4 Scientific Ways to Boost Reaction Time

4 Scientific Ways to Boost Reaction Time

4 Scientific Ways to Boost Reaction Time

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so you think if someone throws a basketball your face yeah you have time to block it that you have good reflexes rock you have good reaction time see there’s a difference between reflexes and reaction time and in this video I’m gonna teach you how to improve your reaction time so whether you just want to be a better person want to be a better athlete or you want to feel a bit smarter reaction time is something you need to be paying attention to so we’re gonna dive deeply into what a reflex is what reaction time is and then I’m going to explain what you can do from a physical standpoint a nutrition standpoint even a supplemental standpoint to improve those reaction times quite dramatically hey you’re tuned into the Internet’s leading performance nutrition and fat loss Channel and today we’re doing a little bit of neuroscience here make sure you keep it locked in every single Tuesday Friday and Sunday at 7 a.m. Pacific time and heck every other day as well there’s a little red button I want you to go to hit that sucker so you can subscribe to this channel and then I want you to hit that little bell icon that goofy looking thing that barely looks like a bell and that’s gonna allow you to turn on notifications so you know whenever I post a new video or whenever I’m doing a live broadcast all right without further ado it’s neuroscience time so reflex is like when you go to the doctor and they hit your elbow or the hit your knee with that little thingy right you bounce your leg you bounce your elbow whatever okay what a reflex is is something to bring you back to homeostasis that’s all it is so I want you to think of it like this you have a whole little ecosystem of neurons and effectors that are in a given area if someone hits me right here my neurons going to receive that impact and it’s going to have an impulse reaction or reflex to what is called an effector to cause that to go right back to normal so it’s trying to find homeostasis and it’s all fairly localized reaction time on the contrary is where I receive a cue a signal of some kind visual audible whatever like a ball coming out my face yeah that’s going to be my cue that signal has to go to my brain and then my brain has to process it and then neurons have to be triggered and neurotransmitter effect has to have an action potential has basically a whole signal has to go down my nerve to my hand to block my face so there’s a number of things that go on so you can see how improving reaction time is all about improving the transit time okay we’re trying to improve the speed of neural transmission reflex is be is localized that has other things we’re talking about reaction time so let’s talk about how this actually works in our nerves we have what are called accidents okay axons is like the they’re like the highway that’s where the signal or the action potential travels and there’s really only a couple ways that we can improve our reaction time we either have to improve the ability of a signal to go through that axon or we have to improve what’s called the myelin which I’ll talk about in a second so the axon being the superhighway down a nerve what ends up happening is a signal travels through that the wider the bigger and axon the faster a signal can travel remember within that axon we still have proteins we still have cytoplasmic material cytoplasmic vessels have all these things inside a nerve so if a nerve is small like painters for example or nerves that are transmitted pain signals they’re small so the signal doesn’t go very fast but certain nerves have larger axons which allows signal to go faster there’s not a whole lot we can do to improve the size of an axon or to improve the flow of an action potential right but we can improve what’s called the myelin the myelin is the outer layer of a nerve and prior to this video a lot of us just think that the myelin protects the nerve which doesn’t really tell us much we’re just left in limbo okay it protects the nerve like what does that really mean well it protects the action potential to be completely honest so if I see that ball coming at my face and my brain recognizes it it’s going to trigger an action potential to flow down my nerve to block my face well that action potential is going to trigger an influx of positively charged ions triggered by sodium and these positively charged ions are gonna flow down the axon and they’re gonna trigger an initial gradient but they’re also going to trigger additional sodium channels to open and additional channels within that accident open so that the signal goes faster here’s where it gets interesting we have negatively charged ions that are always trying to counteract positively charged ions so we have a positive electrical flow going down and nerve and we have a negative electrical world outside of that nerve the myelin sheath protects the positively charged ions from the negatively charged ions if our myelin sheath is thick like it should be the positively charged ions flow and barely get affected by the negatively charged ions if our myelin sheath is thin then the negatively charged ions have the ability to sort of dissipate the effect of the positive charged ions this is exaggerated in the way I’m describing it but every little bit of resistance that occurs from negatively charged ions upon those positively charged ions makes it so that our reaction time is slowed down by nanosecond upon nanosecond so the difference between a winning block in a karate match and getting kicked in the face can be just a matter of a couple negative ions right so we have to be paying attention to that so that’s where we get into some of the solutions so the first thing I want to talk about is improving your white matter by doing bouts of endurance exercise don’t be afraid of the endurance exercise take a look at boxers some of these guys have amazing amazing muscular physique and they do tons and tons and tons of endurance work and they have some of the best reaction times probably any athletes that are out there okay endurance work improves the blood flow to the