11 Natural BioHacks to Boost Your Energy, Creativity, and Brain Power Immediately

biohacking for brian power - heatharmstrong.com

When I was in my twenties, I used to have trouble sleeping because I was so stressed, worried, and ultimately unhealthy. If I did sleep, it was probably more like a zombie state aided by a strong dose of booze to help me forget the moments. I always felt tired, unmotivated, and stuck in a rage of poopy-pants crybaby festivities. I rarely exercised unless I played basketball or volleyball, but that would usually end with me laying on my side gasping for air like I had a respiratory infection or something.

Sometimes I would stay drunk for weeks. Sometimes I wouldn’t go #2 for a week. I usually drank water only to swallow the ibuprofen that helped numb my hangover aches. With the plethora of clouds fogging up my brain, it’s no surprise I had very little idea what my purpose in life was. My clarity was around 3 on a scale of 10, and I existed within the trance of conformity surrounding me at all times. The traditional jobs. The forced social interactions. The influence and accountability of others who were wallowing in the same ocean of misery that I was.

If you treat your body like shit because it is easier than being healthy, you are only affirming a lifestyle that makes it easier for you to feel like shit.

How is your energy level throughout the morning, day, and night? Are you getting optimal sleep? Do you battle with inflammation or other aches and pains? Do you have clarity on who you are and who you wish to become? Are you relaxed and focused on passions, purpose, and effective creativity to bring the life you want into existence?

When I started studying happy people and adopting their habits into my life, I forced myself to face the resistance gremlins that had been in control of my mindset for the previous 10 years. I started challenging myself to implement healthy habits that would lead to high clarity, nutritious diets, optimal performance, routine sleep, and unshakeable mental strength.

You can replace your addiction to an easy, numb lifestyle with a surge of focus, continuously building on your mental, physical, and spiritual strengths.

Today, I perform at levels I once thought were only possible in fairytale lands. My clarity is around an 8 out of 10, and the only reason I’m not giving myself a higher score is because I have a long way to go in my meditation and awareness practices. My energy is to the moon, I sleep like a baby, and my circadian rhythm is synched with the rise and fall of night and day. No alarms and no unwanted surprises. I am insanely happy not because of circumstances, but because I clearly understand the power of choosing to be happy.

How Badly Do You Want It?

Let me make this very clear: No matter how many ideas and tools have helped me make my transition and boost my clarity, energy, and creativity, nothing will help you unless you decide to dedicate yourself to the work it takes to change. How badly do you want it? How willing are you to question your current narrative? Or, as my friend Sarah Seidelmann loves to ask, “How good are you willing to let it get?”

Below, I am going to share with you a handful of supplements, practices, and wisdom bombs I’ve adopted over the years that have helped me boost and optimize my health, creativity, and brain performance. While getting a good sweat in is one of the most beneficial and natural ways to increase energy and creativity, I am not including physical exercises in this post as it’s fairly obvious. You can find more information on physical ways to expand your consciousness here. These are my perspectives, so please adopt them at your own risk. My wish is that you explore these options and see what feels good and works well for you. While all health practices aren’t a one-size-fits-all box, I’ve done my best to share the knowledge I feel can be relatively universal and accessible for all. Now, lets get that creative maniac mind of yours juicing!

Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links because this playa’ gotta eat, too.

1- Consume More Clean Water and Natural Electrolytes

Consume More Clean Water and Natural Electrolytes - heatharmstrong.com

I strive to drink a half gallon to 1 gallon of clean water per day. Everyone varies with the amount of water they need to intake for optimal health, but it’s safe to say that drinking more water is probably healthier than less. When I started, it was rare for me to even have 6 ounces of water per day, so upping my water intake required focus and dedication. The more water you drink, the more you will start to crave it. 1 gallon of water is 128 ounces, or about three 40-ounce servings. When you break it down into 3 servings, the goal becomes much more appealing. Intake in the winter may be quite a bit less than in the warmer / more active months. If you aren’t used to drinking any water, start small and gradually increase your intake. Every time you crave other types of liquids or foods, pound some water instead and feel the cravings go away.

