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Podcast 177: Neurophysiologist Louisa Nicola on Training Your Brain


Podcast 177: Neurophysiologist Louisa Nicola on Training Your Brain

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

Listen on:

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. We have new ways to interact with the WHOOP Podcast! You can email us – – or you can call our new listener line (508-443-4952) and leave a question or comment, and your question might be answered on a future episode.  

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