Effects of Exercise

Fueling the Brain

Nutritional neuroscience has emerged as a field of research focused on the effects of various types of food on brain chemistry. While some food can enhance neuroplasticity and neurogenesis, others can considerably compromise these functionalities. Breakfast fuels the brain so that it can focus attention, memorize events and learn. Skipping breakfast results in difficulty in concentrating, lack of energy, increased stress reactivity, anxiety and depression. Sugar should be used in moderation. There is a relationship between the ratio of protein to carbohydrate content in a meal and the alertness of the brain. Arden recommends a balanced diet that includes complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables and proteins in order to provide the brain with the combination of amino acids necessary for neurotransmitters’ development. He also suggested the following meal plan in order to ensure that the brain can perform at the optimal level (Arden, 2010).

Table 4. Suggested Meal Plan


Meal Protein content Carbohydrate content
Breakfast Protein Carbohydrate and fruit
Lunch Higher in protein Lower in carbohydrate
Dinner Lower in protein Higher in carbohydrate



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