Once you consume more water, you’ll notice that 90% of irritating health issues that you experience may improve, including digestive issues, constipation, irritable bowel, drowsiness, low energy, headaches, toxin invasions, high blood pressure, insomnia, immune system breakdown, dry skin and dandruff, and general aches and pains (all of which I’ve battled). When you drink more water, you will have fewer cravings to fill the thirst void with sugary juices, processed soft drinks, and other unhealthy replacements. Water is the river that holds the body together and keeps your sexy machine functioning at the highest levels. It is the fuel that allows energy to skyrocket and flow freely into other areas of your life.

Water Tips:

  • When you wake up, try to drink 16-40 ounces before doing anything else. This will act as a morning internal bath or cleanse, and it will get your juices flowing for the day. Plus, you may knock out up to 1/3 of your water for the day!
  • Buy clean reverse osmosis water from the big machines you see at the grocery stores, or collect your own from a natural spring and use a water filter. If you want to collect your own water from a spring, you can locate one near you by visiting FindaSpring.com.
  • Drinking water at room temperature is way easier than drinking water cold, and it also aids in digestion and boosts metabolism.
  • Set an alarm on your phone to remind you at least 3 times per day to drink your water.
  • Pre-filling a gallons’ worth of water bottles the night before can also help prepare you for a day of proper hydration. You’ll always know how much you have left to drink before the end of the day, and you can conveniently grab them and chug like the thug you are.
  • Listen to this episode of The Model Health Show that will blow your mind about water (and why you should never use Britta filters.

2- Add Natural Electrolytes and Apple Cider Vinegar (with the Mother) to Your Water for a Mineral Cocktail

Selina Naturally Celtic Sea Salt and Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar - heatharmstrong.com

Mix lemon and pure Celtic sea salt with your morning water for natural electrolyte hydration. Lemons are rich in Vitamin C, a strong antioxidant which helps combat free radicals, and in bioflavonoids, including quercetin, which acts like a natural antiviral and antihistamine, preventing allergies and inflammation.

Sea salt contains over sixty beneficial trace minerals beyond the sodium, iodine, and chloride found in normal table salt. These help optimize performance, muscle contraction, nerve function, and cell-level hydration retention. Some of these vital trace minerals include potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, zinc, boron, bromine, iron and more.

Adding a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar (organic with the mother) to your morning water, or your water after meals, will also help neutralize your stomach acid levels and promote digestive health. By implementing necessary trace minerals and digestive function, your energy and creativity will blast to the moon!

Where to Buy Authentic Salts and ACV

I use Selina Naturally Celtic Sea Salt and Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar, both of which you can find at organic stores.

3- Hydratonic Cocktail (Hydration + Detox + Remineralization)

Three of Life - Hydratonic and Pau Pau - heatharmstrong.com

In addition to the water cocktail I consume above, I mix in a scoop of Hydratonic from Three of Life to maximize hydration and remineralization while detoxifying the body. This stuff tastes amazing, and a friend and medicine man I know named Raven created it. It only has four ingredients: turmeric root powder, noni fruit powder, shilajit powder, and piperine extract powder. It is relatively inexpensive.

Where to Buy Hydratonic

You can order Hydratonic from the Three of Life website here. I also highly recommend the Pau Pau and Jing from Three of Life if you want to browse their other stuff. All three products are incredibly powerful medicines.

4- Reconnect to the Natural Healing Energy of the Earth by Grounding Yourself

Reconnect to the Natural Healing Energy of the Earth by Grounding Yourself - heatharmstrong

Humans and all other living creatures are electric beings with electrical currents hooked to an electrical Earth. It may seem so obvious that this planet has miraculous healing powers, yet the majority of us in the western world spend more time disconnected from the Earth than connected to her. With the invention of the rubber-soled shoe, and the industrial destruction of Earth to make way for asphalt jungles and high-rises, we’ve really disconnected the electrical current that transfers between nature and our bodies. Could this have anything to do with the mass increase in chronic inflammation, disease, poor sleep, and lack of creativity?

You know how you get great ideas in the shower? That’s because you are touching water that is grounded through pipes into the Earth. You are reconnecting yourself to that electrical grid, and energy and ideas start to flow. How often are you going outside with your shoes off, frolicking through the woods like a fairy, or running like an antelope out of control through the rainstorm? Are you isolating yourself from the healing energy of the Earth, or are you actively doing everything you can to connect to her as much as possible?

