Dr. Greg Wells

Eat Better

Eat Better


April, 23rd 2018

Key points:

 1. Good nutrition is critical for your brain to function optimally.

2. Slow-digesting complex carbohydrates fuel your brain for thinking, solving problems, being creative, and instilling memories.

3. High-quality fats are used to build the structures in and around your nerves that help to speed communication between neurons.

4. Healthy proteins provide the precursors for the neurotransmitters used to communicate between nerve cells.

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Self Magazine: Do You Really Need to Taper Before a Big Race?

November, 16th 2017

By Cindy Kuzma.

This article appeared on Self Magazine here.

You stay up late cramming for exams (or you did, when you were in school). Big presentation or performance? Be honest—you’ve rehearsed over and over, sometimes until the second you take the podium or stage. But when it comes to preparing for a marathon or other race, the best strategy is exactly the opposite, exercise scientists and coaches say.

Tapering—dialing back your training right before a big competition—can give you an edge on race day, exercise physiologist Greg Wells, Ph.D., author of Superbodies: Peak Performance Secrets from the World’s Best Athletes, tells SELF. “It’s counterintuitive, because a lot of people want to train right up until the last minute, get in that one last workout,” he says. “But the research and evidence suggest that that’s probably the last thing you actually should be doing.”

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Globe and Mail: How to get ready for your next big speech or meeting – according to science

October, 3rd 2017

This article originally appeared on The Globe and Mail.com. Click here to access the article.

Physiologist and exercise medicine researcher at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children, assistant professor at the University of Toronto, author of Superbodies and The Ripple Effect.

The skill of communication in the era of social media, leading without a title and brand awareness has never been more important. Steve Jobs knew how important a speech can be. He practised for days before presentations. More recently, Elon Musk has delivered presentations for Tesla, SpaceX and SolarCity initiatives. These talks have led to the exponential growth of his companies and, possibly, a different future for humanity.

Despite the importance of communication (or maybe because of it), public speaking remains one of our greatest fears. Jerry Seinfeld said once that an average person at a funeral prefers to be in the casket than give the eulogy.

I don’t think it has to be that way. If you apply the science of human performance, you can improve your ability to deliver powerful messages, and improve your mental and physical health at the same time. Here are a few tips to get you started.

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12 Ways to Boost Your Energy Levels

August, 4th 2017

If you, like many others, are struggling with your energy levels, here are twelve things you need to know to better understand and improve your energy levels.

1. Sleep restores energy.

While you’re asleep, a lot is going on in your body to recover, restore, and rebuild it. Sleep is a highly active metabolic process that helps optimize our brain structure, repair damaged cells in the body, and restore energy levels.

2. Increase body temperature to increase energy.

If you want to increase your alertness and concentration at a time of the day when you normally feel sluggish, increase your body temperature by doing five to ten minutes of light cardiorespiratory exercise, such as a brisk walk.

3. Take it outside for a few.

Walking in nature improves measures of revitalization, self-esteem, energy, and pleasure, and it decreases frustration, worry, confusion, depression, tension, and tiredness far more than light activity indoors does. So take your walk outside.

4. Add some exercise.

When you exercise at an intensity that is high enough to cause your body some physiological stress, the body will adapt and improve. You will get stronger, faster, and fitter. You’ll also get smarter and happier. You will have more energy.

5. Eat high-fiber foods.

High fiber foods take longer to digest, provoke less of an insulin response, and leave us feeling satiated with nice, even energy levels. Go for complex, slow-digesting carbohydrates packed full of nutrients and fiber to ensure a consistent supply of mental energy.

6. Stay hydrated.

No water, no energy. You know that sluggish feeling you get in the afternoon? For most people, the afternoon crash is caused by dehydration. So do yourself a favor. Give yourself more energy by drinking some water. Tired? Drink some water.

7. Eat protein at every meal.

It’s a good idea to eat protein at every meal. High-protein foods can help you maintain your attention and focus.

8. Practice yoga or tai chi.

Yoga and tai chi decrease stress and anxiety, increase energy, and boost the immune system. They also give you more stamina—needed in stressful times—and improve the quality of your sleep.

9. Trying single-tasking.

The concept behind single-tasking is that you start with the most important task—not the most urgent one—and work on it exclusively until it is either complete or you are out of time. By managing how you spend your mental energy, you help ensure that you excel at whatever you do.

10. Low energy levels are usually between 1 and 4 p.m.

This three-hour span is the time of day most people have their afternoon crash, and their energy levels are the lowest.

11. Keep a log to learn more.

When are you at your best mentally? When do you feel most energetic or lethargic? To figure this out, keep a daily log, and note your energy levels each hour throughout the day.

12. Design your day around your energy levels.

Once you know when you have the least and most amounts of energy, you can craft your ideal day. Align your tasks and schedule to take advantage of your high mental and physical energy times. You’ll perform better, and you’ll also be much healthier.

