Discover more from BowTied Bull
Biohacker Guest Post on Neuroplasticity/Brain Hacking with Peptides **Warning Grey Market Not for Newbies**
Level 2 - Value Investor
NOTE THIS IS A GUEST POST WITH AFFILIATE LINKS FROM BOWTIED BIOHACKER. SINCE HE COVERS A WIDE RANGE OF COMPOUNDS WE SUGGEST DOING YOUR OWN RESEARCH INTO EACH ONE (DETAILED PUB MED ARTICLES AND VIDEOS IN THE POST). GREY MARKET DISCUSSION AS WELL SO PLEASE DO YOUR RESEARCH!
Guest Post from BowTiedBioHacker
What’s up Degens? Bitcoin just hit 35k, but I have even better news. Today, you’re going to walk away with the blueprint to maximizing your mental performance. This isn’t common knowledge, but it’s not hidden either. The highest performers in society, from celebrities to, Fortune 500 CEOs, to professional athletes, and even “f*** you” rich cartoon anons, are deploying these same strategies. How do I know? I’ve coached them. Chances are at least one of the following applies to you:
You need to learn new skills
You need to drop a bad habit or two
You need to focus more
You need to manage your emotions better
You need to improve your decision-making
If any of these resonate with you, you’ll wanna keep reading. What we’re going to discuss is the culmination of over a decade of research and experimentation. What no one talks about?
The key to unlocking your full potential and achieving greatness beyond what you thought was possible, lies within a (not so) simple concept called Neuroplasticity.
But don’t worry. You don’t need a PhD in neurology, pharmacology, or biochemistry. I’m going to break it down so even those of you who are left of the curve can understand (yes, there’s hope!)
Disclaimer: The following post is not medical advice. Bowtied Biohacker is not a medical doctor. This article is intended for educational and entertainment purposes only. Consult with a licensed physician before making changes to your diet, lifestyle, or supplement regimen.
This article is inspired by this X post made by BTB last week. Everyone who’s lived long enough knows this is true, but why? A lack of neuroplasticity.
What is Neuroplasticity?
Neuroplasticity is the brain's ability to adapt and change its physical structure and function in response to experiences. It determines our capacity to acquire new skills, languages, perspectives, and habits (as well as drop old ones). Another way to look at neuroplasticity is your potential to “rewire” your brain.
What is Neurogenesis?
Neurogenesis is the creation of new neurons in the brain. The majority of neurogenesis occurs during prenatal development, but we now know it can occur in adulthood, particularly in certain regions like the hippocampus. Neurogenesis contributes to neuroplasticity and cognitive function.
Lack of Neuroplasticity = Unhappiness / Failure
Unhappy people engage in rumination, or the tendency to engage in sustained, repetitive negative thoughts. In other words, their brain is wired for unhappiness and the lack of neuroplasticity due to age and lifestyle make it difficult for them to rewire their brain to think positively. They are effectively stuck in their ways.
Other things like limiting beliefs, bad habits, and lack of skills become increasingly difficult to change as neuroplasticity declines.
Think of it this way: Without neuroplasticity, you can’t level up.
If you believe that you should always be striving to become a better version of yourself… If you’re tired of being stressed, unhappy, and unsatisfied… If you want to build a booming WiFi business and quit your W2… If you want to achieve financial freedom and eat steaks on Degen Island… If you want to leave behind a legacy that echoes throughout the halls of eternity… You have to level up. You NEED neuroplasticity
Neuroplasticity Changes With Age
Neuroplasticity is highest in childhood and remains strong until around age 25. The saying "your brain doesn't fully develop until 25" refers to this period when your cognitive architecture solidifies. After 25, significant changes in personality, habits, beliefs, and skills become less likely.
How to Limit the Decline & Maximize Your Cognitive Potential
Avoid Brain Damage
No matter how clean and healthy you live, you are always incurring damage to neurons. Luckily, your neurons are also constantly growing and being repaired. To prevent decline, you want to limit neuronal damage as much as possible to shift the balance toward growth & repair.
Cut out Alcohol: Alcohol damages neurons through oxidation, excitotoxicity, and its toxic metabolites. It’s best to not drink at all, but if you must
Limit caffeine usage, and avoid prescription and recreational stimulant drugs like amphetamines, cocaine, and MDMA: These drugs cause an excess increase in neurotransmitters like dopamine, norepinephrine, and glutamate, which causes the damage and/or death of neurons.
Quit Smoking / Vaping: Both cigarettes and vapes contain neurotoxic compounds that damage DNA, increase oxidative stress, and reduce the cell’s ability to produce energy.
Stress Management: Prolonged mental stress damages neurons through oxidative stress and excitotoxicity. Manage stress by removing stressors when possible, maintaining a balanced diet, and getting sufficient exercise (more on that later)
Avoid Inflammatory Foods: Fried foods, sugar, and packaged foods have a pro-inflammatory effect on the brain. This excess inflammation causes damage to neurons and limits their function. You don’t have to be perfect but aim for an 80-90% whole foods diet (unprocessed meat, eggs, vegetables, fruits). Sometimes healthy foods can have a pro-inflammatory effect if you do not digest them properly. For example, if you get bloated and lethargic when you eat cauliflower, avoid it. Yes, it’s a * generally healthy* vegetable, but it’s not healthy for you.
