Glucose and Oxygent Improve Memory Formation

Increasing glucose and oxygen supplies to the brain seems to allow iniformation to be committed more accurately and fully to memory; in other words, you learn better. This means when you come to recall it at a later stage, you will undoubtedly do better, because the information there is clearer and more comprehensive. The reverse does not seem to be true, however. If you first encoded something without the aid of extra oxygen and glucose, suddenly making more oxygen and glucose available when you try to recall it will not improve your overall memory performance.

Boost oxygen levels. The improvement in oxygen levels on memory! typically lasts for a few minutes only (five is about the limit), so you need to time your learning to happen shortly after an increase in oxygen, or ensui that you maintain a slightly increased level for the duration of the learning period. Oxygen canisters are available in some shops, although they are often expensive and unwieldy. More usefully, deliberately taking some deep breaths will increase blood oxygen levels for a short tirtime, as will light exercise. Going for a walk while listening to something you want to remember on an MP3 player should do the trick, as long as the environment is not so distracting that you cannot concentrate.

Optimize glucose supplies. Glucose has a much longer-term effect, as shown n Figure 8-1.2 Here the maximum available glucose peaks at about an hour, though it rapidly becomes available after it has been ingested. All energygiving foods are broken down into glucose at some stage, although at differ¬ ;nt rates. This graph charts the rate of pure glucose absorption, so it best matches the effects of sugary drinks.

the nenrotran"emitter acetvlcholine This brain rbpmi^ol ic narticularlv Unkea I neurotransmitter acetylchoHne. This brain chemical is particularly linked ) memory, and it's no accident that, like oxygen, extra glucose is linked to an increase in memory and learning ability.^ Again, timing is crucial, but not so much effort is needed to constantly maintain glucose levels. A well-timed sugary drink, 30 minutes to an hour before you want to remember or take otice of something particularly closely, should improve ^ how well you remember it.


Not memory retrieval, but well-timed breathing exercises and soda can improve the retention of learning.

Folksonomies: cognition memory health

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 Mind Performance Hacks
Books, Brochures, and Chapters>Book:  Hale-Evans, Ron (2006-02-06), Mind Performance Hacks, O'Reilly Media, Inc., Retrieved on 2013-12-29
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  • Folksonomies: self-help