Performance: Hone Your Focus

Increasing BDNF Levels

Aside from the physical impact a lifetime of high intensity training regimens may have, the persistent willpower and energy required, day-in and day-out, combined with the elevated pressure to push the limits further each day, may contribute to more serious mental exhaustion for some elite athletes. Commonly labeled as athletic burnout (aka “overtraining syndrome”) , this debilitating stress response to overtraining may lead some of the most passionate and dedicated athletes to give up on their hopes and dreams, changing their entire athletic trajectory. Characterized by decreased mood, reduced focus, elevated stress, diminished performance, and in some cases, depression burnout is a common condition experienced by most athletes at some point in their careers. Studies indicate reduced levels of BDNF (brain derived neurotraphic factor), a protein that is involved in learning and memory, in the brains of athletes facing burnout.  H2 has the power to naturally elevate BDNF levels suggesting it’s therapeutic application in enhancing mood, energy, and focus and in turn preventing the possibility of athletic burnout in the future.

Increasing Catecholamine Levels

Neurotransmitters, chemical messengers in the brain that communicate information throughout the brain and body, specifically, the catecholamines (dopamine & norepinephrine) have been shown to impact the body’s energy supply.  In fact, there is considerable evidence indicating that both dopamine and norepinephrine play critical roles in various cognitive functions including attention, alertness, and focus  – improving the capacity to engage in sustained thought, effort, and motivation. Thus, higher levels of catecholamines results in greater overall mental fortitude – enhancing every aspect of an athlete’s game. Given the high demands of the competitive nature of athletic performance, athletes are often over-trained, leaving them at greater risk for diminished concentrations of catecholamines.  However, H2’s unique antioxidant properties have been shown to prevent dopaminergic loss, resulting in higher quantities of dopamine in the brain. Since dopamine is a precursor to the synthesis of norepinephrine, greater supplies of dopamine also increases norepinephrine levels. Thus, H2’s remarkably powerful benefits will drastically boost overall energy, alertness and focus. 

Eliminating Oxidative Stress and Inflammation

The arduous demands of intense exercise increases the production of free radicals within athletes’ bodies. Specifically, excessive reactive oxygen species (ROS) can place their body in a state of oxidative stress and inflammation.  The resulting damage and harm caused by oxidative stress and inflammation has been shown to significantly impact focus and overall cognitive performance. Additionally, increased ROS has also been implicated in athletic burnout, mood disorders, and fatigue.

Together, these factors not only increase inflammation in the body, but also place athletes at greater risk for acquiring cognitive symptoms that may impede their performance both on and off the field. However, H2’s unique scavenging abilities both eliminates excessive ROS and neutralizes inflammation, further demonstrating remarkably powerful applications – enhancing mood, preventing burnout, and taking your brain-power to the next level! 
 

H2 helps hone your focus by…
References

[1] Athlete burnout

 

“Athlete burnout has become a matter of disquiet in both colloquial and sport science commentaries around the world.”

 

Eklund, R. C., Cresswell, S. L. (2007). Athlete Burnout. Handbook of Sport Psychology, 3, 621-641. doi: 10.1002/9781118270011.ch28

 

[2] The overtraining syndrome in athletes: A stress-related disorder

 

“Athletes undergoing a strenuous training schedule can develop a significant decrease in performance associated with systemic symptoms or signs: the overtraining syndrome (OTS). This is a stress-related condition that consists of alteration of physiological functions and adaptation to performance, impairment of psychological processing, immunological dysfunction and biochemical abnormalities. 

 

Angeli, A., Minetto, M., Dovio, A., & Paccotti, P. (2004). The overtraining syndrome in athletes: A stress-related disorder. Journal of Endocrinological Investigation, 27(6), 603-612. doi: 10.1007/bf03347487

 

[3] Diagnosis and prevention of overtraining syndrome: an opinion on education strategies

 

“Many would contend OTS does not occur without some psychological stressor in the setting of excessive exercise.  Psychologic disruption is believed to be mostly central through changes in neurotransmitter function.  Athlete, coach, and sports medicine professional should be comfortable talking about mood and understand that depressed and anxious moods do not equate to mood disorders, but rather are symptoms of excessive exercise that may be adaptive or maladaptive.”

