartame, dairy, or peanuts, for example.
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- Hormonal changes: hormonal changes can also initiate brain fog as levels of hormones like estrogen and progesterone increase during pregnancy. This shift can impact memory and provoke short-term cognitive impairment.
Likewise, a drop in estrogen levels from menopause can cause poor concentration, cloudy thinking and forgetfulness.
- Medications: if brain fog happens while taking medication, consult your doctor to see if altering your dosage or changing to another drug could improve it. Brain fog can also occur from post-cancer treatments – this is sometimes referred to as ‘chemo brain’.
- Medical conditions: Medical conditions linked with fatigue, inflammation, viral infection, autoimmunity or changes in blood glucose level can also drive mental fatigue. It is important to discuss this with your doctor and let them know the symptoms you are feeling.
How to beat brain fog and enhance your energy
The solution to brain fog often depends on the cause. Sometimes, alleviating brain fog is about improving the quality of your sleep or fixing a nutritional deficiency. If you’re anaemic, iron supplements may boost your body’s production of red blood cells to reduce the symptoms.
Other remedies that may help reduce brain fog include:
Eating whole foods: food can also be medicine, and we can always look for ways to improve our overall energy and wellness with what we consume.
When it comes to diet, the most crucial approach is to ensure it’s full of healthy, whole foods, so try increasing your intake of fruits, protein, fruits, healthy fats and vegetables. Berries, green, leafy vegetables and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids (chia seeds, salmon and walnuts) are thought to be especially good for brain health.
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Make sure you’re receiving enough nutrients for energy and overall health. Try to reduce your intake of processed foods, and stick to a balanced diet consisting of carbohydrates, healthy fats and proteins.
Exercising: we are all aware of the benefits of exercising, though we have many reasons (often excuses) for not doing it., but it’s also beneficial in the fight against brain fog.
Not only does regular exercise help the brain improve concentration and memory, but moving the body can have instantaneous effects on your brain by releasing endorphins, which boost mood and increase energy.
Heading outside: A Stanford-led study in 2015 found that individuals who spent time walking out for 90 minutes a day had substantial decreases in cortisol levels . Being outdoors can support how your body deals with stress – potentially preventing stress from becoming mental fatigue.
Spending time outside can also improve short-term memory and boost attention span. Vitamin D also can have a considerable effect on brain health, so soak up some sun to help boost energy levels (but don’t forget your SPF).
Hydrating: in addition to a healthy diet, hydration may help reduce brain fog. Many important electrolytes such as potassium, magnesium and sodium are required to maintain proper cellular function. These minerals ensure that fluid is kept inside the cells where it is needed. Excessive sweating, especially during summer, can result in brain fog.
Managing stress: sometimes, brain fog is a lifestyle manifestation instead of a physical one. There will always be stress in our lives, but try to take a break from tasks that could induce exhaustion to help with mental fatigue. In addition, you can practice good health habits by avoiding excessive alcohol and caffeine.
Meditating: if you start feeling dizzy or tired in the middle of the day, consider resetting and refocusing through meditating. A study found that short meditation breaks helped kids with attention, self-control, and participation in school . For starters, you can try a mobile app to assist with guided meditations instead of going for a cup of coffee as your usual pick-me-up.
Sleeping sufficiently: the quality and amount of your sleep can contribute to brain fog in numerous ways, as it disrupts your natural circadian rhythm. Even tiny things like going to bed at different times every night or hitting snooze the snooze button can induce grogginess throughout the day. Try to set your sights on at least seven hours of sleep, but aim for 8 to 9 hours for optimal brain function.
Strengthening your thinking abilities: brain training games and puzzles like Scrabble bring out the competitive spirit in every age group and work to enrich your vocabulary to train your mind to focus. It’s important to remember that the activities you choose needs to increase in challenge and variety to avoid having your brain run on autopilot .
You can also explore new creative hobbies such as:
- Creative writing
- Playing music or learning a musical instrument
Talking to your doctor about your vitamin levels: another familiar cause of brain fog comes from what we’re lacking in our diets, so speak to your doctor about looking into vitamin levels and supplementing or modifying your diet.
Taking supplements: if you’re low in any vitamins, your doctor might recommend supplementing or eating more foods rich in that. As for your brain, high energy requirements tissues such as the brain are highly dependent on mitochondria .
