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  1. #1
    theduffman theduffman's Avatar
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    Solution to Brain Fog from lifting heavy?

    So I've noticed that after lifting heavy I cannot think as well for up to 48 hours. If I try and lift then go to class I cannot pay attention at all, and for the day or two after I lift I don't have the same attention span. It is very discouraging for me, especially because this is my last year in college and I am about to take the LSAT - I don't want to give up lifting heavy, but I've definitely noticed when I lift light or don't wear myself out as much I can study much better and pay attention better for the week. I don't want to become a runner and give up lifting, but I will if it means better overall cognitive function. I don't think it's a nutrition thing - I take a scoop and a half of whey plus a scoop of waxy maize immediately after working out, then a meal about an hour after lifting. My diet is pretty good actually - for breakfast I swap between peanut butter toast and a glass of milk to yogurt with extra protein granola to egg in the hole (fried eggs on toast). For other meals I normally cook meat in a pan with some olive oil - chicken, fish, steak, or ground beef. I eat very lean burgers, chicken in pasta with olive oil and I can't believe it's not butter, fish on toast, steak with baked potatoes or stuff baked potatoes with cold cuts like turkey or pastrami, steak and mashed potatoes etc. Any suggestions or does anybody have any general tips for ways to improve cognitive function/brain health either through nutrition or different ways of exercising? Obviously lifting heavy does wear and tear on your CNS and I am busy with a lot of other things like school (and for those who know me I am on the debate team and do a good amount of research/ give series of speeches fairly frequently that are very stressful) and your nervous system doesn't really distinguish between the stress of lifting and everyday life, but maybe there are ways to increase nervous system capacity maybe through more cardio? Or if the solution is just to eat a ****load of calories I'm fine with that too.. whatever it takes

    cliffs -
    When I lift heavy I can't study as well any tips?
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  2. #2
    not actually a goose goosefrabbas's Avatar
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    Adderall is good stuff.
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  3. #3
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    Weird. I can't think well before lifting, because I am thinking of my upcoming workout instead. But I've never heard of it being an issue because of lifting heavy. Has it always been like this for you or only recently? Maybe you are stressed out from too many things in your life. Or maybe you need a more enjoyable program.
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  4. #4
    Walrus Crew ChecksandGiggles's Avatar
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    Take naps after heavy sessions, a 15-20 minute nap works very well. Contrast showers help. Be as relaxed and chill as possible throughout the day.
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  5. #5
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    Originally Posted by theduffman View Post
    So I've noticed that after lifting heavy I cannot think as well for up to 48 hours. If I try and lift then go to class I cannot pay attention at all, and for the day or two after I lift I don't have the same attention span. It is very discouraging for me, especially because this is my last year in college and I am about to take the LSAT - I don't want to give up lifting heavy, but I've definitely noticed when I lift light or don't wear myself out as much I can study much better and pay attention better for the week. I don't want to become a runner and give up lifting, but I will if it means better overall cognitive function. I don't think it's a nutrition thing - I take a scoop and a half of whey plus a scoop of waxy maize immediately after working out, then a meal about an hour after lifting. My diet is pretty good actually - for breakfast I swap between peanut butter toast and a glass of milk to yogurt with extra protein granola to egg in the hole (fried eggs on toast). For other meals I normally cook meat in a pan with some olive oil - chicken, fish, steak, or ground beef. I eat very lean burgers, chicken in pasta with olive oil and I can't believe it's not butter, fish on toast, steak with baked potatoes or stuff baked potatoes with cold cuts like turkey or pastrami, steak and mashed potatoes etc. Any suggestions or does anybody have any general tips for ways to improve cognitive function/brain health either through nutrition or different ways of exercising? Obviously lifting heavy does wear and tear on your CNS and I am busy with a lot of other things like school (and for those who know me I am on the debate team and do a good amount of research/ give series of speeches fairly frequently that are very stressful) and your nervous system doesn't really distinguish between the stress of lifting and everyday life, but maybe there are ways to increase nervous system capacity maybe through more cardio? Or if the solution is just to eat a ****load of calories I'm fine with that too.. whatever it takes

    cliffs -
    When I lift heavy I can't study as well any tips?


    quit smoking so much weed man, i know thats what it is, i know. i sit behind you in spelling and you always smell like weed.
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  6. #6
    Powerlifting Mod isaku900's Avatar
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    nothing really helps. if you're lifting heavy enough you'll get CNS fatigue and you'll feel sluggish the next day.

