3

votes

does paleo make you smarter?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created April 03, 2012 at 12:08 AM

i was in class today and i was taken aback for a minute at how well i was comprehending the seemingly difficult material that was being taught. in fact since i started eating paleo about a year and a half ago i have been able to concentrate far longer and just feel more intelligent in general. this is especially true when i am in ketosis. have you guys experienced this?

Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on August 16, 2013
at 05:14 PM

@Nance - why do you assume that one can't be aware of their own mental capacity? Also, your answer contradicts itself and proves the original poster's point. If the glasses metaphor works, then it's saying the same thing as "I am smarter now I'm paleo (I didn't realise how dumb I was before)"

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on May 18, 2013
at 02:17 AM

"I wish I could go back and do college over with my Paleolithic brain" LoL i say the same thing to myself all the time on a much smaller time scale about ketosis for example "I wish i read the first half of this book in ketosis because then i would of had an amazing understanding of it" but even what you are talking about i feel that if i found ketosis before i began university i wouldn't of had those two write off years before switching to philosophy and getting 88% average maybe i would have done well in sciences after all and maybe it was the carbs the whole time and not the disciplines

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 04, 2012
at 06:51 AM

Also, why does it matter so much to you whether I'm getting the same effects as you are? It's about being smart here, the question is not *"do you have the same effects as Lucas"*?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 04, 2012
at 06:51 AM

Also, why does it matter so much to you whether I'm getting the same effects as you are? It's about being smart here, the question is not "*do you have the same effects as Lucas*"?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 04, 2012
at 06:47 AM

*and then randomly iodine maybe* I assumed you knew iodine tends to lower the IQ. It's the number one cause of mental retardation.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 04, 2012
at 06:46 AM

*it is merely explicitly present when I both read and type and measurably across a continuum between how much carbs i eat and how deep i am in ketosis* How do you know how deep in ketosis you are?

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on April 04, 2012
at 01:56 AM

As an added note. My sex drive has improved, so I have loss blood in general available to power my primary brain.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 03, 2012
at 10:12 PM

additionally your post makes less sense than mine does. you just use more periods: example "i don't know what effects you have but mine are long term" why would mine be assumed to be short term? then you said iodine maybe? where is the context for iodine in this paragraph. i mentioned our effects to ketosis differ on a cognitive level and now you say that your effects are long term mine are not and and then randomly iodine maybe. i am confused by your comments

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 03, 2012
at 10:09 PM

and like i said your not getting the same affects as me. you said you function optimally with a good amount of sugar i do not. case over.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 03, 2012
at 10:08 PM

punctuation is overrated if you know what i mean and can read what i am saying and the punctuation is not incredibly off then i don't think that is a fair argument. its funny how people always comment on your punctuation because they can't say anything about your actual words.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 03, 2012
at 04:15 PM

Have you seen my answers? Clearly, it's not working!

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 03, 2012
at 03:30 PM

I guess you were not in ketosis when you typed that, or you would have used some punctuation. I don't know what effects you have, but mine are definitely long-term. Iodine, maybe? My mind works better with a good amount of sugar, btw.

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 03, 2012
at 01:20 PM

And placebos can be up to 20% effective.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 03, 2012
at 01:20 PM

the fact you agree with old bear and you are unsure of whether or not you are getting smarter means you cannot possibly be having the same effects that i get because the effects i get are so pronounced that there is absolutely no question that needs verification through experimentation over time it is merely explicitly present when I both read and type and measurably across a continuum between how much carbs i eat and how deep i am in ketosis

1d0497f8781845ab371b479455bfee8e

(11157)

on April 03, 2012
at 11:06 AM

Doubtful. I still suck at math :(

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 03, 2012
at 10:32 AM

Definitely, but I wouldn't call it a happy replacement for binge eating disorder. PaleoHacks triggers my binge browsing disorder.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 03, 2012
at 03:55 AM

exactly its an important distinction as one still must put those hours in to become smarter it just makes putting those hours in (the precursor to knowledge) easier.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 03, 2012
at 03:50 AM

did for me man. maybe not make me a genius but unlock the genius that perhaps was already in me just not able to function due to SAD related health issues

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on April 03, 2012
at 02:37 AM

very well explained. I feel exactly the same way. Perhaps we are not smarter now, yet we can work much longer with a really improved concentration. So the results are much better, whether or not one became smarter...