Benefits of Grounding Yourself of “Earthing”

We live in a world of ever-expanding technological advancements. While there are incredible and much-needed benefits to using technology, one side effect is the mass of electro-magnetic-frequencies (EMF) created by our mobile devices, computers, cell towers, WiFi networks, etc. This EMF radiation releases positively charged ions, also known as free radicals or oxidants, which disrupt the body’s natural frequency and make us vulnerable to chronic health problems and diseases.

When you walk barefoot on the earth, you absorb a supercharge of free electrons from Earth’s electrical current through the fascia on the bottom of your feet. These electrons act as antioxidants and neutralize the excess positively-charged free radicals in the body. If free radicals are not neutralized, they steal electrons from other atoms in your body and create ongoing damage across your cell structure. Antioxidants can lend electrons to free radicals without becoming unstable themselves, thus resulting in neutralization of the problem. Basically, free or mobile electrons from the earth can resolve chronic inflammation by serving as natural antioxidants to your body.

The cell repair and increased functioning helps result in a mass of other health benefits, including detoxification of the body, decreased chronic inflammation, improved blood flow and oxygenation, boosted immunity, decreased anxiety and stress, anti-aging, better sleep, and a restoration to the body’s natural state.

Watch the Earthing Movie and Read the Book

Some people think (god help them) this is woo-woo bullshit, but there is actual science to prove the Earth does in fact heal. A great documentary called The Earthing Movie: The Remarkable Science of Grounding is available for free. There is also an excellent book called Earthing: The Most Important Health Discovery Ever, by Clinton Ober.

Try Earthing Out Yourself, Especially When Sleeping

Generally, I never recommend anything before researching and testing it myself. While it’s pretty obvious that spending time connected to the Earth outside is going to be beneficial in some ways, it’s easier to be skeptical of indoor “earthing” products that help keep you grounded to Earth even when you aren’t outside. That being said, I’m proud to share that my inflammation has almost completely disappeared since using grounding products when I sleep, and transitioning to conductive sandals when I’m outside.

While I used to spend a very small percentage of my day grounded, I’m now grounded about 85% of the time, which has positively impacted my mindset, pain, and creativity. When you sleep, your body kicks into its regenerate and rebuild mode to help repair the wear and tear of the waking hours and get you feeling so-fresh-and-so-clean-clean for when you awake. Being grounded in those hours is crucial because it supplies the charge you need to accelerate the repair of the body. Most of us aren’t grounded while sleeping unless we’re cowboy camping by a campfire a few times a year. Luckily, there are great products to help us ground while we sleep, and other mats and accessories to help in other situations, too!

Where to Buy Authentic Earthing Products

Earthing Mattress Cover – These are pricey, but honestly one of the best purchases I’ve made in a long time. Since I started using it, I’ve been sleeping an extra 2 hours per night on average, and I rarely wake up throughout the night. My dreams have become much more vivid, and the inflammation in my shoulders and neck have disappeared. My pup Sachi also seems to stay asleep longer, and no longer wakes me up to play at 2 a.m.

Earthing Pads for Under Feet or Laptop When Working – This two-pack of pads is great because you can put one pad under your feet when working, and another under your keyboard and computer, minimizing the damage from the EMFs and optimizing the grounding benefits while being inside and working. There are also grounding patches by the same company available on Amazon. I don’t recommend buying from other manufacturers.

EarthRunner Sandals – I rock these super comfortable and minimal sandals whenever I’m outside if I have to be wearing shoes. Being barefoot is obviously more beneficial, but these sandals will help you keep your ground in scenarios where the shoes are required. They are also really versatile. I do various activities in them without issues. Love them!

5- Beast Up Your Magnesium Intake- A Crucial Mineral For Your Health

Ease Magnesium and Ancient Minerals - heatharmstrong.com

One of the trace minerals mentioned above that you can get from sea salt is Magnesium. I want to expand upon the importance of magnesium, because there have been studies that show over half of the people in the United States alone are magnesium deficient.