    Happens to me after every max effort squat in full gear and most deadlift days.
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  7. #7
    Registered User runtocatch's Avatar
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    Lifting heavy ****s my nervous system and I can tell I'm slower in every way for a day or so aftewards. The only time I really feel OK is pretty much after a few days off.
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  8. #8
    theduffman theduffman's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by goosefrabbas View Post
    Adderall is good stuff.
    Yeah I do love me some stimulants lol they put me on the opposite end of the spectrum though bc they f uck up my eating/digestion and make me achey/have s hitty workouts. I also don't like that I can work like a horse on stims then when I'm not on them I'm a f ucking zombie

    Originally Posted by ChecksandGiggles View Post
    Take naps after heavy sessions, a 15-20 minute nap works very well. Contrast showers help. Be as relaxed and chill as possible throughout the day.
    this is actually a good idea I'm going to try both of these things thank you

    Originally Posted by isaku900 View Post
    nothing really helps. if you're lifting heavy enough you'll get CNS fatigue and you'll feel sluggish the next day.

    Happens to me after every max effort squat in full gear and most deadlift days.
    yeah this is what concerns me. I really think I might just have to stay in the 8-12 rep range unless I'm on vacation or have a couple of days off
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  9. #9
    CUMbus 2013 JacobRothenberg's Avatar
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    i like using caffeine to mask the fatigue, but ya some days it's like being hit by a truck.
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  10. #10
    Banned AlMuminoon's Avatar
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    In all honesty your "brain fog" sounds ridiculously dangerous. We lift weights to get as healthy and strong and functional as a damn ox.

    Not to mope around the days after with "brain fog".

    If I were you I'd either get to a doc and find out what's wrong with you (most probably either blood pressure related or breathing while lifting issues) OR simply find another hobby......sounds like golf would be right up your tastebuds. Nothing wrong with golf, just sayin
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  11. #11
    CUMbus 2013 JacobRothenberg's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by AlMuminoon View Post
    In all honesty your "brain fog" sounds ridiculously dangerous. We lift weights to get as healthy and strong and functional as a damn ox.

    Not to mope around the days after with "brain fog".

    If I were you I'd either get to a doc and find out what's wrong with you (most probably either blood pressure related or breathing while lifting issues) OR simply find another hobby......sounds like golf would be right up your tastebuds. Nothing wrong with golf, just sayin
    shut the **** up and go away.
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  12. #12
    Registered User koyongi's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by theduffman View Post
    yeah this is what concerns me. I really think I might just have to stay in the 8-12 rep range unless I'm on vacation or have a couple of days off
    You don't need to stay in the 8-12 rep range to avoid CNS fatigue. Just sticking to doubles or triples should do it. TBH, if you're getting this from lifting raw, though, I'd just say eat more.
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  13. #13
    Registered User rob1992's Avatar
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    use paragraphs, those usually help my brainfog
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  14. #14
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    OP, are you lifting maximal weights or going to failure in every session? Good programming will allow you to get stronger without frying your CNS. You can read up on CNS, Peripheral fatigue if you want the science. Obviously if you max out every month or 6 weeks then you are going to feel it the next day but if you feel fatigued after every session you need to check your intensity.
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    Originally Posted by JacobRothenberg View Post
    shut the **** up and go away.

    Originally Posted by rob1992 View Post
    use paragraphs, those usually help my brainfog
    this
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    I noted a OTC Supplement called ZMA really helps the quality of sleep and can reduce the "fog" of lifting.
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  17. #17
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    I know that feel bro.

    x2 on the contrast or just cold bathing, it seems to make me more alert.
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  18. #18
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    Originally Posted by theduffman View Post
    So I've noticed that after lifting heavy I cannot think as well for up to 48 hours. If I try and lift then go to class I cannot pay attention at all, and for the day or two after I lift I don't have the same attention span. It is very discouraging for me, especially because this is my last year in college and I am about to take the LSAT - I don't want to give up lifting heavy, but I've definitely noticed when I lift light or don't wear myself out as much I can study much better and pay attention better for the week. I don't want to become a runner and give up lifting, but I will if it means better overall cognitive function. I don't think it's a nutrition thing - I take a scoop and a half of whey plus a scoop of waxy maize immediately after working out, then a meal about an hour after lifting. My diet is pretty good actually - for breakfast I swap between peanut butter toast and a glass of milk to yogurt with extra protein granola to egg in the hole (fried eggs on toast). For other meals I normally cook meat in a pan with some olive oil - chicken, fish, steak, or ground beef. I eat very lean burgers, chicken in pasta with olive oil and I can't believe it's not butter, fish on toast, steak with baked potatoes or stuff baked potatoes with cold cuts like turkey or pastrami, steak and mashed potatoes etc. Any suggestions or does anybody have any general tips for ways to improve cognitive function/brain health either through nutrition or different ways of exercising? Obviously lifting heavy does wear and tear on your CNS and I am busy with a lot of other things like school (and for those who know me I am on the debate team and do a good amount of research/ give series of speeches fairly frequently that are very stressful) and your nervous system doesn't really distinguish between the stress of lifting and everyday life, but maybe there are ways to increase nervous system capacity maybe through more cardio? Or if the solution is just to eat a ****load of calories I'm fine with that too.. whatever it takes

