Are computers taking away our jobs?
Well, yes and no. While computers outperform humans in certain tasks, particularly tasks of a repetitive nature, technological advancements have also created new jobs, especially jobs for programmers.
Learning programming has become vital for success in the twenty-first-century marketplace.
Since coding languages are, essentially, languages, one can even use them as the foreign language requirement at some colleges and universities. In the future, coding will probably be taught to students of every age level, the way that typing skills, handwriting, and other communication forms have been taught at times in the past.
Fortunately, it is possible to up your programming game and elevate your brain power abilities with nootropics.
Nootropics For Programmers 101
Nootropics are supplements that boost or improve mental function. Common nootropics include caffeine and turmeric. Certain medications also get used as nootropics, but off-label medication use is both illegal and dangerous.
Chances are, you can achieve the results you are looking for with nootropic supplements. Nootropics for programmers focus on the genuine skills involved in coding. You do this by feeding the parts of your brain responsible for:
- Language acquisition and recollection
- Creativity and divergent thinking
- Focus and the control of attention
- High-speed, accurate working memory
- Memory storage and long-term memory access
- Motivation, drive, and the energy to keep going
With these particular needs in mind, we created the MindTech formula–key ingredients that work in concert to enhance the abilities listed above.
Read on to learn more about some of our ingredients and how they can elevate your abilities.
Vitamin A — Not Just for Your Eyes
You were probably told that carrots have high vitamin A (they do) and to eat them for the sake of your vision (also true). Some orange-colored-ish foods also contain high quantities of Vitamin A, so they’ve become known as the eye foods–squash, cantaloupe, carrots–but lots of foods contain vitamin A, even broccoli, dairy products, and meat (especially liver).
Obviously, your eyes are important if you work on a screen all day. But Vitamin A does so much more than just feed your eyes–it “is a potent signaling molecule in the brains of growing and adult animals, regulates numerous gene products, and modulates neurogenesis, neuronal survival, and synaptic plasticity,” according to the National Institutes of Health.
Yes, that’s a lot of big words.
Basically, for your brain to signal correctly, adapt, and grow, it needs vitamin A. There was even a study done in birds (whose sounds and song learning is similar to how humans learn speech), and they found that without the right levels of vitamin A, birds didn’t communicate correctly.
Especially as we age, for the brain to stay adaptable (be able to learn new things), it needs enough vitamin A.
Vitamin D — More than Just Good Bones
Vitamin D is another one most people have heard incomplete truths about–it’s good for bone growth, healing, and bone density. You may have also heard that vitamin D helps your immune system. Vitamin D deficiencies, from the lack of sunshine, are thought to be one of the reasons why more illness goes around in the winter than the summer, in both hemispheres.
Vitamin D also reduces inflammation and protects neurons. “Vitamin D activates and deactivates enzymes in the brain and the cerebrospinal fluid that are involved in neurotransmitter synthesis and nerve growth,” says Dr. Robert J. Przybelski, a research scientist at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
Without enough vitamin D, the central nervous system (CNS) and brain do not work properly. People perform more poorly on cognitive tests, with the bottom quartile of vitamin D levels in their blood performing twice as badly as those with the best blood levels (click on Dr. Przybelski’s name to read the study).
But how much sunlight do we really get, when we work on computers all day and wear sunblock to prevent burning and cancer?
Vitamin D supplementation, then, can mean the difference between a functioning brain and a faulty, deteriorating one.
Vitamin C — Not Just for Your Immune System
Vitamin C is crucial for immune system function. It fuels white blood cells so they can gobble up germs and other toxins in the body. But vitamin C also plays many important roles in the brain and in healthy cell function.
Ready for some technical jargon? You can read the whole study here, but basically, vitamin C contributes to:
- Catecholamine synthesis (catecholamines are the stress hormones from your adrenal glands, like dopamine, norepinephrine and epinephrine*),
- Collagen production (the structural protein in skin and other connective tissues, famous in the cosmetic industry),
- Regulation of HIF-1α (essentially, oxygen regulation),
- Antioxidation. Antioxidants can give away an electron and remain stable, preventing damage from free radicals. Those free radicals, or oxidants, cause damage and aging in the body.
So, for the purposes of your programming, without enough vitamin C you jeopardize your hormonal functions, oxygen levels and prematurely age your body and brain.
*Fun fact: epinephrine is another name for adrenaline. One and the same.
Another Crucial Antioxidant — Vitamin E
Vitamin E is another important antioxidant, protecting cells from the oxidative stress of free radicals.