What happens when you are magnesium deficient? It starts with common issues like irritability, fatigue, inflammation, sleeping issues, loss of appetite, cramps, muscle twitches, high stress, and general shitty moods and energy levels, and it can develop into serious conditions like migraines, asthma, diabetes, cardiac issues, hypertension, hormone imbalance and more.

Personally, I take a magnesium topical that soaks right into my skin as recommended by several doctors and health experts I follow. I’ve found this to be more effective than taking oral supplements. Organic Olivia has a few awesome ways to uptake your magnesium levels here.

Where to Buy Authentic Magnesium

A couple of topical brands I recommend are Ease Magnesium and Ancient Minerals.

For oral powder you can mix in with your tea, try this Calm Mix.

To dive deeper into the rabbit hole on magnesium, check out Shawn Stevenson’s episode with Ian Clark. If you increase your magnesium levels to where they should be, your stress levels will drop and your energy and creativity will rise.

6- Rescue and Restore Your Gut Biome with ION*Gut Health

ION* Gut Health (formerly RESTORE) - heatharmstrong.com

Do you want to boost your immunity, aid digestion, enhance mental clarity, and help your vital gut biome flourish? When these areas of your health are firing on high, you’ll likely experience energy and clarity that you haven’t since you were a wee little child running around with your diaper hanging off your ass.

Perhaps the most respected and brilliant doctor I have ever encountered and followed is Dr. Zach Bush, founder of ION*Biome, Farmers Footprint, and many other impactful missions to save gut health and the Earth.

A healthy gut plays a crucial role in the level of health, energy, and clarity of the body and the mind. However, because we have such a problem with the manufacturing of processed foods and the use of antibiotics, pesticides, and GMOs in our farms, our soils, and our food supply, many of us have increased ingestion of toxins, like glyphosate, which directly attacks our gut and vital microbiome.

According to Dr. Bush, our body produces beneficial enzymes through cellular communication which supports the seals between the cells of our gut lining, or “the barrier protecting us from toxic substances like glyphosate and gluten while allowing the entry of beneficial nutrients.” Without this protective barrier in the gut, we are susceptible to “leaky gut syndrome,” or the process of toxins and unwanted particles leaking out of the gut and into the bloodstream. This creates gut inflammation and intestinal permeability, both putting stress on crucial parts of the body that function within the immune and digestive systems. When these systems are under stress and cannot do their job properly, it can lead to a huge range of health conditions including fatigue, brain fog, depression, IBS, food allergies, food sensitivities, Crohn’s disease, chronic liver disease, and even autoimmune disease.

Dr. Bush has spent his life researching and studying the value of balancing and strengthening the gut biome and overall gut health. His miracle product ION* Gut Health (formerly RESTORE) has played a vital role in healing and restoring the lifetime of damage I had created within my gut, intestines, and digestive tract from a constant intake of processed foods, antibiotics, pharmaceutical drugs, pesticides from non-organic foods, and alcoholism.

ION* Biome is a gut-strengthening and brain-boosting aqueous humid substance which offers leaky-gut syndrome repair, toxin and allergen protection, and microbiome and immunity support.

In a way, it’s all the vital nutrients and minerals from rich soil that we should be getting from our foods naturally, but instead we aren’t because of factory farming, dead soils from glyphosate use, and other factors.

“Good health depends entirely on gut health because a lot more than digestion happens in the gut. It’s also where proper immune system function begins and the majority of our neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, are created. Say yes to optimal gut-brain connectivity and feel-good transmissions, protection from the toxins we face every day in our air, water, and food, immune function, digestive wellness, and supported gluten tolerance.” – Dr. Zach Bush

Where to Buy ION* BIOME

You can order this kick-ass product for yourself and your pets! The health nerd in me is flexing hard over this one! You should too.

ION* BIOME for your gut health.

ION* BIOME for your pup.

ION* Sinus Spray

7- Boost Your Immunity and Digestive Function with Fire Brew

Boost Your Immunity and Digestive Function with Fire Brew - heatharmstrong.com

Besides the miraculous ION*Biome product mentioned above, another incredible way to heal your gut, balance your digestion, and boost your immune system and energy levels is by taking a shot of fire brew every morning when you wake up.