    cliffs -
    When I lift heavy I can't study as well any tips?

    Try taking Pyroglutamic Acid. They sell it at DAmuscle.com. It will help you focus really well. Be careful not to take too much of it though cause it'll make you feel like you have ADHD Deluxe.
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  19. #19
    Registered User digimortal81's Avatar
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    eat some carbs, i get brain fog also and it always happens when I am on a carb deficit
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  20. #20
    Registered User AlwaysHelp's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Brain fog Cured almost 90%

    Originally Posted by theduffman View Post
    So I've noticed that after lifting heavy I cannot think as well for up to 48 hours. If I try and lift then go to class I cannot pay attention at all, and for the day or two after I lift I don't have the same attention span. It is very discouraging for me, especially because this is my last year in college and I am about to take the LSAT - I don't want to give up lifting heavy, but I've definitely noticed when I lift light or don't wear myself out as much I can study much better and pay attention better for the week. I don't want to become a runner and give up lifting, but I will if it means better overall cognitive function. I don't think it's a nutrition thing - I take a scoop and a half of whey plus a scoop of waxy maize immediately after working out, then a meal about an hour after lifting. My diet is pretty good actually - for breakfast I swap between peanut butter toast and a glass of milk to yogurt with extra protein granola to egg in the hole (fried eggs on toast). For other meals I normally cook meat in a pan with some olive oil - chicken, fish, steak, or ground beef. I eat very lean burgers, chicken in pasta with olive oil and I can't believe it's not butter, fish on toast, steak with baked potatoes or stuff baked potatoes with cold cuts like turkey or pastrami, steak and mashed potatoes etc. Any suggestions or does anybody have any general tips for ways to improve cognitive function/brain health either through nutrition or different ways of exercising? Obviously lifting heavy does wear and tear on your CNS and I am busy with a lot of other things like school (and for those who know me I am on the debate team and do a good amount of research/ give series of speeches fairly frequently that are very stressful) and your nervous system doesn't really distinguish between the stress of lifting and everyday life, but maybe there are ways to increase nervous system capacity maybe through more cardio? Or if the solution is just to eat a ****load of calories I'm fine with that too.. whatever it takes

    cliffs -
    When I lift heavy I can't study as well any tips?
    Donít know if this is the proper site/forum for suggestions for brain fog treatment, if it is, then my info may help others. Iím aware that I had fewer/different symptoms than the typical CFS/ME ones.

    Very short version:

    42 year old male, 6'0" going from 140 kilos to 80 in 8 months, plus eating only non-processed foods and some supplements - salt, other electrolytes, D-ribose, Q10, L-carnitine - in that period, made the fog disappear.

    Short version:

    Iím pretty sure I finally beat my archenemy; exercise/raised pulse induced brain fog (severely reduced brain ability; confusion, reduced concentration, memory loss, motor skill loss etc.) after being stomped by it for 10 years. Brain fog was mostly the only symptom, I now donít think Iíve ever suffered from CFS and definitely not ME. I never had any discomfort/pain in my body before/during/after exercise, just crippling brain fog and sore eyes at times. Iíve suffered from brain fog during and after any activity that raised my pulse significantly, including light walking, for 10 years. I was obese the entire period, with almost zero daily exercise, and ate almost exclusively junkfood.

    I had a couple of periods lasting up to 9 months, about 2-3 years combined, where I ate very healthily Ė lightly or no processed foods, and tried to exercise/pace myself out of it, lost a lot of weight, but still suffered badly from it and actually got worse during those periods. The brain fog was disabling, even from the beginning of those 10 years, no real exercise possible, no long walks, no cycling, and the final 5 years it got really bad. I lay in bed/sat on a chair about 22 hours per day, only getting up for eating my daily junkfood (pizza/burger/fries/soft drinks delivered to my door for years) showering, bathroom, and buying groceries at the mall 100 meters from my apartment.

