(Disclaimer: This article and discussion is for informational and entertainment purposes only. This is not medical advice. This article, as all others, is subject to our Medical Disclaimer)
Everybody experiences some degree of restriction of blood flow after intake of stimulants, whether that be caffeine, pre-workout formulas (usually contain a lot of caffeine), modafinil, or various other compounds on the market.
The degree to which it effects each person depends largely on the makeup of their own body. Some people can take large quantities of stimulants and feel perfectly fine.
Others may experience various side effects such as feeling jittery, getting anxious out of the blue, or getting clammy hands and cold feet (my least favorite). Personally, I notice the lack of blood flow to my hands and feet after drinking several cups of coffee.
When I first started taking Modafinil, what bothered me the most was feeling the blood draining out of my hands and feet and having to wash them under hot water every so often to get the blood flowing again.
I would wrap myself up head to toe in warm clothes, but and my hands and feet would still feel colder than ice…
To counteract this, I tried a bunch of different go-nowhere approaches…
- stopping whatever activity I was doing to do a bunch of push ups to get my blood pumping
- drinking more water
- running my hands under alternating hot and cold water
- wearing mittens, putting on extra layers of clothing
All of these helped to a small degree, but were only temporary solutions at best. Unless I continued to do them over and over, my hands would freeze up again quite quickly. It wasn’t until I started attacking the root of the problem that my situation changed for the better.
So what was it? The cause of my agony was so damn obvious, but the solution was not as obvious…
Shitty blood circulation.
What the hell causes poor blood flow to begin with? The answer is a fancy word called vasoconstriction.
The majority of drugs that are classified as stimulants or have stimulant – like properties (caffeine, ephedrine, amphetamine, modafinil) cause the blood vessels around your body to tighten, thereby increasing your blood pressure and decreasing the flow of blood to your brain, organs, and muscles.
The actual blood vessels themselves were shrinking and less blood was flowing throughout my entire body and especially my extremities – thus causing ice cold hands syndrome. So the logical conclusion would be to find a way to open up those blood vessels and get more blood pumping everywhere.
For the first 6 months or so I was on modafinil, I was going back and forth between different herbals and products to treat this with absolutely no luck.
In retrospect, I realize that I had bad blood circulation to begin with and the stimulants and the modafinil only made it worse.
Fast forward a year and a half and now I can confidently say that I’ve done a total 180. Regardless of whether I’m on modafinil or not, I currently have great blood circulation and feel a hell of a lot better on a day to day basis.
In addition to no longer having to suffer through cold limbs, I also experienced:
- clearer, sharper thinking
- much less “brain fog”
- huge improvement in athletic endurance
- skin glows brighter
- sleep less, yet feel more refreshed when I wake up
I’m going to cut through the bullshit and lay out the barebones of what you need to do to get results. There are hundreds of different things you can do that won’t work or only kind of work. The 3 things I’m going to list below work the best and you can see the results of significantly improved blood flow within a pretty short timeframe.
Do some form of high intensity cardio 3x/week
This is the most obvious one on the list but this simple change made a big difference for me. Before, I used to rarely ever do cardio unless I was dieting or trying to cut down. Even then, I stuck to once or twice a week because I could get away with it due to my fast metabolism.
In my mind, all I cared about when it came to health and fitness was getting as jacked as I could possibly get and looking good. Which came down to lifting weights and eating as many calories as I could stuff down my throat.
Everybody knows that cardio is good for them but few people do it consistently (especially guys with fast metabolisms who don’t “need” it as much to look good).
It sucks, its annoying, and its a pain in the ass …
The good news is you don’t actually need to do a whole lot to experience the benefits. I’m not talking about slaving away for hours at a time on a treadmill or going swimming or cycling for an hour a day. Hell no!
I found that 20 minutes on the stepmill after my workouts 3 times a week made a big difference in my blood circulation and overall health. I recommend the stepmill just because I believe it gives the most bang for your buck as far as time goes, and gets me way better results than running forever on a treadmill or one of those stationary cycling machines.
It makes up for time in intensity and really kicks your ass!
20 minutes doesn’t sound like a whole lot of time, but I’m always completely drenched in sweat by the time I get off it. I like to split it up into 4 minute intervals where I go balls to the walls followed by 1 minute at a slow pace.
It really doesn’t matter what form of cardio you do, the important thing is that its intense to the point that you work up a good sweat and get your heart pumping.
Taking a “brisk walk” or “mild jogging” isn’t going to cut it if you want to see any actual noticeable improvement.
Mentally brace yourself for the short amount suck-age that is going to come and get it done, and enjoy the natural high that ensues afterwards. After incorporating this for a month, my skin would glow brighter, my hair had more of a shine to it, and I would feel refreshed afterwards instead of drained.