Fire brew, or otherwise known as fire cider, fire vinegar, fire tonic, and more, is basically an infusion or tonic of a raw apple cider vinegar base and various other health-boosting gifts from the Earth, such as lemon, horseradish root, cayenne pepper, ginger root, garlic, onion, turmeric, black pepper, orange, and raw honey. With all these spicy flavors combined, the name fire brew could easily translate to anus grenade if you drink too much at once!

Some of the health benefits these gifts from Earth have are:

  • Living Raw Apple Cider Vinegar: Contains antibacterial and antioxidant properties, helps heal the gut, helps digestive function.
  • Lemon: Helps detoxify the liver, kidneys, and digestive system. Rich in Vitamin C, a strong antioxidant which helps combat free radicals, and in bioflavonoids, including quercetin, which acts like a natural antiviral and antihistamine, preventing allergies and inflammation.
  • Horseradish: High in antioxidants and Vitamin C, which boost the production and stimulation of white blood cells in the body, which support the immune system and destroy free radicals. Also includes the natural chemical allyl isothiocyanate, which has antimicrobial and antibacterial properties. Great for decongestion.
  • Cayenne: Boosts metabolism and immunity.
  • Ginger Root: Helps improve digestion, colds, fevers, poor circulation, nausea, cramps, and even pain! Ginger is also antibacterial and antifungal! My all-around favorite!
  • Garlic and Onion: Immune support! These are also both known to lower blood pressure and cholesterol and possibly decrease the risk of certain cancers.
  • Turmeric: Helps improve chronic inflammation, pain, arthritis, candida overgrowth, irritable bowel system (IBS), memory loss, and many other health conditions. Turmeric is one of the most well-rounded and well-studied medicines in the world, and it even helps mental health and cognitive function.
  • Black Pepper: Black pepper (or the bioactive it includes, piperine) helps enhance absorption and efficiency of the turmeric in the body. It’s also rich in antioxidants, helps with respiratory issues, helps fight infections, and increases brain performance!
  • Orange: Oranges, like most citrus, have an incredible array of health benefits in relation to digestion, immunity and more, but I mainly include them in the fire brew because they help the taste drastically.
  • Honey: Contains antioxidants which have been known to reduce blood pressure, stroke risk, heart attack risk, and even some cancer risk. It also calms sore throats and coughs and can be an incredible source of burn and wound healing if used as a topical (although in the fire brew it will be ingested). Source raw honey, as pasteurization kills most of the benefits.

How to Make Fire Brew

Fire brew has become more popular over the past decade, and I’m starting to see companies sell it in organic stores. However, making your own fire brew is probably the best option and is really easy. Just chop up the ingredients I listed above (can leave honey out until the end if desired), place them in a big glass jar or several smaller glass jars, and then fill the jar(s) up with apple cider vinegar until all the ingredients are covered. Cap the jar off with parchment paper and a lid and store it somewhere dark for about 4-8 weeks, shaking it daily if possible.

After the time has lapsed, strain and squeeze the pulp out of all the solid ingredients and pour the liquid fire brew into a clean jar! Add honey to sweeten the taste if that’s your jam. Take a small shot of the fire brew every morning when you wake up and reap the benefits!

For more precise directions on crafting your own fire brew, visit this handy recipe.

Not only will you be kicking your immunity and digestive health up a notch, but you’ll also feel increased energy levels and clarity throughout the morning and day. Don’t be afraid to get fancy with adding new ingredients to your mix, too!

If you'd like to purchase some home-made organic firebrew, send me an email or DM me on instagram and I can hook you up with a friend who makes it!

8- Feral Fungi Spagyric Tinctures – Mushroom Extractions for Natural Health Benefits and Beyond

Feral Fungi Tinctures - heatharmstrong.com

If you follow my work, you may have noticed I’m borderline obsessed with mushroom foraging and natural medicine. I’m happy to share that there has been a giant surge of interest recently among the general population regarding the benefits of mushroom extractions in relation to health, most likely the result of the momentous popularity of creative mycologist Paul Stamets and the success of the mesmerizing documentary Fantastic Fungi.