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 03, 2012
at 02:34 AM

It IS addictive! But it's a happy replacement for binge eating disorder. Fingers that are busily typing stay out of the fridge/cupboards. :-))

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 03, 2012
at 02:16 AM

on this diet... as far as weightlifting an anaerobic sports are concerned eating carbs just before you workout maintains workout intensity completely plus some for me. ive started at 50 and once i build more muscle/performance/strength/speed i will be able to add another serving of carbs either post workout or tacked on to the preworkout without affecting ketosis. the physical recomp of this kinda approach is retarded like just retarded how effective the results are.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 03, 2012
at 02:14 AM

Yeah so in agreement with philosopher it doesn't make me smarter as I still noticed it takes time to make the mental (literally physical) neuronal connections in the brain that lead to knowledge. It does however create the proper soil for the brain to grow creates the right circumstances for mental work which leads to neural connections which leads to knowledge. I couldn't survive my philosophy essays without it that's for sure and I never thought I would get a ninety on a midterm but i did this year and im excited to see the adaptations that will occur after say 5 years. oh and i can run!!!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 03, 2012
at 02:03 AM

LOL, Lucas, feel free to "feel like typing" any time! Great answer.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on April 03, 2012
at 12:59 AM

But think how delicious they will be on your grill!

Medium avatar

(2338)

on April 03, 2012
at 12:45 AM

lol yeah nance i get what youre saying, i guess what i meant was that the learning process happens much more effortlessly now compared to when i wasn't eating paleo

Medium avatar

(2338)

on April 03, 2012
at 12:43 AM

haha whenever i see wild animals i find myself sizing them up for how theyd look on my dinner table

F02990386b12528111740ad6279ba29d

(1363)

on April 03, 2012
at 12:31 AM

I definitely feel like my brain works better. That could also be because I quit drinking. I am not in ketosis though

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 03, 2012
at 12:25 AM

Now, if you ask if I've noticed more/less morning grogginess or ability to concentrate I THINK my answer is less groggy, better focus. If my memory is correct. :-))

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 03, 2012
at 12:24 AM

Sorry, but my sense of humor is kicking in big-time. I will try. If I get dumber/smarter, how will I know since my level of consciousness will match my current condition? I never realized how near-sighted I was as a young adult until I got glasses and saw a whole new world.

F4a6fc9f0b701e12cdf2ad5dadaeb2dd

(360)

on April 03, 2012
at 12:24 AM

I definitely agree, my body runs so smooth on ketosis and I feel so alert.

  • Size75 avatar

    asked by

    (2338)
  • Views
    4.2K
  • Last Activity
    1284D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

10 Answers

best answer

11
C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on April 03, 2012
at 12:31 AM

I think I got dumber. I can't sit still as long and want to hunt random animals.

Medium avatar

(2338)

on April 03, 2012
at 12:43 AM

haha whenever i see wild animals i find myself sizing them up for how theyd look on my dinner table

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19413)

on April 03, 2012
at 12:59 AM

But think how delicious they will be on your grill!

C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on April 04, 2012
at 01:56 AM

As an added note. My sex drive has improved, so I have loss blood in general available to power my primary brain.

6
7ac8e67cfe1d5baae4124f1f807180f5

on April 03, 2012
at 02:30 AM

There are several factors involved.

If your body is inflamed, especially if you had leaky gut (aka intestinal permeability) then this can trigger "leaky brain syndrome" in which the otherwise impenetrable blood-brain-barrier becomes somewhat porous allow inflammatory agents into the brain space. As your gut heals the protein that triggers leaky brain syndrome (called zonulin) stops being released into the blood stream and the blood-brain-barrier in turn heals. That's one possible answer.

Another possibility is that with the increased fat intake recommended with the Paleo diet, your brain might be performing better. It works for me.

There are countless other possibilities that my fingers rebel at the thought of type them all out. Besides, I need to finish my patient charts. This forum is very addictive, perhaps we should rename it Paleo-Crack! (just kidding).

-Shawn Soszka, ND, LAc.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 03, 2012
at 02:34 AM

It IS addictive! But it's a happy replacement for binge eating disorder. Fingers that are busily typing stay out of the fridge/cupboards. :-))

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 03, 2012
at 10:32 AM

Definitely, but I wouldn't call it a happy replacement for binge eating disorder. PaleoHacks triggers my binge browsing disorder.

4
Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 03, 2012
at 01:59 AM

I would have to agree with philosophers answer.

Dramatic increase in concentration and the ability to focus in this highly concentrated state for a number of hours without distraction from food or energy crashes or impulsivity.

