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Health & Wellness

Podcast 177: Neurophysiologist Louisa Nicola on Training Your Brain

June 14, 2022

This week’s episode discusses how exercise, sleep, and nutrition help our brains perform.

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Kristen Holmes sits down with neurophysiologist Louisa Nicola for an in-depth discussion on peak performance, brain health, athletics, and longevity.

Louisa was a triathlete who represented Australia at the world championships, but found her way to neuroscience after being hit by a car while she was training on a bike. She discovered the mind-body connection as part of her rehab, which led her to founding her company Neuro Athletics a few years later. Louisa has since gone on to work with some of the best athletes across baseball, basketball, and more to ensure their mental game is just as strong as their physical game.

Louisa details the intersection between brain health, physiology, and peak performance; the role sleep, nutrition, and exercise play in growing our brains; and how the brain ages and the steps we can take to keep our brains young. She also explains how sleep deprivation leads to a higher risk of injuries and a weakened immune system, and how focussing on your hydration is one of the best ways to stay on top of your game.

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Louisa Nicola Podcast episode chapters:

5:54 – Training the brain

9:59 – How the brain changes

12:28 – Exercise and brain aging

18:19 – Brain health and resistance training

20:57 – Nutrition

25:34 – Hydration

27:18 – Sodium deficits and brain health

32:05 – Sleep deprivation and injury

35:45 – Sleep and immunity

37:13 – Inflammation, stress, and HRV

40:28 – Sleep environments

43:17 – Alcohol and the brain


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