In my pursuit to educate myself on how to heal my body naturally, I was sucked into the infinite hole of magic that exists around mushrooms as a nutritional food source and the medicinal benefits of extractions into powders and tinctures. Initially, I explored the medicine as a solution to various nerve issues I was having, but it wasn’t long before I also realized the power of various fungi for healing my gut, cloudy brain, digestion, and immune response.

I’m a total nerd when it comes to trying supplements and “natural medicines,” because I believe we live in a world where shit products are pumped out in mass quantities, then packaged and marketed in deceiving ways through various loopholes that exist in our corporatocracy “food and drug” industry. People are waking up and sustainable farming and natural medicine are making a huge comeback. This is wonderful, but because of the mess that still dominates the markets, I do extensive research and test every supplement and product I buy to experience the effects before I recommend or share them.

I spent the last three years trying various mushroom supplements, from generic brand capsules to local farmers market tinctures. I even learned how to forage and create my own double-extract tinctures along the way. However, when I stumbled upon Feral Fungi Tinctures, they quickly absorbed 100% of my attention and curiosity. What made them different? Spagyrics.

Feral Fungi makes triple-extract fungi tinctures that go beyond the typical double-extraction through an additional alchemical process called spagyrics, which basically is the process of recombining the pure crystalline mineral salts that are extracted from the fruit bodies of the mushrooms back into the tincture—except way more complicated than that. After trying a few tinctures from their site, I immediately contacted the founder, Jason, and met up with him in the Portland area to buy a bulk amount to share at a medicine ceremony I was attending in Mt. Shasta. I’ve been hooked ever since. I’m also actively learning the process of spagyrics myself so I can take my own tinctures to the next level.

Here are the benefits of some of his tinctures in a beautiful infographic straight from the feralfungi.com site.

Feral Fungi Quick Reference Guide - heatharmstrong.com

Where to Buy Authentic Mushroom Tinctures: 10% Off With Code RAGECREATE

I religiously take Lion’s Mane, Cordyceps, Red Belted Conk, Chaga, Turkey Tail, and Reishi. The Lion’s Mane and Cordyceps combo has been incredible for my energy levels and brain performance, and the Reishi has been remarkable for overall health and immunity. The most intense and salty is the Red Belted Conk, incredible for digestion!

You can get 10% off your order by using the code RAGECREATE at checkout at feralfungi.com.

If you are interested in learning more about foraging your own mushrooms, check out LearnYourLand.com. That dude will blow your effin’ mind! He’s got a killer YouTube channel too.

9- Ancient Earth Shilajit Resin – The Most Potent Combo of Vital Minerals and Trace Elements

Ancient Earth Shilajit Resin - heatharmstrong.com

When I was in Ashland, OR, I met a brilliant medicine woman who shared an Ancient Earth Shilajit with me in its pure resin form. She sourced the “superconductive big organic earth medicine” herself from the pristine mountains of Siberia, in a cold-filtered and raw black resin.

What is Shilajit?

Shilajit contains over 84 crucial minerals, plus fulvic acid, which allows the body to absorb these minerals at a cellular level. It is traditionally referred to as “The Conqueror of Mountains” or “The Destroyer of Weakness.” Shilajit forms throughout high altitudes (10,000-18,000ft) in the Himalayas, and in areas of Asia, Russia, India and more, through microbial biodegraded plant life being pressurized by mountains over millions of years. When the rock formations heat up, the ancient mineral resin seeps from the cracks.

What are the benefits of Shilajit?

Because ancient earth Shilajit is jam-packed with so many incredible minerals and trace elements, it helps facilitate a huge array of positive healing processes within the body and mind. Shilajit detoxifies heavy metals, boosts energy, reduces pain and inflammation, balances hormones, reduces stress, increases libido, and maximizes endurance.

When essential earth minerals and elements replenish your body and mind, your entire health system will likely fire up in much more effective ways. This usually results in low stress, high energy, and expanded creativity.

If you want to learn more about Shilajit, my friend Justin has an incredible write-up you can dive into here on his Conscious Lifestyle Magazine site.

Where to Buy Authentic Shilajit Resin

True Shilajit resin is hard to find, and it comes in a black tar form that usually smells like fresh barnyard. It’s very hard when cold and usually softens into a thick goo when in direct sunlight or heated areas. There are some Shilajit products available in powdered form, but they aren’t as potent or beneficial as the raw unfiltered resin.

