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Elite Athletes to professional athletes

 
 
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Play Smart to Stay Smart

 

Athletes who play smart, stay smart. If you’re an athlete with professional aspirations beyond the field, your brain is your most valuable asset. The average professional athlete retires at 33 years old, but that’s not old at all.

The answer is not to quit the sports you love, but to take preventative measures and play smart. You’ve got a long life ahead of you!

 
 
Concussion 101

+CONCUSSIONS Symptoms...

Inbalance
Headache
Confusion
Memory Loss
Loss of Consciousness
Vision Change
Hearing Change
Mood change
Fatigue
Malaise

+ Ignoring Concussions gets you LESS Playing Time...

Athlete instinct has been known to take over under high pressure scenarios. They are taught to ignore momentary discomfort in order to effectively execute the mission on behalf of their team. While the symptoms may be easy to ignore in the moment, they have a way of catching back up, oftentimes with brutal vengeance.

Continuing to play through the pain after a head injury can rob athletes of more than just cognitive abilities, it can steal the future ability to compete at a high level.

“You only have one brain. If you don’t take care of it, you can really suffer the consequences for a long time. If you’re feeling foggy, or sitting in a dark room wondering what’s wrong with you, go see a doctor immediately. Take as much time as you need to recover. If anyone tells you that’s a sign of weakness, you can tell them that Gabe Landeskog is weak, too.” - Gabe Landeskog, Captain of the Colorado Avalanche

Anyone who has experienced a severe concussion injury and experienced a long recovery will tell you two things; (1) it is incredibly difficult to sacrifice time away from the game in order to heal your brain, and (2) it was worth it.

An athlete who admits a potential injury may be unfairly called weak by his peers in the moment, but the man who ignores his symptoms and continues to play must live with a weakened and damaged brain for the rest of his life.

+ Ignoring Concussions gets you LESS Playing Time...

Cognitive: Life is much more difficult when your brain isn’t working correctly. Excessive cognitive fatigue, focus and attention deficit, and memory loss make life much more difficult.

Emotional: Unhealed concussions can alter your brain over time, causing personality and behavioral changes that jeopardize your relationships. Depression, irritability, anger, lack of interest, and diminished motivation.

Physical: Headaches, vision problems, room-spinning dizziness, lightheadedness, sensitivity to light and noise. Disease: Even just one concussion has been shown to increase likelihood for developing diseases like Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and CTE.

Disease: Even just one concussion has been shown to increase likelihood for developing diseases like Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and CTE.

Athletes and Players
Leadership

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Coaches

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Statistics and Case Studies

NFL Diagnosed Concussions

Preseason and regular-season practices plus games
 

Kush Statics Relating to Athletes and Sports

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  • 50%

    Football

  • 80%

    Soccer

  • 60%

    Hockey

  • 70%

    Basketball

Brain Nutrition

Good Fats for Better Brains

Omega-3 fatty acids are thoroughly researched in the literature. They are essential nutrients, which means they must be consumed in the diet. 

  • Increases brain tissue volume (and prevents the brain from shrinking over time)
  • Improves cognitive function (especially beneficial for those with brain-related conditions like ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, autism)  
  • Neuroprotective for TBI and concussion injuries
  • Decreases risk for neurodegenerative disease (Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s)
  • Reduces stress
  • Reduces depression

Bad Fats (Trans fats)

These fats are terrible for the brain and body even in small quantities. These fat molecules pack tightly together and harden within the cells of the body to cause heart attack and stroke.

  • packaged snacks (cookies, crackers)
  • refrigerated dough products (biscuits, cakes, frozen pizza)
  • fast food (fried food, frozen meals)
  • margarine (fake butter)
  • (cite) (cite)

Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides (MCT) that are extremely valuable for the brain. Fat is the primary component of all cells in the body and comprise around 60% of the brain’s dry weight. The brain uses over 20% of the energy in the body, and good fats are able to supply a large amount of energy per molecule.

Did you know… The FDA deemed trans fats unsafe for human consumption in 2013 (5 years ago), yet manufacturers are still allowed to sell these harmful products to consumers until the year 2020. To make matters worse, nutritional labels may read 0 grams trans fat as long as the product contains 0.5 g or less per serving. This doesn’t seem like much, until you look at how many servings there are per container. Some products may have 10 or even 20 servings per container. The numbers add up fast. 

Download our Food and Macronutrient Guide for tips on how to find the ways around manufacturer trickery.

Coconut oil health benefits.

  • Increase energy supply and efficiency necessary for neurological healing. (cite)
  • Delays premature neurological aging and reduces Amyloid Beta plaque accumulation in and various neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s. (cite) (cite) (cite)
  • Improves cognitive status including memory in various populations including those with Alzheimer’s. (cite) (cite) (cite)
  • Coconuts contain the novel nutrients Caprylic and Lauric Acid which have antimicrobial, antibacterial, and anti fungal benefits. Caprylic acid has also been shown to alleviate motor impairment and improve quality of life for ALS patients. (cite)
  • A balanced diet containing good fats is also beneficial for those at risk for various conditions like obesity, hypertension, insulin resistance, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, seizures, and Alzheimer’s Disease. (cite)

Sugar Kills the Brain

For decades we have been told that carbohydrates should be the biggest portion of our food pyramid, but these days sugars are a major target of blame.

  • The famous Framingham Study linked sugar consumption with poorer memory, smaller overall brain volume, and a significantly smaller hippocampus. A follow up study revealed that diet soda drinkers were 3 times more likely to suffer from Dementia and stroke. (Cite)
  • Sugar intake leads to problems removing the harmful mis-folded proteins known to cause Alzheimer’s Disease. (cite)
  • Sugar messes with the brain’s reward system, stimulating an even greater craving for the very thing that’s harming your body. Combined with the fact that sugar stimulates your microbiome to crave more sugar, you’ve got a recipe for addiction. 

Brain power is diminished when you consume sugars with a high glycemic index. It may provide energy for a short time, but insulin molecules rob your sugar high by stealing the sugar energy away from the blood stream to store as fat elsewhere. This can leave you feeling drained and with a bad case of brain fog.

When looking for carbs, choose the ones with a low glycemic index. These are broken down more slowly by the body to provide longer lasting energy.

For best energy results, try consuming a wide range of macronutrients (proteins, fats, and carbs). This will not only keep blood sugar steady, but will also help balance the brain’s neurochemicals.

  

HEAR From OTHER ATHLETES and learn about concussions from their point of view

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