I was on adhd medication to help me pay attention.

switch my diet no need for medication anymore.

my main purpose by the way for being on a carb controlled paleo diet is primarily for cognitive function (among personal beliefs in nature providing for what we need). If I return to a shitty quality high carb diet I am not academically functional.

check this out about your question regarding ketosis and brain function:

http://evolutionarypsychiatry.blogspot.ca/2010/08/your-brain-on-ketones.html

The above link is about some of the brain biochemistry changes that occur with the use of ketone utilization by the brain rather than glucose.

http://www.insiderreports.com/storypage.asp?StoryID=20003522

I though about how the mental benefits of low carb may just represent a problem with glucose metabolism itself and not the burning of fat as the reason why we do so well with improved concentration on a paleo or low carb paleo diet.

my reason for thinking this is because protein can be utilized as glucose but the process is sooo slow and since ketosis can be maintained despite the conversion of protein to glucose i thought you could attribute some if not all of the possible mental benefits of low carb to better glucose control via slowness of carb digestion

and

since good (paleo) carbs are generally slow carbs and people get good results from paleo over (sad) carbs it makes sense that the way we process glucose and respond with insulin due to the speed of the carb that insulin resistance must be a culprit for adhd characterized by distractibilty impulsivness impatience and inability to sit still for long periods of time etc.

ive put that second link up to demonstrate a connection between glucose/insulin control and mental ability.

http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/5_ways_to_improve_insulin_sensitivity

you can improve insulin resistance through exercise and eating an all natural paleo diet of slow carbs adequate protein healthy abundant amounts of fat (not crazy just sufficient) and controlling carb amounts until your more sensitive. that is the point of the last link. it shows you that if your getting good results from paleo or especially low carb mentally and if it is because of insulin resistance you can improve your ability to handle carbs and then get the same mental benefits from increasing insulin sensitivity if lakcing carbs creates problems with glycogen storage and muscle gain which is the only problem with a low carb diet.

sorry for the long post just felt like typing

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 03, 2012
at 02:16 AM

on this diet... as far as weightlifting an anaerobic sports are concerned eating carbs just before you workout maintains workout intensity completely plus some for me. ive started at 50 and once i build more muscle/performance/strength/speed i will be able to add another serving of carbs either post workout or tacked on to the preworkout without affecting ketosis. the physical recomp of this kinda approach is retarded like just retarded how effective the results are.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on April 03, 2012
at 02:03 AM

LOL, Lucas, feel free to "feel like typing" any time! Great answer.

Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

(3524)

on April 03, 2012
at 02:37 AM

very well explained. I feel exactly the same way. Perhaps we are not smarter now, yet we can work much longer with a really improved concentration. So the results are much better, whether or not one became smarter...

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 03, 2012
at 03:55 AM

exactly its an important distinction as one still must put those hours in to become smarter it just makes putting those hours in (the precursor to knowledge) easier.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 03, 2012
at 02:14 AM

Yeah so in agreement with philosopher it doesn't make me smarter as I still noticed it takes time to make the mental (literally physical) neuronal connections in the brain that lead to knowledge. It does however create the proper soil for the brain to grow creates the right circumstances for mental work which leads to neural connections which leads to knowledge. I couldn't survive my philosophy essays without it that's for sure and I never thought I would get a ninety on a midterm but i did this year and im excited to see the adaptations that will occur after say 5 years. oh and i can run!!!

4
1d9af5db8833413037be3ac48964714f

on April 03, 2012
at 12:57 AM

I do have improved ability to concentrate. I also have noticeably faster reaction speed and better balance (the latter in part because I've switched to minimalist shoes).

I have not noticed any general increase in intelligence, unfortunately. It would have been cool if paleo had make me an evil super genius or something.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 03, 2012
at 03:50 AM

did for me man. maybe not make me a genius but unlock the genius that perhaps was already in me just not able to function due to SAD related health issues

3
Ac1e55cf06c2180f4008ff01953d10dd

on April 03, 2012
at 12:32 AM

It improved my concentration and helps me work for longer hours. In that sense it works greatly. I could not say that I became super smart, though!

2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on April 03, 2012
at 06:24 AM

Maybe the paleo diet doesn't make us smarter but is actually making us more deluded? ;)

A968087cc1dd66d480749c02e4619ef4

(20436)

on April 03, 2012
at 01:20 PM

And placebos can be up to 20% effective.