 

Kreher, J. B. (2016). Diagnosis and prevention of overtraining syndrome: An opinion on education strategies. Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine, 7, 115–122. doi: 10.2147/OAJSM.S91657

 

[4] The role of BDNF and HPA axis in the neurobiology of burnout syndrome

 

“Our results suggest that low BDNF might contribute to the neurobiology of burnout syndrome and it seems to be associated with burnout symptoms including altered mood and cognitive functions.”

 

Sertoz, O. O., Binbay, I. T., Koylu, E., Noyan, A., Yıldırım, E., & Mete, H. E. (2008). The role of BDNF and HPA axis in the neurobiology of burnout syndrome. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 32(6), 1459-1465. doi: 10.1016/j.pnpbp.2008.05.001

 

[5] Burnout and cognitive impairment: Associated with serum BDNF in a Chinese Han population

 

“Our results suggest that burnout is associated with significant cognitive impairments and decreased BDNF. Moreover, decreased BDNF is associated with cognitive impairments in burnout.”

 

He, S., Zhang, Y., Zhan, J., Wang, C., Du, X., Yin, G., . . . Zhang, X. (2017). Burnout and cognitive impairment: Associated with serum BDNF in a Chinese Han population. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 77, 236-243. doi: 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2017.01.002

 

[6] Hydrogen-rich saline protects against oxidative damage and cognitive deficits after mild traumatic brain injury

 

“Treatment with hydrogen-rich saline, which elevated the levels of molecules associated with brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF)-mediated synaptic plasticity, improved cognitive performance.”

 

Hou, Z., Luo, W., Sun, X., Hao, S., Zhang, Y., Xu, F., . . . Liu, B. (2012). Hydrogen-rich saline protects against oxidative damage and cognitive deficits after mild traumatic brain injury. Brain Research Bulletin, 88(6), 560-565. doi: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2012.06.006

 

[7] Role of catecholamine signaling in brain and nervous system functions: New insights from mouse molecular genetic study

 

“Catecholamines, including dopamine and norepinephrine, are the principal neurotransmitters that mediate a variety of the central nervous system functions such as motor control, cognition, emotion, memory processing, and endocrine modulation.”

 

Kobayashi, K. (2001). Role of catecholamine signaling in brain and nervous system functions: New insights from mouse molecular genetic study. Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings, 6(1), 115-121. doi: 10.1046/j.0022-202x.2001.00011.x

 

[8] Neurophysiology of sleep and wakefulness: Basic science and clinical implications

 

“Key cell populations of the ascending arousal pathway include cholinergic, noradrenergic, serotoninergic, dopaminergic…”

 

Schwartz, J. R. ., & Roth, T. (2008). Neurophysiology of sleep and wakefulness: Basic science and clinical implications. Current Neuropharmacology, 6(4), 367–378. doi: 10.2174/157015908787386050

 

[9] Neurophysiology of sleep and wakefulness: Basic science and clinical implications

 

“Key cell populations of the ascending arousal pathway include cholinergic, noradrenergic, serotoninergic, dopaminergic…”

 

Schwartz, J. R. ., & Roth, T. (2008). Neurophysiology of sleep and wakefulness: Basic science and clinical implications. Current Neuropharmacology, 6(4), 367–378. doi: 10.2174/157015908787386050

 

[10] Neural correlates of sleepiness induced by catecholamine depletion

 

“AMPT-administration decreases catecholamine transmission by depleting central DA…dopamine… and NE … norepinephrine…stores, as evidenced by reduced concentrations of catecholamines …Previous studies on catecholamine depletion consistently demonstrated the occurrence of sleepiness 24 hours after the first administration of AMPT in both healthy volunteers…”

 

Meyers, N., Fromm, S., Luckenbaugh, D. A., Drevets, W. C., & Hasler, G. (2011). Neural correlates of sleepiness induced by catecholamine depletion. Psychiatry Research, 194(1), 73–78. doi: 10.1016/j.pscychresns.2011.06.015

 

[11] Overtraining Syndrome: A practice guide

 

“Reduced sympathetic activation in overtrained athletes is supported in some studies by decreased nocturnal urinary catecholamine excretion. Catecholamine excretion decreases with increasing fatigue and returns to baseline during recovery.”