Good Nutrition = Good Cognition
The following nutrients are essential for neuroplasticity, neuroprotection, growth/repair, and other aspects of cognitive function.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids (Particularly DHA)
Minerals (Magnesium, Zinc, Iron, Calcium, Copper, Selenium)
Polyphenols / Antioxidants
A balanced diet will typically look like red meat, poultry, eggs, fish, starches, vegetables, and fruits. Again, 80-90% of what you eat should be real, unpackaged, whole foods. Here’s what you need to take into account
Micronutrient count: you can track your daily micronutrient intake with the Cronometer app. This will help you decide what types and amounts of foods to include.
Calorie count: On a typical day, you want to eat roughly the same amount of calories you burn. This is assuming, you’re already in shape. Otherwise, you want to eat at a 500 calorie deficit, but not more as cognitive function will decline. You can estimate your caloric needs at tdeecalculator.net
Macronutrients: You want to aim for roughly 1g protein/ lb of bodyweight. The aminos acids found in complete proteins are important for switching on the “growth” signal that repairs neurons. Carbs and fats will come down to a personal preference
Digestability: Base your diet on foods that digest easily and don’t cause any bloating, lethargy, acid reflux, or gas. An inflamed gut means an inflamed brain.
Supplements: Vitamin, mineral, choline, and Omega 3 supplements can be deployed to fill in the deficits in your diet. Just remember, real food is always going to produce better results.
Side note: BTB Was Right
Blueberries contain polyphenols/flavonoids which have various biological actions, including cognitive enhancing effects via induction of neurogenesis, as well as promoting autophagy, and antioxidant activity and can reduce neuro-inflammation. Blueberries are one food that are beneficial to nearly everyone. (source)
Yerba Mate > Coffee
The polyphenols and flavanoids in yerba mate promote the growth of dopaminergic neurons. They also have a “strong” neuroprotective effect on neurons, though various mechanisms. Taking these factors into account, it’s clear that it’s a superior source of caffeine. References: (Source) and (Source)
Sunlight: not just for vitamin D. Sunlight promotes the synthesis of various peptide hormones and neurotransmitters that have a neuroprotective and neurogenic effect.
Use Your Brain: Engaging in cognitively challenging activities, learning new skills, socializing, and having new experiences stimulates neuroplasticity. On the flip side, prolonged periods of mental inactivity lead to the weakening of existing neural connections and a shift in brain chemistry that reduces neuroplasticity. Use it or lose it!
Cardiovascular Exercise: Aerobic exercise stimulates a variety of neurotrophins, peptide hormones, and neurotransmitters that increase neuroplasticity, neurogenesis, mood, focus, and memory. To optimize for brain health, 30 minutes at 50-70% of Max HR 5 days per week. Of course you can always do more
Sauna: Not for everyone, so check with your doctor if you have heart conditions. Sauna exposure at least 165° F for 30 minutes, 3 times per week, increases neurogenesis, neuroplasticity
Sleep: Neurotrophins like BDNF and other protective/regenerative hormones are primarily secreted during sleep. If you are currently getting 6 or less hours of sleep, you can increase neuroplasticity and cognitive function by simply getting 7 or 8 hours of sleep. You can also achieve this by increasing sleep quality. Subscribe to my substack and stay toon’d for a guide on how to do this.
Fasting: Fasting for 36 to 72 hours can have an anti-inflammatory, pro-neurogenic, and growth-stimulating effect on the brain. Increases neuroplasticity and prevents cognitive decline through too many mechanisms to list here.