If you’re interested in getting a copy of my new book The Ripple Effect you can get it here!

If you found this information interesting and helpful please consider signing up for our monthly newsletter with health and performance tips, articles, videos and other insights.

I’m on twitter, Linked In and Facebook.

Also please subscribe to this podcast in iTunes!

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Dr. Greg's Blog: How Healthy Is Your Thought Life?

June, 28th 2017

It’s really hard to live a high-performance life when high stress is a daily reality. Chronic stress damages your body, threatens your mental health, puts strain on relationships, and takes the joy out of life.

Your thoughts have strong influence over stress levels. What you choose to think about, or not think about, dictates how your body and mind react to everyday life.

So how can we reduce the ongoing flow of damaging stress—and even find peace in our thought life? The key is to break up stressful times with periods of rest, recovery, and regeneration. The good news is that anyone can learn techniques that can counter the damage of the stress response.

Make sure that each day you take some time to break the stress cycle and rest, recover, and regenerate. Doing this not only helps you find peace in the moment but also recharges your body and brain to stay healthy over the long term.

Here are 7 proven techniques that can help you have a healthy thought life and recover from chronic stress:

1. Move your body
Rhythmic, repeated motion is particularly soothing to the mind and body. A long walk, cycling, swimming, or running will all work, but any kind of movement will relieve tension, improve circulation, and clear your mind.

2. Get into nature
Go outside! Head to the garden, the park, or the woods to lower your blood pressure, strengthen your immune system, reduce tension and depression, and boost your mood. It’s stunning how good it is for your health to be in nature. Leave the cell phone and earbuds at home.

3. Practice yoga or Tai Chi
Like nature therapy, yoga and Tai Chi decrease stress and anxiety, increase energy, and boost the immune system. They also give you more stamina—needed in stressful times—and improve the quality of your sleep.

4. Have perspective
Don’t be so quick to conclude that you “can’t handle” a stressful situation. This is truly a mind-over-matter opportunity. Believing that you are strong and resourceful actually makes you stronger and more resourceful. Don’t give in to negative self-talk about not having what it takes to manage life.

5. Change the nature of your response
Research indicates that taking an active, problem-solving approach to life’s challenges relieves stress and can transform it into something positive. If you withdraw, deny the problem, or spend all your time venting, you’ll feel helpless. Instead, be determined to make a change, put effort into it, and plan for better results.

6. Practice slow, deep breathing
Start applying the power of deep breathing each day. It will make a huge difference. Start small by taking three deep breaths each time you sit down at your desk—in the morning, after breaks, after lunch, and so on. It will help you become more patient, calm, and relaxed.

7. Block time for single-tasking.
Each day this week, schedule time in your calendar for focusing exclusively on one task. This task should be something that is very important to you. Doing several things at once might make it seem as if you are working hard, but it’s an illusion. Your body and mind are not designed to work that way and it causes extra stress.

I hope this article was helpful!

If you’re interested in getting a copy of my new book The Ripple Effect you can get it here!

If you found this information interesting and helpful please consider signing up for our monthly newsletter with health and performance tips, articles, videos and other insights.

I’m on twitter, Linked In and Facebook.

Also please subscribe to my podcast in iTunes!

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How to Feel More Alert

June, 15th 2017

Decreased alertness is a huge hindrance to thinking and, ultimately, performing at a high level. There are many factors that can help you feel more (or less) alert. These six ways to feel more alert are changes you can easily make to your life, starting today!

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Cut your risk of cancer up to 40%

April, 18th 2017

According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 39.6% of men and women will be diagnosed with cancer at some point during their lifetimes. The reality of cancer is upsetting, but there is hope. You can cut your cancer risk in half by committing to four important areas.  No magic pills, insane amount of money, or all-consuming regimen.  And, the best news is, you will not only lower your risk of cancer, but also improve your overall health and change your life for the positive.

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The Globe and Mail: Greg Wells on how ‘microchanges’ can make a major difference

April, 4th 2017

Toronto physiologist Greg Wells’s new book, The Ripple Effect, makes lofty promises, pledging that we can Sleep Better, Eat Better, Move Better, Think Better. A superachiever himself (Ironman, PhD, researcher at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Kids and professor at the University of Toronto), Wells nevertheless tempers those assertions by sticking to a simple message in the book, in stores April 4. It’s okay to dream big, but start small. Peppered with “1 per cent tips,” Wells advocates staying focused on micro-improvements (using spices, not sauces, to cut calories; walking 15 minutes a day to potentially lower risk of breast and colon cancer 24 to 40 per cent). “Microchanges are sustainable forever,” he says. “When they add up over time, it’s like compound interest for your body and mind.”