1
10f2288b00292d97ead2a566af4f72fb

on April 04, 2012
at 03:44 AM

Hell ya! My brain is off the charts high functioning since Paleo. I wish I could go back and do college over with my Paleolithic brain. I'm of the opinion that students everywhere are being seriously held back by their SAD. Can you imagine what kind of results we would have if everyone ate Paleo??? Grains and sugar are making us stupid!

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on May 18, 2013
at 02:17 AM

"I wish I could go back and do college over with my Paleolithic brain" LoL i say the same thing to myself all the time on a much smaller time scale about ketosis for example "I wish i read the first half of this book in ketosis because then i would of had an amazing understanding of it" but even what you are talking about i feel that if i found ketosis before i began university i wouldn't of had those two write off years before switching to philosophy and getting 88% average maybe i would have done well in sciences after all and maybe it was the carbs the whole time and not the disciplines

1
7f4c64d6caca80c74a6c2d91efa3259b

(831)

on April 03, 2012
at 08:59 AM

Perhaps it's just that eating proper food and eliminating any items that irritate your physiology are just making you feel better generally. Therefore, you're not being distracted by feeling hungry, or listless, or having minor (or major depending on your previous condition) discomfort.

0
C851d3e5b0bfb9127ed1acc913e779ed

on August 16, 2013
at 01:20 PM

I have had profound improvement in intellect since turning to the Paleo lifestyle. Every time I go back to the carb rollercoaster my IQ drops 100 points. When I am running on ketones I can really focus on my work and important things. When I am running on carbs/sugars I become addicted to everything. Food, excercise, games, movies, etc. I lose interest in learning and growing. My marriage has been a disaster due to my blood sugar issues. Every time I have had a serious blow up it was always after a carb binge. For some people carbs are worse than drugs. When I am running smoothly on ketones my focus and attention to detail is off the charts. I just wish I could have done this earlier in my marriage. It would have saved it.

0
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 03, 2012
at 10:33 AM

OldBear is probably right, though lack of brain fogs etc. are probably helping a lot too. I'm a student, and if you look at my results, you'd say that I've become smarter.

Last year (raw vegan) I failed everything, last semester (low-carb paleo) I passed 3 from my 4 exams (the 4th one I had 9/20 which is great considering I never went to the course and everybody said the exam was too difficult). I'll update this post this semester. If I pass all my exams, the answer to this question is a big yes (I currently have 8 exams to pass, which is twice as much as the average university student).

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 04, 2012
at 06:47 AM

*and then randomly iodine maybe* I assumed you knew iodine tends to lower the IQ. It's the number one cause of mental retardation.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 03, 2012
at 10:09 PM

and like i said your not getting the same affects as me. you said you function optimally with a good amount of sugar i do not. case over.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 03, 2012
at 03:30 PM

I guess you were not in ketosis when you typed that, or you would have used some punctuation. I don't know what effects you have, but mine are definitely long-term. Iodine, maybe? My mind works better with a good amount of sugar, btw.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 03, 2012
at 01:20 PM

the fact you agree with old bear and you are unsure of whether or not you are getting smarter means you cannot possibly be having the same effects that i get because the effects i get are so pronounced that there is absolutely no question that needs verification through experimentation over time it is merely explicitly present when I both read and type and measurably across a continuum between how much carbs i eat and how deep i am in ketosis

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 03, 2012
at 10:08 PM

punctuation is overrated if you know what i mean and can read what i am saying and the punctuation is not incredibly off then i don't think that is a fair argument. its funny how people always comment on your punctuation because they can't say anything about your actual words.

Cf938ac46500e200c97f6adbb3365f64

(324)

on April 03, 2012
at 10:12 PM

additionally your post makes less sense than mine does. you just use more periods: example "i don't know what effects you have but mine are long term" why would mine be assumed to be short term? then you said iodine maybe? where is the context for iodine in this paragraph. i mentioned our effects to ketosis differ on a cognitive level and now you say that your effects are long term mine are not and and then randomly iodine maybe. i am confused by your comments

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 04, 2012
at 06:51 AM

Also, why does it matter so much to you whether I'm getting the same effects as you are? It's about being smart here, the question is not *"do you have the same effects as Lucas"*?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 04, 2012
at 06:51 AM

Also, why does it matter so much to you whether I'm getting the same effects as you are? It's about being smart here, the question is not "*do you have the same effects as Lucas*"?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on April 04, 2012
at 06:46 AM

*it is merely explicitly present when I both read and type and measurably across a continuum between how much carbs i eat and how deep i am in ketosis* How do you know how deep in ketosis you are?

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!