Lotus Blooming Herbs has a great Shilajit product which is ethically wild crafted and sourced.

10- Ceremonial Grade Cacao as a Coffee Replacement for Maximum Energy and Love!

Ceremonial Grade Cacao as a Coffee Replacement - heatharmstrong.com

Coffee is great, especially the variety of tastes among various beans and the satisfaction of sharing a cup with a loved upon rising. The punch of the caffeine is a staple for kick-starting the day, and it keeps many of us alert and stimulated so we can beast through our work without feeling fatigue.

A cup or two in the morning can be incredibly beneficial, but the caffeine in the coffee is addictive, and many of us suck on our cups like mother’s teat until the late hours of the day, which can then affect our deep sleep cycles that we desperately need to regenerate and recharge.

The Caffeine Crash and Disruption of Sleep Cycles

Adenosine is a chemical in your central nervous system that regulates your cycle of sleeping and waking up. While awake, adenosine accumulates in the brain and attaches to receptors to trigger the sleeping process when it’s needed, usually starting with a slowing of the heart, blood flow, and muscle tensioning. Despite common belief, the caffeine molecule doesn’t actually “give you more energy.” It targets and blocks adenosine from attaching to the receptors responsible for triggering your sleep cycle. Basically, caffeine blocks your ability to “feel” tired, although you are still tired. As your body metabolizes the caffeine, its effects begin to wear off. The build-up of adenosine in the brain then floods its receptors, signaling to the body that it is time for sleep, but at a level much more intense than normal because of the excess adenosine. This creates the dreaded caffeine crash that usually results in a sluggish afternoon, or most likely, another cup of coffee.

Replacing Caffeine with Theobromine

Cacao, not to be confused with processed and manufactured chocolate or cocoa, is an ancient superfood that experts tout for its energizing effects. Originating from the Amazon and spreading north, “Theobroma Cacao” translates to “food of the gods” that the ancients often served to Mayan kings.

While modern chocolate and cocoa come from the ancient cacao tree, they often contain added sugars and caffeine that raw cacao doesn’t. Raw cacao contains zero sugar and usually zero caffeine, although some strains have trace amounts of caffeine, about 1/50th that of coffee.

The main activator in cacao is theobromine, an alkaloid similar to caffeine, that offers a long-lasting clean energy high without the crash. It does not stimulate the central nervous system like caffeine, and has a more gentle onset that lasts longer and isn’t addictive. It actually helps balance brain chemistry, which promotes better sleep, as opposed to disrupting the natural cycle.

Cacao Detoxifies the Body, Opens The Heart, and is Mineral Rich

Another major benefit of theobromine is its ability to “dilate and widen your blood vessels which improves blood flow.” This helps promote detoxification of the body, optimization of brain performance and focus, and better breathing and moods!

Shamans often use raw ceremonial-grade cacao in medicine ceremonies to “open up the heart” and facilitate deeper human connection and love.

Cacao is also an extremely mineral-rich food. It contains high amounts of zinc, copper, manganese, and iron! It’s also a mega source of magnesium! Learn more about the benefits of cacao here.

Tips and Resources for Drinking Coffee of Cacao

If you do keep coffee in your diet, mixing in MCT Oil can help negate the energy crash, as the medium-chain triglycerides will kick in on a time-release to help keep your energy curve high. Quick tip: If you pop your hot coffee and MCT oil in a glass blender, it will froth it and make it taste almost like you added a creamer! Also consider adding cardamom to your coffee to neutralize the acidity.

Sometimes I mix a half cup of coffee with a half cup of hot cacao. I then add in MCT oil, turmeric, a dash of black pepper for absorption of the turmeric, and cinnamon! Delish!

Where to Buy Authentic Cacao

Endorfin Foods – My friend Brian Wallace founded this company by traveling to South America and sourcing single-origin, ceremonial-grade raw cacao out of passion. He offers a variety of bars and drinking chocolates, and wholesale options if you want to buy in bulk.

Holy Kakow – I started buying this stuff when I lived in Oregon because they were local. Another great option for organic and raw ceremonial-grade cacao powder.

Imlak’esh Organics – Another great brand that offers wafers, powders, and nibs!