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CTV The Social: How simple lifestyle changes can transform your health for life

April, 4th 2017

You know those days when you don’t get enough sleep, so you decide to skip the gym and then you end up eating nothing but garbage for the rest of the day? We’ve all been there. Greg Wells, author of The Ripple Effect, says there are ways we can make small changes to our sleeping, eating, exercising and thinking habits that can transform our health for life.

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Entrepreneur.com: 6 Ways to Curb Jet Lag and Travel Fatigue

January, 14th 2016

This article originally appeared at this link on Entrepreneur.com.

As an entrepreneur, you likely travel a lot, and you already know that jet lag (which science geeks call “flight dysrhythmia”) can cause all kinds of unpleasant symptoms: insomnia, loss of appetite, depressed mood, upset stomach, fatigue and mental fuzziness, to name a few.

And the farther you travel, the worse your jet lag will likely be. Why? Because crossing time zones throws your internal rhythms out of sync with your external environment. It’s like your body stays back in New York as you head off to your first meeting in London!


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Entrepreneur.com: 5 Habits of Top Athletes That Can Transfer to the Workplace

May, 21st 2015

This article originally appeared at this link on Entrepreneur.com.

An athlete steps up to the starting blocks in the Olympic stadium. He (or she) stands tall, takes a few deep breaths and shakes out his muscles. Thousands of people cheer while he is introduced, but his eyes never waver from the course he’s about to run. When the starting gun fires, he explodes into high-performance action.

How can we apply this scenario to a business situation? The same techniques athletes use to perform under pressure allow business leaders to excel in the professional sphere. Here are five top practices that will improve both your health and performance in the workplace.


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Entrepreneur.com: Best Health Practices to Improve Your Life - In and Out of the Office

May, 13th 2015

This article originally appeared at this link on Entrepreneur.com.

You know it. I know it. We all know research supports it: Healthy people think, adapt and perform better.

That goes for both in and out of the office.

Here, four key areas — eating smarter, moving more, sleeping soundly and thinking clearly — that, when improved upon, enable you to be able to perform at your best.


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Entrepreneur.com: Fuel Up: Eating for Optimal Brain Function

April, 22nd 2015

This article originally appeared at this link on Entrepreneur.com.

Being an entrepreneur often means being pushed to physical and mental limits daily. There are long hours; there’s a consistent need to perform at full capacity in presentations and meetings; and there’s the drive to stay sharp while determining the right strategic direction for the company.

When people get busy or stressed, often the first thing sacrificed is healthy eating — and that’s the opposite of what should happen.


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Guest Post: Do we know about GMO?

November, 6th 2014

By Trionne Moore, BA, RHN, IOC Dipl Sports Nutr. Registered Holistic Nutritionist & Workplace Wellness Consultant

President, The Healthy Road – Corktown

October was non-GMO month.  It was an enlightening time – full of vibrant controversy and dialogue.  One of the hottest topics was – and continues to be – non-GMO food labelling laws.

In Canada, we have no mandatory labelling laws for products made with GMO ingredients.  To give some global context here, 64 countries have mandatory GMO labelling laws (http://justlabelit.org/right-to-know/labeling-around-the-world/), and some even prohibit the cultivation of GM crops (check out this interactive global map of global policies: http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/ge-map/ ).  Ten years of polling show that over 80% of Canadians want GMO labelling transparency http://www.cban.ca/Resources/Topics/Labeling.  Although we do have strict safety evaluations required for the approval of new drugs and supplements, GMO’s are considered safe (first) until science proves otherwise.  And although it does exist, there is currently no consideration of, or call for third-party evidence as to the impact of GMO’s on our health and environment.

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TSN Running Science: Recovery & Regeneration: Your job isn't over when the workout ends...

December, 21st 2013

By Greg Wells, Jessica Caterini and Gillian White

Recovery is an aspect of training that is getting significant  attention right now because research is revealing the various techniques  you can use between workouts that will have an important effect on your  response to training. By understanding and applying the science of  recovery and regeneration, you can plan effectively to ensure that you  give your body the help it needs to repair, heal, and grow. This is the  key to becoming “the 24 hour athlete.”

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TSN Running Science: Refuel: Hydrating and eating for better recovery

December, 20th 2013

Research has found that hydration and nutrition are 2 key techniques  you can use between workouts that will help you to recover faster. By  understanding and applying the science of refuelling, you can ensure  that you give your body the help it needs to rebuild its energy supplies  quickly between workouts. This is the key to becoming “the 24 hour  athlete.”

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Anti-Inflammatory Foods

October, 22nd 2012

By Trionne Moore

When we suffer an injury or assault, our bodies mobilize internal forces to stop the spread of damage and facilitate healing.  This collective interplay of events is known as inflammation and it serves us whether our injuries are obvious (bone break, paper cut) or subtle (free radical damage, infections, allergic reactions, or chemical toxicity).

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