Drink beet juice
I found this one out by accident when I started experimenting with different kinds of green juices. If you have no idea what “juicing” is, its basically a way of consuming a lot of vegetables in a short amount of time without having to go through the process of sitting down and eating them. A juicer takes in vegetables, fruits, (and whatever else you want to put in there), squeezes the juices out into a cup and deposits the pulp waste in a separate compartment. The combinations of different ingredients that can go into a green juice is limited only by your imagination and different juices can be made to tackle different vitamin deficiencies.
While juicing in general is good for your health, beet juice in particular is what you need to get the benefits of superb blood flow. In fact it works so well that I would even go so far to say that it is superior to pharmaceutical drugs, and certainly better than all of those sketchy herbal supplements that work to accomplish the same goal.
Of all the various supplements and drugs I’ve tried, beet juice reigns supreme for the purposes of improved blood flow. You know that feeling after you workout arms where you look at your arms and see the veins popping out?
I get that same feeling after having a tall glass of refreshing beetroot juice. Now the juice itself has kind of a bitter taste to it. Even though it’s not going to taste like an ice cream sundae, its still quite manageable. If you want to make it sweeter, you can simply throw in a couple carrots or an apple into the juicer along with the beets to neutralize the taste.
Here is a simple, yet effective recipe:
- 1 whole beet
- 2 carrots
- half an apple (more apple = more sweetness)
- Small amount of cinnamon sprinkled on top
Or if you prefer good old fashioned sugar, or Stevia (healthier alternative), that works too. The juice itself will take on a blood red color due to the rich concentration of nitrates.
Beetroot juice has been clinically proven to have the following benefits:
- Improve oxygenation in the brain
- Act as a vasodilator, allowing it to open up the blood vessels, directly counteracting the constriction effect of stimulants
- Act as an anti-inflammatory agent
- Improve athletic performance due to oxygenating the muscle cells
After drinking beetroot juice regularly for two weeks, in addition to the cardio, my ice old hand syndrome had completely disappeared!
Use low doses of Cialis
You probably didn’t see that one coming. When people usually think of Cialis, what comes to mind is old men who can no longer maintain their erections that need to rely on a pill just to get going. While often prescribed specifically for this purpose, it also has a little known off-label use.
Due to marketing, Cialis is commonly thought of as an drug used solely for treating male erectile dysfunction by improving blood flow to the genital area.
That is only half true.
Cialis works by improving blood flow to your entire body, including all of your muscle tissues and the brain. It works much in the same way the beetroot juice does by opening up the blood vessels and allowing a higher volume of fresh blood and oxygen to pass through and enter those areas.
Doctors typically prescribe patients 20 mg – 40 mg to treat their ED, but we’re not going to need anywhere close to that amount.
Depending on your weight, you only really need anywhere from 5 – 10 mg to get the vasodilation benefits out of it. Since the pill itself is uniform powder through and through and isn’t coated with any kind of time release, you can cut it in half with a pill cutter to get half the dose.
I’ve used it consistently for 2 months straight, then off and on. One big concern a lot of guys have (myself included, before I jumped onboard with it) is
But I don’t want to walk around with a hard on all day long.
You won’t. There’s a reason I mentioned Cialis in particular. It differs quite a bit from the way it interacts with your body than both Viagra and Levitra, the other two popular ED drugs on the market.
For one, it does not give you a 4 hour erection the same way Viagra does (that would be very annoying to walk around with). Instead what it does as far sexual side effects go, is it makes it easier to get erections once you are exposed to a stimulus. If you are not actively stimulating yourself, you do not have to worry about being horny all day or wondering how you’ll get anything done (especially at the low dosages).
You can work on whatever you need to work on or go out and go about like you normally would with no problems whatsoever.
Here are some of the fewer benefits that I’ve experienced:
- Moderate mood enhancer (much to the same degree as modafinil!)
- Improved digestion
- Crazy pumps in the gym, superior to a lot of pre-workouts
- More pleasurable sex along with more intense orgasms
It’s been a few months since I’ve last used Cialis. It’s not because I don’t like it. As a matter of fact, I’ve had a great experience with it! It’s just that I tend to fall back on the beet juice and don’t feel the need to take both at the same time.
Some of you guys may prefer to pop a Cialis pill because it takes less effort than going to the grocery store, buying beets, and making a green juice.
There’s nothing “wrong” with that.
The only reason I’d recommend beet juice over Cialis is it has a lot of other nutrients packed into it and will produce a better cumulative effect in your overall sense of well being through extended use. Even though there aren’t any real negative side effects from long term use, I just feel better drinking my veggies every day. But to each their own.
*A word of caution*: Don’t use high doses of Cialis on the same day that you drink a green juice made from beets. The beet juice itself is VERY effective and if combined with Cialis, could be potentially dangerous for your blood pressure, especially if your body has no tolerance to either substance. Just something to keep in mind.
If you’ve had shitty blood flow for a long time, or even normal circulation for that matter, it can literally feel like you’re on drugs once you raise it back up to what its supposed to be!
The improvements in physical fitness were great but what I appreciate even more than that is how much clearer and sharper my mind feels on a day to day basis from all the extra oxygen.