Often labelled the cell’s powerhouse, mitochondria are responsible for energy production in our bodies. While some vitamins are naturally associated with brain health, reviewing your vitamin levels and talking to your doctor before trying anything out is vital.
Move over brain fog – improve mitochondrial health
If you’re experiencing brain fog but unsure as to which supplement to take, you could begin with the objective of supporting your body’s cellular energy production system, also known as the electron transport chain.
Our bodies’ ability to produce energy and neutralise harmful free radicals can become less efficient as we age. Enter MitoQ, a supplement designed to “help power your body’s cells, so you can do more of what matters, for longer.”
The MitoQ story started back in 1990 at the University of Otago in New Zealand. Mitochondrial specialist Professor Mike Murphy and biochemist Robin Smith were studying mitochondria and trying to extrapolate why antioxidant supplements, such as CoQ10, were inefficient for helping certain health issues. They found that ordinary antioxidants could not penetrate the mitochondria even though they successfully entered the bloodstream.
Accordingly, they created Mitoquinol Mesylate, a multi-patented cellular optimiser that can enter mitochondria and manage free radicals and oxidative damage while delivering additive benefits above and beyond standard antioxidant supplements. A consortium of NZ investors bought the rights to Mitoquinol Mesylate in 1990, with Dr Ken Taylor managing the commercialisation of the product.
The company’s mission statement articulates that with powerful mitochondria, everyone can optimise their health and wellbeing – to live better, do more of what is significant to them and sustain high performance for longer.
The product was created as the world’s first mitochondria-targeted antioxidant to empower each and every individual’s health and ambitions.
MitoQ has a 5mg dose per capsule of the patented element Mitoquinol Mesylate. This unique molecule was created to address the issue of antioxidants being unable to penetrate mitochondria, where free radical damage occurs.
It is an engineered type of CoQ10 that has been condensed and given a positive charge by linking it to Tetraphenylphosphonium cation (TPP). It is small enough to infiltrate the tough mitochondrial membrane and is pulled inside the mitochondria by its negative charge. Once there, MitoQ balances CoQ10 levels and helps lessen free radical damage.
MitoQ is uniquely developed to target cell stress, allowing you to unlock more energy, provide faster recovery and healthier aging – empowering you to embrace life on your terms.
Is there any scientific evidence for MitoQ?
MitoQ has been studied in more than 600 independent, peer reviewed papers showing proven advantages to organ health, oxidative stress and more. MitoQ has demonstrated inspiring preclinical results in various studies in isolated mitochondria, tissues and cells undergoing oxidative stress and apoptotic death.
Some recognised in vivo studies have shown that MitoQ is protective against the deterioration of endothelial cells because of nitroglycerin exposure in rats. In addition, pre-administration in mice guarded them against cardiac damage when prompted with sepsis.
MitoQ has been used in a total of 14 clinical trials so far. One good study showed that MitoQ improved arterial dilation in healthy adults by 42%, signifying that MitoQ holds promise for helping age-related vascular health. Other analyses have demonstrated that MitoQ benefits liver and kidney health, and new studies are ongoing to investigate MitoQ in supporting neurological functions and other physiological processes. .
MitoQ is being studied in a further 40 clinical trials – as part of an extended research programme. These include the domains of cardiovascular health, immunology, metabolics, oncology, rheumatology, neurology and sports science.
Is there longevity evidence available?
Aging can be described as a step-by-step and stochastic buildup of errors that can cause tissue and cellular malfunction and physiological decline.
Mitochondria are metabolically active organelles that build reactive oxygen species (ROS). It has been speculated that ROS-mediated damage to DNA accumulates over time and leads to associated aging phenotypes. One way to delay aging and extend lifespan is to reduce ROS-induced damage or improve DNA repair .
Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell and MitoQ’s breakthrough formula is scientifically proven to boost mitochondria’s ability to combat cell stress and balance free radicals. Click here to learn how MitoQ can help you beat cell stress and brain fog.
A systematic review to delve into the effects of MitoQ on oxidative outcomes linked to the aging process yielded a statistically significant drop in nitrotyrosine concentration (a product of tyrosine nitration mediated by ROS) and increased membrane possibility. It suggests that MitoQ may be of some benefit in alleviating oxidative stress related to aging .
The information included in this article is for informational purposes only. The purpose of this webpage is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.