Increasing Myelin Production to Maximize Training Efficiency
We all like shortcuts, right? Buying gear isn’t a shortcut, but increasing Myelin production might be the closest thing to a shooting skill shortcut we can get - as long as it is paired with efficient training.
I’ve been digging into medical & scientific journals on the production of Myelin so I can they greater efficiency in my firearms training for USPSA and self defense. I have found some interesting results.
What is Myelin?
This is a long and in depth discussion in of itself. Short/simple answer: Myelin is the scientific term for “muscle memory.”
Myelin is why you never forget how to ride a bike. Myelin is why we can develop the skill to look at a target, close our eyes, draw the gun, open our eyes, and have our sights on target. Myelin is critical for everything we do in life – from memory to physical movement with speed and precision.
Myelin is an “insulating layer” around our nerves and our brain that allows for more efficient communication between the brain and the body. The more developed our Myelin is, the easier, faster, more efficient, and more subconscious we can do a task. Pretty obvious why that would be useful for most anything in life, particularly in the firearms world – be it shooting competitions or defensive shooting.
In general, developing Myelin is done through repetition. The question becomes, how can we speed up the development of our Myelin for more efficient firearms training?
How to improve Myelin production
I’ve been digging into medical and scientific journals to try and find the answer.
Just like how protein is useful for building muscle, various vitamins and minerals are useful for developing Myelin. Here is a quick summary of my findings.
So far there is positive results for increasing Myelin production through Vitamin B6, fatty acids (fish oils), and staying generally active and fit. There is possible/probable positive results with Vitamin B12, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin D (sunlight), Vitamin K, and Calcium. Collagen has also been shown to be useful in Myelin production and Vitamin C helps with collagen production. Learning new things helps Myelin production in the brain. Also, you want to avoid fried foods and a sedentary lifestyle.
Healthy Myelin production can possibly/probably help keep dementia, Alzheimer’s, and multiple sclerosis at bay as well as simply help people be more alert and engaged when older.
This is a very active area of research, so who knows what findings will come in the future. Maybe we’ll get a “learning pill” that will help boost our performance in the future. In the meantime, we simply need to stay healthy.
Short answer: be active and eat healthy
Surprise surprise, right?
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, just a guy who likes to read and learn and has been digging into scientific journals available on Google Scholar. Every item I listed had been corroborated by multiple studies. The journals I read dug into human patients, rabbits, fruit bats, and rats. Some of these studies had mixed results, or only slightly positive results, or said more study was needed. Most of them had pretty positive results though. None of these studies showed that eating these vitamins and minerals produced negative results, so worst case, you get healthier.
Written by Brian Purkiss - always a student, sometimes a teacher.
I don't consider myself a competition shooter - I think of myself as a performance pistol shooter. I am all about performing at as high of a level as possible. Towards that end, I am obsessive about learning how to perform. I spend a lot of my life learning from the best across the entire firearms world and even into other areas of performance and other sports. I am a USPSA Carry Optics Grandmaster, currently working towards my second GM title in the Open division.