The “chicken or the egg” issue for mood & fitness

Written by Youssef Merhi | Last updated:

When I was stuck with my feelings of anxiety and low mood, many people would tell me that working out or going for a run would help me break out of these constant negative feelings.

And scientifically speaking, that is the truth – there is an infinite amount of research that backs this up.

Going to the gym and training for a marathon have definitely been life changing in terms of improving my overall mood.

But when you’re in a bad mental state, everything feels like an impossible task.

How can someone expect you to start lifting weights when you can’t even lift yourself out of bed?

And actually, Joe says that one of the reasons he never worked out in the past was because it worsened his mood (until he learned why – he was genetically lower in serotonin and working out caused a depletion in tryptophan/serotonin). This goes to show how we’re all unique!

So, I decided to flip the script around and approach it in the opposite direction.

What if I looked for supplements that could improve my mood, and from there I could then get myself to go to the gym and run?

The Breakthrough Approach

Searching on Google for supplements that help with mood is pretty much useless.

You’ll discover hundreds of supplements and will be left feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information you find.

At that time, I had just discovered SelfDecode.

SelfDecode did 2 things that helped someone like me at that time.

A person with only a little knowledge in the health and science space, but an overwhelming desire to get better.

  1. It helped me filter out the BS. Some of the articles you find online on products that help with your mood are written based on a single person’s experience, or inadequate “studies.” There’s little to no science behind the recommendation.
  2. It helped me discover the supplements that work based on my body. There are many supplements that do improve mood, but not for everyone. SelfDecode was able to prioritize my mood recommendations based on its effectiveness.

It also tells you WHY something works for you. It’s hard to implement a change when you feel clueless about it.

But when you start to understand the mechanisms behind why your mood is improving, you feel like you’re more in control, which motivates you to continue applying it to your daily life.

For example, I discovered that Lemon Balm is great in decreasing my anxiety due to my ABAT gene variant, which plays a role in the GABA levels in your body – a chemical that helps relax the nervous system.

There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t take Lemon Balm now and the improvements it’s made for my mental health are tremendous.

Recently, I’ve also used SelfDecode’s new Recommendations feature to see what the top supplement recommendations are for the Brain Health category, and Gingko was 2nd on my list.

This feature gives you your top recommendations by looking at ALL of your genetic risk scores for a selected health topic.

Ginkgo was always on my radar, but after seeing it as my number 2 I had to add it into my regimen right away!

Plus, check out all of the areas that Ginkgo can help me with! It’s no wonder it comes up so high on my supplement list.

I’m still testing it out but I’ll write all about my experience in a future post.

For fun, I decided to see where Ginkgo came up under Joe’s account for brain health, and it was number 18!

The order of recommendations is completely different depending on your genes and lab tests.

Improving Your Mood And Fitness

After I began implementing these changes to improve my mood, I started going to the gym and running, which in turn helped with my mood immensely.

So yes, they are definitely mood boosters.

But sometimes you need to make other changes to get you out of that rut first before you can build a healthy physical foundation that will get rid of your anxiety and improve your overall mental health.

SelfDecode helped me take that first step, and you can use it to discover the supplements and diet changes that will help YOU take that first step.



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