white matter of the brain the white matter is just a labyrinth of a bunch of electrical systems it is white because of the myelin there are so much wiring so much nerve actually going on there we have a lot of mile in there okay think of it like opening up your computer and you see the CPU you see the motherboard you see the graphics card you see all the semiconductors everything you need and then you have a bunch of wires still the wires are the white matter it’s the important stuff that’s transmitting information without it the computer would die but we still need the gray matter the CPU all the important stuff there they work together but we need more blood flow and energy to the wires so the wires can actually do their job okay the power supply by doing a lot of exercise and by doing longer bouts of endurance work we improve blood flow to the white matter and we improve vasodilation through beta beta-2 adrenergic receptors so basically by triggering up in Efrain we get more blood flow to the brain which therefore makes the white matter more effective and can trigger signals from the gray matter to actually cause a better action potential that has more survival to our end result so 30 40 minutes of extended cardio a couple times per week can have a very powerful very profound effect on your ability to block a kick or block a punch it’s just the way it is next up nutritionally you can consume something known as lion’s mane I talk about this in a lot of my videos and lion’s mane is pretty unique stuff in the fact that it’s a mushroom okay and the way that this works is it promotes what is called nerve growth factor so there’s very specific things that are in lion’s mane that have been shown to not only promote actual growth of nerves and neurons but also help support the myelin so we get a double whammy okay we get thicker myelin because we have the nerve growth factor the genetic code that allows the nerves to get stronger and grow and then we also get a stronger signal because the nerve growth factor is there to support the neurons too so this is probably the most direct way that you can improve your reaction time without having to train extensively now there’s an option down below if you want to check it out to get some of for sig Mattox lion’s mane coffee yeah they’re obviously world renowned for this Tim Ferriss has been talking about them for so many years I’ve been talking about them for years honestly it’s probably the most cost-effective and fun way to get lion’s mane in so you’re not just having to take it straight you just mix it up in the coffee form that it comes with and you’re good to go so you can improve your reaction time get that added benefit that I’m talking about plus I don’t know it just makes you feel good cognitively I like doing it I like doing it before I film and all that stuff so anyway special discount that no one else can get down below in the description here the next thing that you can do is you can meditate now you’re probably thinking Thomas I don’t want to meditate that’s weird and I understand because I was skeptical at first too but when it comes to meditation there’s a lot of science that backs it up there’s a study that was published in the journal psychiatry research neural imaging ok this took a look at test subjects that were practicing meditation for eight weeks approximately 27 minutes every day for eight weeks okay they found that when they meditated they had a huge increase in the density of their gray matter so that means it was like putting a more powerful graphics card more powerful CPU more powerful processor in your computer whereas you didn’t need to change the white matter you just got a better signal to travel through the white matter so you’re getting down to the core of it okay meditations like it’s the Wild West we don’t know a whole lot about it all we know is it has a powerful effect I don’t meditate 27 minutes per day but I do meditate 5 to 15 minutes per day and I think it’s changed my life quite dramatically so that’s something you definitely want to throw into the mix then lastly is another nutritional / supplemental thing you can do take a couple grams of tyrosine it’s a super cheap amino acid you can get it on Amazon you can get it anywhere and it’s the precursor to dopamine so what that means is when you take a couple grams of tyrosine you essentially feed your body more dopamine whereas your body could run out of dopamine so if you run out of dopamine you are losing essentially an action potential dopamine is the reward system and if you run out of dopamine you don’t get that reward system and you become depressed I say that with air quotes because you don’t literally become depressed you become chemically depressed because you don’t dopamine because you’re not reaching the end result you need dopamine so tyrosine is gonna feed your body and be a precursor to dopamine there was a study that was actually published in the journal neuropsychology that took a look at test subjects broke them into a couple of different groups have them fast overnight and then consume 400 milliliters of orange juice why orange juice I don’t know with two grams of tyrosine dissolved in it or two grams of placebo dissolved in it well then after they consume that beverage they had them do 30 minutes of a cognitive test to test their reaction time well they found that those that consumed the tyrosine ended up having over a 6 percent improvement 6.2 percent improvement in their reaction time okay then they flip-flopped it they had the group that didn’t take the tires seen before take the tyrosine a couple like a week later and they found again same improvement in reaction time so dopamine is important therefore tyrosine feeds dopamine therefore tyrosine is important we need it so here you have it you have four simple things you can do you can exercise you can take lion’s mane you can take tyrosine and you can get on your meditation game stop being a big baby about it and realize that it’s not just for hippies you can spend five minutes and meditate and it will make a big difference there you have it as always make sure you keep it locked in here on my channel I know this was a deep one but that’s how I roll see you soon