 

Kreher, J. B., & Schwartz, J. B. (2012). Overtraining Syndrome: A practice guide. Sports Health, 4(2), 128–138. doi: 10.1177/1941738111434406

 

[12] Therapeutic effects of hydrogen in animal models of Parkinson's disease

 

“Hydrogen has an ability to reduce oxidative damage and ameliorate the loss of nigrostriatal dopaminergic neuronal pathway in two experimental animal models. Thus, it is strongly suggested that hydrogen might provide a great advantage to prevent or minimize the onset and progression of PD.”

 

Fujita, K., Nakabeppu, Y., & Noda, M. (2011). Therapeutic effects of hydrogen in animal models of Parkinson's disease. Parkinson's Disease, 2011(307875), 1-9. doi: 10.4061/2011/307875

 

[13] Oxidative stress biomarkers responses to physical overtraining: Implications for diagnosis

 

“In conclusion, overtraining induces a marked response of oxidative stress biomarkers which, in some cases, was proportional to training load, suggesting that they may serve as a tool for overtraining diagnosis.”

 

Margonis, K., Fatouros, I. G., Jamurtas, A. Z., Nikolaidis, M. G., Douroudos, I., Chatzinikolaou, A., . . . Kouretas, D. (2007). Oxidative stress biomarkers responses to physical overtraining: Implications for diagnosis. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 43(6), 901-910. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2007.05.022

 

[14] Altered oxidative stress in overtrained athletes

 

“These results suggest that increased oxidative stress has a role in the pathophysiology of overtraining syndrome. The attenuated responses of oxidative stress and antioxidant capacity to exercise in the overtrained state could be related to an inability to perform exercise effectively and impaired adaptation to exercise.”

 

Tanskanen, M., Atalay, M., & Uusitalo, A. (2010). Altered oxidative stress in overtrained athletes. Journal of Sports Sciences, 28(3), 309-317. doi: 10.1080/02640410903473844

 

[15] Oxidative stress: Relationship with exercise and training

 

“Physical exercise also increases oxidative stress and causes disruptions of the homeostasis. Training can have positive or negative effects on oxidative stress depending on training load, training specificity and the basal level of training. Moreover, oxidative stress seems to be involved in muscular fatigue and may lead to overtraining.”

 

Finaud, J., Lac, G., & Filaire, E. (2006). Oxidative stress: Relationship with exercise and training. Sports Medicine, 36(4), 327-358. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200636040-00004

 

[16] Oxidative stress and psychological disorders

 

“Oxidative stress is an imbalance between cellular production of reactive oxygen species and the counteracting antioxidant mechanisms. The brain with its high oxygen consumption and a lipid-rich environment is considered highly susceptible to oxidative stress or redox imbalances. Therefore, the fact that oxidative stress is implicated in several mental disorders including depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, is not surprising.”

 

Salim, S. (2014). Oxidative stress and psychological disorders

. Current Neuropharmacology, 12(2), 140–147. doi: 10.2174/1570159X11666131120230309

 

[17] Oxidative stress and psychological disorders

 

“Oxidative stress is an imbalance between cellular production of reactive oxygen species and the counteracting antioxidant mechanisms. The brain with its high oxygen consumption and a lipid-rich environment is considered highly susceptible to oxidative stress or redox imbalances. Therefore, the fact that oxidative stress is implicated in several mental disorders including depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, is not surprising.”

 

Salim, S. (2014). Oxidative stress and psychological disorders

. Current Neuropharmacology, 12(2), 140–147. doi: 10.2174/1570159X11666131120230309

 

[18] Hydrogen as a selective antioxidant: A review of clinical and experimental studies

“In the clinic, oral administration of H(2)-saturated water is reported to improve lipid and glucose metabolism in subjects with diabetes or impaired glucose tolerance; promising results have also been obtained in reducing inflammation in haemodialysis patients and treating metabolic syndrome. These studies suggest H(2) has selective antioxidant properties, and can exert antiapoptotic, antiinflammatory and antiallergy effects.

 

Hong, Y., Chen, S., & Zhang, J. (2010). Hydrogen as a selective antioxidant: A review of clinical and experimental studies. Journal of International Medical Research, 38(6), 1893-1903. doi: 10.1177/147323001003800602

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