Coffee designed by Christopher Smith from the Noun Project

Coffee designed by Christopher Smith from the Noun Project

In a recent Stanford Business article, neuroeconomist Baba Shiv shares some science behind maximizing creativity.

Turns out the best way to get the most from your creativity is by maintaining high levels of the feel-good chemicals serotonin. Coffee helps too. Shiv explains:

“The path [to higher serotonin] begins with proper rest. A minimum of 30 minutes — but ideally up to 2 hours — of deep sleep reduces cortisol levels and boosts serotonin.…Diet matters, too. A high-protein breakfast is easily converted into serotonin and dopamine, while caffeine is a physiological arouser, meaning it will amplify whatever emotions one is already feeling….Cardiovascular exercise is also critical. When the heart muscles pump faster, they release a peptide believed to help produce serotonin. That means considering a brisk walk before an afternoon meeting — or better yet, walk and talk.”

Read the full article here.

Previously (on serotonin)Simon Sinek: Leadership Is Not a Rank, It’s a Decision.

  • Medialoot

    So there’s “in vino veritas”, but it seems like we also need to say “in coffee veritas”. I had no idea that coffee was a mood amplifier. Makes a lot of sense! Anyhow, great share, just a good reminder that the benefits of sleep and exercise and a healthy protein-rich diet is important on so many levels.

    • tannerc

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

      It is important to refer to caffeine as an amplifier (as you’ve put it) and not necessarily a stimulant (though it can be that too). I think Shiv points to that fact often in his writing.

  • Eshloraque

    Will coffein also work?

    • tannerc

      Ah yes, the German form of caffeine. I’d like to imagine it works exactly the same as any other form of caffeine. Unless you were referring to something else of course? 😉

  • Cesar Idrobo

    beer is good for creativity, but coffee is good for staying focused.

    • tannerc

      As the article states, coffee can be great for creativity too, as long as your initial state before consuming it is positive and open to creative thoughts.

  • awakeinwa

    this article just touches on the surface.

    Yes eating protein is key. That is the basis for all amino acids and building block for all neurotransmitters. Eating fats too including fatty acids, aka omega-3s like fish or fish oil.

    To complete the circuit consistently, taking coenzymated form of b-vitamins including B6 and a multi is key to the actual conversion.

    And as you get older, taking a natural serotonin and dopamine reuptake inhibitor is paramount lest you get grumpy old man syndrome aka mid-life crisis; since serotonin can get reabsorbed from the brain diffused into the rest of your body, you need such an inhibitor so it stays in your brain.

    It can be as simple albeit expensive as saffron which is a serotonin inhibitor or something as simple and cheap as St John’s Wort which recycles serotonin, dopamine, adenosine, etc.

    Ntm St John’s Wort also preserves their respective receptors from burnout *unlike* similar pharmaceutical anti-depressants that are well-known to stop working as they do burn out their targeted receptors.

    I’m touching the tip of iceberg here. Eating healthy is super important starting point. But frankly evolution in its long form afforded humanity for the most part a short life span of 40. That in the last 100 years through fortified foodstuffs and health sciences we’ve doubled that really is extraordinary.

    No wonder men experience midlife crisis at 30. It also happens to be when testosterone production peaks. So targeted micronutrient supplementation is as important as eating a sustained balanced macronutrient rich diet.

  • sparky086

    my Aunty Amelia got a new blue Land Rover
    LR4 only from working part time off a home computer… helpful hints

  • Kati Falk

    So then a coffee/chocolate flavored protein drink with a b vitamin should do it eh?

    • patrick dsouza

      Oh yes it does, oh yes, give it a try!

  • patrick dsouza

    I fully agree with this. As a person who has ideas occasionally, I find that my best ones are delivered after a bowl of chocolate ice-cream!

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