Prepare to be Shocked: Tim Ferriss' Favourite Brain Enhancer is Tea
This article will examine some habits of top entrepreneur, Tim Ferriss, that he details in a video. In particular we will focus on the ways he 'enhances' his brain, as well as the natural nootropics that he uses to do so.
Tim's Choice of Brain Enhancers
Nootropics are everywhere. Amongst entrepreneurs in the United States they’re near-ubiquitous, and hundreds of successful people have espoused the benefits they feel from various brain enhancing substances. Tim Ferriss' brain is no exception - the leading author guided us through the cognitive enhancers he uses in a YouTube video. However contrary to what you might expect from a self-described ‘human guinea pig’, Tim Ferriss doesn't use Adderall*, Modafinil or any other pharmaceutical 'smart drugs'. Indeed, one of his favourite ways to help his mental performance is by drinking a very particular tea of South American origin. We’ll break down what it is and why it’s so helpful to Tim in the following few paragraphs!
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Yerba Mate, Tim's Brain-Enhancing Tea
Pictured is a ‘gourd’ of yerba mate, complete with bombilla drinking straw. Mate is Tim Ferriss' brain-boosting tea - it's been consumed by South American peoples for hundreds of years, long before the arrival of Europeans to the continent. It’s been used for medicinal purposes throughout South American history, and has been the subject of numerous studies in contemporary times.
These studies were often undertaken to verify the medicinal potential of mate, and have frequently come back positive. The tea has been found to contain a high amount of antioxidants, as well as substances like pantothenic acid and theophylline which have beneficial effects for the human body. Tim Ferriss' tea of choice could be boosting his brain in other ways, too.
This is because mate has plenty of good effects on both body and mind. There is some evidence that mate might have antidepressant qualities, but this is largely speculative at the moment. More definitely, mate contains caffeine and choline, both also present in BrainZyme supplements. These are two potent nootropics - caffeine, as you probably know, promotes alertness and helps to increase energy levels. Choline, on the other hand, is the precursor to acetylcholine, a vital neurotransmitter. Amongst regular consumers of ‘smart drugs’ like piracetam, a source of choline is frequently included as many of these drugs rely on acetylcholine to produce their effects.
Furthermore, the polyphenols present in yerba mate are believed to help protect neurons following seizures. These neuroprotective effects might be another of the factors behind mate being perceived as an effective cognitive enhancer, and its past as a medicinal tea in South America.
But, there have been mixed reports over the efficacy of yerba mate as a way to increase mental performance. Some studies have found that there’s no discernible effect from consuming small amounts of mate, though many of the substances and compounds found in mate are acknowledged as having positive effects.
It might be that Tim Ferriss' favourite tea helps him in a less obvious way than its chemical composition. Ferriss clearly associates it with his past spent in Argentina, meaning that the tea may have some sentimental association in his mind that could help him relax. Furthermore, he describes in his video the importance of the method of consuming mate, detailing his method of steeping the leaves for a few minutes before drinking more, and repeating this while working.
This process might allow for Tim Ferris' brain to relax a little as he moves away from his computer to make a new cup of tea. It may be that the calmness associated with the tea-making process is supplementing the benefits he feels from the tea itself. Taking short breaks while working can ‘vastly improve focus’, meaning that a few minutes spent making a new cup of mate might be the key to the tea’s effectiveness.
We found Ferriss’ choice of brain enhancers very interesting. While there’s a perception that successful people like him might tend more towards a more intense, pharmaceutical cognitive enhancer, Ferriss bucks this idea. He acknowledges that there are short term benefits associated with these pharmaceuticals, but also long-term side effects, and has decided that they’re simply not worth the trouble. As a result, Tim Ferriss eschews Adderall* and other pharmaceuticals, and instead uses lower-impact cognitive enhancers. Perhaps the most unnatural item in his regime is ubiquinol, a reduced form of co-enzyme Q10 that’s found in many foods such as beef.
This aligns closely with our philosophy behind making BrainZyme: Using foods to produce natural, effective cognitive enhancers based in nutrition. BrainZyme’s ingredients are all food-quality, containing superfoods such as matcha and guarana, along with herbals, amino As, vitamins and minerals.
As Ferriss' choices demonstrate, nutritional cognitive enhancers can often be the favoured option over their pharmaceutical counterparts. Natural nootropics are generally safer than pharmaceutical 'smart drugs': indeed, food supplement cognitive enhancers tend to be perfectly safe if consumed in moderation. Moreover, there’s frequently a lot of research done on the superfoods, herbs and amino acids a natural nootropic might contain as they’ve been around for a lot longer than smart drugs, and most food-supplement based cognitive enhancers are legal in the UK. This makes them much more dependable than study drugs.
Our Favourite Natural Nootropic