11- Support Your Circadian Rhythm

Your body, behavior, and mind all operate on a 24-hour biological clock known as the circadian timing system, or circadian rhythm. The circadian rhythm includes the cycles that tell the body when to sleep, wake, and eat, and inform the physiological and biological processes that happen throughout the day and night. The circadian rhythm is a real, built-in clock, influenced by external cues like temperature and sunlight, which helps dictate energy levels throughout the day. Within the circadian rhythm, there is a schedule of when your body releases certain hormones throughout the day. This schedule helps regulate and control your energy levels, immune system, digestion, blood pressure, fat utilization, alertness, hunger levels, and more.

Here is a Circadian Rhythm time chart from Wikipedia for reference:

Circadian Rhythm time chart - heatharmstrong.comCircadian Rhythm chart from Wikipedia.com

What Happens if Your Circadian Rhythm is Out of Whack

Before technology and the creation of artificial environments that mimic daytime scenarios at night, like bright lights on the television, it was pretty easy for the body to sync to the circadian rhythm and function properly. These artificial environments are confusing our ability to function within the natural circadian rhythm, and many health issues are arising including insomnia, depression, mental fog, eating disorders, and more.

Quick Tips for Restoring Your Circadian Rhythm

While there are many ways to restore your natural clock, there are a few big common problems many of us share that we can fix with a little willpower and commitment.

  • Get natural, direct sunlight during the day for at least half an hour to an hour. Let the sun hit your skin and don’t wear sunglasses. Your eyes measure the strength of the sun and tell your body to protect itself when the sun is too powerful. While creams can definitely help in preventing excessive sun damage to your skin, it’s important that your body perceives how powerful the sun is and also absorbs the vitamins from the sunlight directly. If you wear sunglasses, your eyes cannot perceive the correct strength of the sun, and skin damage is more likely because your body wasn’t informed it should protect itself. Sunglasses also inhibit the amount of light you need to guarantee the natural hormonal secretions and healthy sleep you need.
  • Don’t drink caffeine after 2pm.
  • Cut out cell phone, television, and computer screens at least two hours before bed. Power them off completely to remove any notifications that might suck you back into them. These devices imitate sunlight and will confuse your body into thinking it needs to be awake. Even if you are used to watching television at night and you fall asleep easily, you probably aren’t getting the regenerative deep sleep you need to restore your body and thrive. Instead of electronics, read books, have deep conversations with loved ones, or meditate and plan your next day. There are much more valuable things you can do with those last few hours of the day than Netflix binge sessions and farting on yourself.
  • Use blue light blockers to minimize blue light exposure if you do need to engage with electronics in the evening or at night. There are many companies that make blue light blocking glasses nowadays, and newer cell phones now have screen dimmers that naturally dim your screen at night. For the computer, check out Iris – A Blue Light Blocking App that is by far the best app I’ve encountered for bio-hacking blue light. It has many manual and automatic modes that allow for safe viewing of screens even at night.

Iris - A Blue Light Blocking App - heatharmstrong.com
(IRIS Blue Light Blocking Interface- Showing Automatic Modes)


Unleash Your Creativity, Energy, and Optimal Health

If you truly want to reduce stress, increase energy, explode your creativity, and bring a more meaningful life into existence, it all starts with taking care of yourself. The decisions that you make throughout your day will directly impact how you feel throughout your weeks, years, and life. When you feel good and your energy levels are high, that’s when the muse shows up to blast open your life with creative ideas and opportunities.

I hope that by sharing this information which I have found helpful in my transformation, you will be in a better position to make decisions toward increased health and creativity yourself. Just remember to make the right decision in each moment to move toward feeling better, performing better, and getting back to your natural roots and circadian rhythm. Eat organic food when possible, rise and rest in a dance with the sun and the moon, and do more of what truly makes you feel healthy and alive. Your body is a precious rocket ship that is blasting you through space. It deserves your love.

If not now, then when? Memento Mori!

Medical Disclaimer

This post is for information purposes only. By providing the information contained herein I am not diagnosing, treating, curing, mitigating, or preventing any type of disease or medical condition. Before beginning any type of natural, integrative or conventional treatment regimen, it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.

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