    During the years I suspected I suffered from one or more of the usual suspects:

    Diabetes Ė one or more kinds
    Chronic fatigue syndrome
    Adrenal fatigue/insufficiency
    Mitochondrial/ATP disorders
    Kidney failure
    Liver disease/disorders
    Hyper or hypothyroidism
    Candidiasis infections/disorders
    Gluten allergy
    Leaky gut syndrome
    Lack of blood/oxygen to the brain Ė orthostatic intolerance Ė exercise induced arterial hypoxemia
    Lack of salt Ė hyponatremia
    Lack of other minerals Ė Electrolyte deficiency/imbalance, hypokalemia, hypomagnesia, hypocalcemia, etc.
    Anemia/low iron/low hemoglobin

    And many many others

    Looks like I finally found the formula, I can now exercise virtually unlimited, and my brain feels close to normal and improving.

    The cure for me: Weight loss from 140 kgs. to 80 (fog cleared around 100, is at 80 now Ė close to ideal),

    And, no processed foods for 8 months, only eating: Raw vegetables, raw fruits, unprocessed meats, fish, eggs, milk, natural dairy without sugar, legumes, whole rice, whole grains, nuts, seeds, spices, nonsugar natural cocoa, plant and fish oils.

    I added about 4 grams of salt to my drinking water per day, and took the following supplements: D-ribose 15 grams, L-carnitine 250 milligrams, Q10 Ė Uniqiniol 50 mg per day. I also mixed electrolyte powder into my drinking water for some months.

    I suspect the thing that caused it all was something in the diabetic spectrum; a kind of chronic low blood sugar - Hypoglucemia, caused by obesity, zero exercise, and eating exclusively highly processed foods for years, but Iíll probably never know for sure. Iíve stopped taking D-Ribose, Q10, L-carnitine last 45 days and it havenít made a difference, still no brain fog even though I now exercise a lot. I swim about 1 hour per day, walk 5-10 kilometers, use treadmills at gyms, sweating with high pulse, standing up about 8 hours per day. No brain fog, normal mind, full of energy both mentally and physically. Compared to 8 months ago where walking 3 kilometers at brisk pace would send me into a mental brain fog crash lasting for weeks with confusion, severe memory problems etc.
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  21. #21
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    One possibility that I don't see mentioned here yet is vitamin D deficiency - a doctor can test you for it. It's common and it's linked to difficulty concentrating (search pubmed if you want studies to back that up)

    On a side note, it annoys me when people say there's no solution for a problem (like some of the responses here...I was only skimming them to see if anyone mentioned vitamin D deficiency yet, but saw that.) To me that sounds like something a person would say if they didn't want to look for a solution and wanted to feel better about not looking.
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    I heard OP trained so hard in 2011 his brain is still foggy to this day.
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    Originally Posted by NorthStrong View Post
    I heard OP trained so hard in 2011 his brain is still foggy to this day.
    Lol whoops...I didn't even see the date I hope he found an answer eventually. I have been working on this problem for myself recently so it caught my attention after it was bumped.
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    I have never experienced this and I max often...Strange..
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    Ok so I know this is an old thread, but it's a very interesting topic to me - here are some of the pubmed studies I was looking at that link vitamin D deficiency to cognitive function.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26130325

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25838206

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26193858

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26058931

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26141257

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25864066

    I never had concentration issues until a couple of years ago ... and I need to fix it because of my job (software development)...just living with it is not an option for me. I started looking into the vitamin D possibility for two reasons, 1. it's always worse in the winter for me, and 2. I noticed an improvement in my concentration the day after I sunbathed for the first time last spring. I've been on a pretty high dose of vitamin D for about a month so far and actually seeing some improvement. I know it's an old thread but I would like to leave the links here because it seems like an interesting possibility for anyone who ends up searching for the same thing.
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    Sleep more, eat more, and use MCT oil. Search up 'brain octane'

    I take 1 tablespoon with my morning coffee, and one more with my post workout coffee. It works wonders...makes me feel like i'm working on overdrive and eliminates all brain fog for me
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    I don't notice the brain fog, but my coordination goes down hill bigtime. I play guitar and banjo and I am almost unable to play after lifting heavy for the rest of the day. I play out live once or twice a month and try to avoid going real heavy a day or two before I play out. Oh and FORGET about trying to play golf, but I just suck at that more than usual.

    But I digress...
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