In studies, those with high levels of vitamin E performed better on cognitive tests. Every day of programming is like a cognitive test!
Oxidation is also thought to be the major contributor to neurodegeneration. Vitamin E is currently being explored as a treatment for Alzheimer’s Disease and dementia, since vitamin E deficiencies contribute to both conditions. It is yet unknown if such deficiencies can be corrected that late in the game, however. Better to take the necessary vitamins earlier as a preventative.
Calcium — More than Just strong Bones
By now you may be picking up on a theme–that what we hear about nutrition in everyday life is a small fraction of what these nutrients and vitamins do. True!
Even the word vitamins mean “vital for life.”
So Calcium, what does calcium do?
Calcium is the messenger between cells. It regulates the release and communication between neurotransmitters. It’s necessary for neural function, including memory and long-term memory storage.
Basically, without enough calcium, the neurons in your brain and hormones cannot function normally. So, calcium levels can impact mood, memory, health, aging and so much more.
More Key Brain Ingredients
While we aren’t going to cover every single ingredient in MindTech supplements here, there are several other’s important enough to programming, that is worthy of discussion.
- Selenomethionine (an amino acid and one source of selenium) – necessary for healthy thyroid function, but it also plays important roles in neurotransmission, development and function of the cerebral cortex and hippocampus.
- Chromium (an essential trace mineral) – important for the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates, it encourages fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis. Not only does that mean chromium assists with insulin and glucose levels, but cholesterol is also what membranes in the brain are made out of. So you need good cholesterol, and chromium to stimulate its synthesis if you want a healthy brain.
- Molybdenum (another essential trace mineral) – while the body only needs trace amounts of this mineral, a lack of it has been linked to seizures, inflammatory diseases and esophageal cancers in populations where soil quantities are excessively depleted. Research suggests that severe neurological abnormalities also stem from molybdenum deficiencies. In programming for a living, you need tip-top function of your neurons. Molybdenum can help.
A Family of Beneficial B Vitamins
B vitamins were among the first to be discovered and then recognized as necessary for healthy bodily function.
An early vitamin discovery had to do with B1 (thiamine). People who excessively drank alcohol were observed to have dementia-like behavior. In the late 1800s, these conditions were named as 3 specific diseases. (Wernicke encephalopathy, mainly affecting the central nervous system; Korsakoff syndrome, amnesia with additional psychiatric manifestations, and Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome, with both neurologic and psychiatric symptoms). But then in the 1930s prisoners in Japan had all the symptoms of these diseases, without any intake of alcohol.
What they discovered is now identified–thiamine deficiency causes brain swelling (encephalopathy), amnesia, and psychiatric problems. Alcohol consumption depletes thiamine. So anyone who consumes alcohol should also take thiamine (B₁). Even if you don’t drink, but you look at a screen all day, you should help your brain out and give it this nutrient.
Other crucial B vitamins included in the MindTech include:
- B2 (Riboflavin, B₂) – needed for the central nervous system and absorption of essential fatty acids–which means needed for brain health, neurotransmitters, mood balance, and other important brain functions.
- B3 (Niacin, B₃) – needed to create energy, for cell cycle progression, cellular DNA repair and gene expression. Gene expression means which of your genes get “activated” or “turned on.” Serves as a neuroprotectant too.
- B5 (Pantothenic acid, B₅) – required for making blood cells and for converting food into energy. Pantothenic acid is another of the B vitamins required for a healthy nervous system.
- B6 (Pyridoxine, B₆) – associated with a wide variety of benefits to such problems as inflammation (including rheumatoid arthritis, RA), anemia, PMS, depression, mood disorders, clogged arteries, and heart risk. May reduce incidents of cancer, prevent eye damage, and improve heart health.
- B7 (Biotin, B₇) – required for all organs of the body, but especially the brain, Biotin deficiency causes hair loss, seizures, neurological dysfunction, and possibly autism.
- B9 (Folic Acid, B₉) – known for being necessary during pregnancy, but required for the function of the nervous system at all ages, for the prevention of dementia, depression, or age-related mental decline.
More than Just Skills
MindTech also contains some other essential vitamins (“essential” meaning they must be consumed and your body can’t make it), like copper, zinc, manganese, iron, and potassium. Not to give away every secret, MindTech also contains our own proprietary blend.
With all of these nootropics to boost your brainpower, you have the fuel to maximize your potential as a programmer.
Give them a 30-day trial and see what it’s like to fire on all cylinders!