Mind 4 min read

Is The Brain A Muscle? The Truth About The Brain

by Ritch Flynn December 4, 2020

Whether it is a myth or a persistent metaphor, there is a common belief that the brain is a muscle.

The belief may have stemmed from the phrase ‘exercise your brain’ or ‘your brain is like a muscle.’ And although it makes sense as a metaphor, the reality that science teaches us tells a different story.

Is The Brain A Muscle?

Let’s debunk the myth: is your brain a muscle? Au contraire! The brain is an organ. It is made up of a network of grey and white matter with a cell structure that is far more complex than any muscle in the body.

The ‘is the brain a muscle‘ confusion may lie with the phrase, ‘exercise your brain.’ While we relate exercise with muscle, in this unique case, the brain isn’t actually a muscle. Exercises for the brain has nothing to do with physical activity (although physical exercise does your brain good too).

In fact, there aren’t even muscles that keep your brain ‘supported’. It is cushioned and protected with a constant supply of cerebrospinal fluid. At any one time, there is 125ml of this fluid allowing your brain to float around, giving it a comfortable little around ride as you go through your day!

What The Brain Is Made Out Of?

Your brain is fat! No really. At 60% fat, your brain is the fattiest organ in your body. As the center of the nervous system, it integrates all sensory data through its cells, known as neurons. And it’s through these neurons that your brain communicates with every organ in the body.

Each moment, cells carry electrical charges, impulses which carry messages through your entire nervous system. And it’s these that allow us to make sense of the world, and adapt to changes in our environment.

Does The Brain Have Muscle Tissue?

There are no muscles in the actual brain or muscles to hold it into place, with one exception. The arteries and arterioles bringing blood to the brain do in fact contain muscles. These are one to two layers of thick designs to regulate the brain’s blood flow. Apart from that, the brain is composed of neurons.


So “is your brain a muscle”? Scientifically, the answer is clear, your brain is not a muscle. However, let’s explore why it might be useful to use a metaphor of comparing your mind to a muscle.


Is The Mind Like A Muscle?

Let’s distinguish here between the brain, the physical organ, and the mind, the cognitive ability. The brain is a flexible, ever-evolving set of neurons. A mind is a learning machine, always adapting to its environment. Though the brain can’t be seen as a muscle, it’s useful to think of the mind this way.

The mind is always a work in progress. Mental stimulation and ‘exercise’ allows our mind to grow stronger, faster and more efficient. It handles millions of daily tasks, from memory to attention and problem-solving. Just like a muscle, ‘exercising’ it makes it stronger. When it comes to neurons, you either use it or lose it.

You can develop your mind as a flexible, learning machine. This is what it means to grow your own Superbrain. To not let your mind or muscles deteriorate but to believe in your ability to be stronger and smarter. To prove to yourself you have the courage to take the next step.

Reach out and take the next step to grow your mind, you’ll be glad you did.

What is something you were putting off which you could do to grow your Superbrain today?

Do you have trouble remembering names?

Maybe you struggle to remember important dates or even basic facts and figures you need for a presentation?

If you do, don’t worry - it’s a common problem.

But what’s also common is the myth that some people are just born with good or photographic memory, while the rest of us just have to struggle.

The truth is, memory is just like a muscle - you can train it to be stronger.

Whether you’re a working professional looking to learn new skills, a student cramming for exams, or even just a senior who’s looking to stay sharp - there are techniques you can do to actively and permanently improve your memory.

If You’d Like To Tap Into This Secret Power You Didn’t Know You Have…Then Join Jim Kwik, Peak Performance Expert And Memory Guru, In This FREE Masterclass

From it, you’ll also learn:

The biggest lie we’ve all been told about our brainsthat’s holding us back from our potential. Contrary to conventional wisdom, your memory actually isn’t fixed. Once you realize how much control you have, you’ll begin to discover what you’re truly capable of.

10 powerful mental hacks you can apply to unlock your inner super learner. Small tweaks in these areas could make the difference between being someone who’s forgetful, to someone who has near-perfect memory.

A powerful memorization technique you can use in any situation. You’ll be able to deliver a speech without having to use your notes, and even remember your entire grocery list without having to write it down!

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by Ritch Flynn
Conscious writer, spiritual metalhead, man-splainer. When I’m not mancrushing on Ron Swanson, I write on Medium and Mindvalley. Mostly get my boots on for epic adventures, deep connections & bad jokes.

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