Supplementing For Cognitive Performance
BowTiedBioHacker - Affiliate Disclaimer: As a Nootropics Depot affiliate, I receive a commission for products purchased through my links and using my coupon codes. I’ve been a customer of ND for nearly a decade because of their quality, transparency, and customer service so becoming an affiliate was a no-brainer
Best Supplements for Focus
Code: “BIOHACKER10” for 10% Off
Increases levels of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin by inhibition of monoamine oxidase via 3,6'-disinapoyl sucrose (DISS), and inhibits the reuptake of dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin via yuanzhi-1. (source) (source)
Enhances dopaminergic/adrenergic activity via inhibition of monoamine oxidase. Contains Salidroside, a powerful compound that has a multifactorial effect on dopamine production, enhances GDNF and increases dopamine production via tyrosine hydroxylase induction. (source) (source)
Inhibits 5HT2C, disinhibiting dopaminergic/adrenergic activity. Also inhibits the reuptake of dopamine and norepinephrine, and possibly serotonin, Finally, saffron exhibits mild monoamine oxidase inhibition. (Source) (Source)
Best Supplements for Neurogenesis / Neuroplasticity
Again, we see Bacopa on the list. It boosts learning and memory by increasing brain acetylcholine activity. This occurs via inhibition of the acetylcholinesterase enzyme. Bacopa also enhances the activity of signaling molecules implicated in synaptogenesis, aiding learning and memory, mainly via Bacosides A/B. References: (source) (source)
Increases acetylcholine levels via selective inhibition of acetylcholinesterase References: (source)
Direct precursor to the synthesis of acetylcholine, as well as increasing the concentrations of acetylcholine in the brain. References: (source)
Now for the fun stuff. The “secret sauce” the top performers are taking. The grey-hat stuff that doesn’t fall under the category of dietary supplements and isn’t FDA-approved. These are the compounds I can’t recommend anyone take, and as of late September, Doctors at anti-aging / performance clinics can no longer prescribe these through compounding pharmacies. Nonetheless, we’ll go over them briefly as they are being used to reach peak cognitive performance. Affiliate Disclaimer: I receive commissions on purchases made through my affiliate links or using my coupon code. Peptides and nootropics are strictly for research purposes
Semax is a synthetic peptide hormone that is a partial amino acid sequence of endogenous Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). Semax is typically used for its ability to increase focus, drive, learning, memory, and libido. It’s also popular in the bodybuilding community for mitigating post-workout brain fog. It achieves these outcomes through a multitude of pathways, including BDNF expression, MCR agonism and antagonism, ACTH agonism, and dopamine/serotonin modulation.
It’s typically used in nasal spray format, but can also be injected subcutaneously. N-Acetyl Semax & N-Acetyl Semax Amidate are often preferred over regular Semax for their stronger and longer lasting effect. You can read more about it on my X Post.
For researchers interested in studying Semax, you can find it at my favorite source: Limitless Life Nootropics with code “BOWTIED” for 15% off.
Selank is a synthetic peptide hormone that was developed to be an anti-anxiety compound that doesn’t sedate or decrease cognitive performance. Selank users tend to report a notable calming effect, mood boost, increase in verbal fluency, and overall cognition. Selank appears to increase BDNF expression in the hippocampus, making it a potential winner for learning and memory. It’s often stacked with Semax to balance out its stimulation and potentiate cognition enhancement.
It’s typically used in nasal spray format, but can also be injected subcutaneously. N-Acetyl Selank & N-acetyl selank Amidate are often preferred over regular Selank for their stronger and longer-lasting effect.
For researchers interested in studying Selank, you can find it at my favorite source: Limitless Life Nootropics with code “BOWTIED” for 15% off
Cerebrolysin is a a blend of free amino acids, and essential neurotrophic factors such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), nerve growth factor (NGF), and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNF). As mentioned earlier, these are the primary drivers of neurogenesis and neuroplasticity.
The other methods of cognitive enhancement we discussed involve increasing your body’s production of these brain growth factors. Cerebrolysin is the direct injection of these growth factors - by far the most powerful tool on this list. It’s prescribed in Asia and Eastern Europe to treat various conditions including stroke, traumatic brain injuries, and neurodegenerative diseases.
It’s also becoming popular for off-label depression, anxiety, and addiction treatment due to it’s very potent neurogenic and neuroplasticity-promoting effects. It’s also reported to be a very effective tool for cognitive enhancement in individuals who aren’t suffering from health conditions. You can learn more about it in this video.
For researchers interested in studying Cerebrolysin, you can find it at my favorite source: Limitless Life Nootropics with code “BOWTIED” for 15% off
Conclusion While this post covered the basics, I’ll be diving deeper into the topics of cognitive performance, nutrition, and supplementation on my Substack. You can also find me on X BowtiedUM Neuroplasticity is a key component in your ability to level up and become the best version of you. While it declines with age, we know that we can limit this decline with the right diet and lifestyle choices. Finally, by deploying the proper supplement stack, we can enhance our cognitive performance beyond what’s naturally achievable.
If anyone has questions, I’ll be happy to answer them in the comments. Thanks for reading, and thanks BTB for the feature!
Pretty heavy overview of various supplements and compounds. As usual we strongly suggest doing your own research particularly when going down the road of grey. We’ll stick by our prior comments of blueberries, Yerba matte and HRT (through a private doctor). It is up to you to decide how deep down the rabbit hole you want to go.
On a separate note we’ll be having the DeFi team doing a large update on Link later this month due to popular request.
Now that we’re approaching a potential new bull market, Defi Academy is having a sale to get you up to speed on all things crypto. If you were lost during the previous bull run we’re confident their educational materials will have you ready to go within a short time investment. (Defi Academy)
Disclaimer: None of this is to be deemed legal or financial advice of any kind. These are *opinions* written by an anonymous group of Ex-Wall Street Tech Bankers and software engineers who moved into affiliate marketing and e-commerce. We’re an advisor for Synapse Protocol 2022-2024E.
Old Books: Are available by clicking here for paid subs. Don’t support scammers selling our old stuff
Crypto: The DeFi Team built a full course on crypto that will get you up to speed (Click Here)
Security: Our official views on how to store Crypto correctly (Click Here)