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4 Scientific Ways to Boost Reaction Time – Thomas DeLauer


Brain cells called neurons send information and instructions throughout the brain and body – the information is sent via electro-chemical signals known as action potentials that travel down the length of the neuron

These neurons are then triggered to release chemical messengers called neurotransmitters which help trigger action potentials in nearby cells, and so help spread the signal all over

The sense of knowing where you are in space is known as proprioception, and the nerves that transmit this information are among the fastest in your body

This is because they have two special characteristics that allow them send information very quickly – a large diameter, and a myelin sheath


A study in the journal Neurons found that capillaries supply oxygen to the brain – while arteries are the main supply routes into the brain, blood ultimately delivers its payload of oxygen to its final destination via a vast web of smaller capillaries, or microvessels, which permeate brain tissue

This phenomenon is unique to the capillaries because of their size – the thin walls of the microvessels mean that the oxygen levels in adjacent brain tissue are mirrored within the capillaries, which can signal to red blood cells to spring into action

Exercise is known to increase blood flow and oxygen to the skeletal muscles and the brain – so exercise can also affect an individual’s reaction time, since both skeletal muscle and the brain are separately associated with reaction time

With exercise, the sympathetic nervous system is activated and there is an increase in blood pressure and heart rate

Performing any form of cardiovascular training improves your capillary density, which in the long run improves physical fitness and increases cerebral blood flow

Additionally, exercise causes adaptation within the heart, specifically the left ventricle – essentially, the left ventricle grows

To be specific, the heart wall of the left ventricle expands – this means that with each heartbeat, the heart can pump out more blood since the left ventricle can fill with more blood

Lion’s Mane & Myelin

Works in two ways: increases myelination and promotes growth of new neurons

The myelin sheath is a protective covering that surrounds fibres called axons, the long thin projections that extend from the main body of a nerve cell or neuron

The main function of myelin is to protect and insulate these axons and enhance their transmission of electrical impulses. If myelin is damaged, the transmission of these impulses is slowed down

So the main purpose of myelin is to increase the speed at which electrical impulses propagate along the myelinated fiber

Lion’s mane contains two unique types of compounds, hericenones and erinacines stimulate synthesis of Nerve Growth Factor (NGF). NGF is a protein that plays a major role in the maintenance, survival and regeneration of neurons in both your central and peripheral nervous systems

Meditation & Grey Matter

A study published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, led by Harvard-affiliated researchers found that meditation-produced changes over time in the brain’s gray matter (the darker tissue of the brain and spinal cord, consisting mainly of nerve cell bodies and branching dendrites)

Tyrosine (Neurotransmitter)

In a study published in Neuropsychologia, 22 subjects with an average age of 21 were given, after overnight fasting and on an empty stomach, 400 milliliters of orange juice with either 2 grams of tyrosine or 2 grams of a cellulose placebo dissolved in the juice

One hour post-consumption they completed a 30-minute cognitive task on a computer called a “stop-signal task” that has been used in previous research and is a measure of reaction time

The subjects then underwent a “washout” period for 7 days and switched supplement groups.

The researchers found a significant benefit with tyrosine supplementation to stop-signal reaction time

Specifically, reaction time was, on average, 6.2% faster than the placebo group (214 versus 228 milliseconds)

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