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Change your water.
Change your life.

DRINKING WATER
When broken down into its basest components, the human body is about 71% water. So, quality drinking and cooking water is key to perform at your utmost. City municipalities swear their tap water is okay to drink, but if your immune system is compromised or have a medical condition, please consider the important investment of a good in-line water filtration system.

We don't need all the chlorine and fluoride in our bodies. We do better without them.

A filter on your shower head guarantees better water splashing on over your fine frame. Skin is the body's largest organ and absorbs whatever is put in contact with it to some degree.

ALKALYZED WATER is unique in that it can correct aicd-caused diseases, discomforts, illnesses and otherwise untreatable health problems. Honest! (NOTE: Don't chase medications down with alklayzed water - give it a half hour on either side - before and after. Alkayzed water can diminish the effects of some medications.)

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Don't re-use the usual store--bought plastic bottles more than a few times. The plastic isn't meant to last very long; it begins to biodegrade and leach its composition into the contents. YUCK! Shop around for a poly carbonate jugs, they last a little longer and with less risk.

They're awesome looking. Some come with a sipper spout and in different sizes. Worth the expense because they're re-usable for I'd guess 6 months, but NOT ad infinitum. They're tough but NOT beyond cracking in sub-zero weather when dropped or eventually breaking down into their base elements.

APRÉS WORKOUT FLUIDATION
Your Basic Smoothie: Blend fruit juice or milk, banana or berries, 1 tbs. nut butter, berries and protein powder. Creatine, yoghurt, L-Glutamine optional. Whatever it is, your body's defintiely craving electrolytes, salt, sugar and protein, some fiber too and within 20 minutes of completing your workout.

Isopure bottled drinks by Nature's Best. These babies pack 40g. of whey protein, 0 carbs, 0 sugar, 0 sodium and in colorful flavors. Adding L-glutamine helps balance out the abundance of protein in an active person's fuel regimen.

SPORT DRINKS
Sometimes downing one of those sports drink things immediately after training is better than nothing. Replacing electrolytes sounds smart, feels good, too. You need something/anything with minerals, salt, sugar and protein ideally and ideally within twenty minutes. Otherwise your body starts to feed on the food reserve you need to repair the muscle fiber you’ve just trashed, torn down and pumped up. There's a 'designer' version of Gatorade: Knudsen's "Recharge" (organic or not). PowerAde's pretty good too.

HOT STUFF
I confess: I like a few half cups of caffeinated coffee daily. There is high acidity in coffee and the effect of too much can be hard on the body. I choose to use ‘café aficionado’ instead of 'addict.' The boost does get me over slumps throughout the day since I take cat naps. It's hard to avoid the buzz, the rush, when you’re pressured to perform. A sluggish workout can turn around nicely with a jolt of coffee caffeine.

It's been suggested, and wisely, to drink just a 1/4 CUP OF COFFEE AT A TIME to spread out throughout the day, if that's what you're used to, but never after 6 or 7 p.m. Makes sense to me, it IS easier on your gut than gulping down five huge mugs a day. Less of that roller coaster effect seems prudent and lots less caustic on the viscera.

Now, there's all manner of lousy coffee out there. The pre-ground packaged stuff tastes bitter, definitely less flavorful and a big rip-off. Buy only organic whole beans, grind 'em yourself just before you brew. I switch around, mix medium with dark roast, ‘breakfast blend’ with espresso and the like. Grind 'em in a seed mill or 'valid' coffee grinder, using unbleached paper or gold coffee filters and clean pure filtered quality water.

Once it's brewed DON'T leave the pot on the warmer! They're always too hot. Put the remainder into a sealed carafe. Re-heat if necessary by the cup in a microwave oven and on MEDIUM, not hot. Just to warm it up, don't want to cook it anymore than it already is. That’s where coffee gets that battery acid, hash-house truck-stop taste, hmmm?

IF there's a temperature control, you're really fortunate. Most brewing machines are pre-set to keep the brewed java HOT not warm. So, it continues to slow cook on the 'warmer', the coffee gets more bitter, curl-your-toes muddy nasty and vile. Pour the fresh brew into an insulated carafe, then microwave as needed.

If your taste buds have been numbed by decades of food and beverage additives, preservatives, extenders, emulsifiers, coloring, flavorings, no wonder some people can't tell the difference or appreciate the subtleties of a fresh brewed pure cuppa Joe. Jeez! Once again it's all about retaining, maintaining, not over-heating the essential and volatile oils that are inherent in every food source.

COFFEE CESSATION
Quitting any caffeine (there's tons of it in carbonated 'soft' drinks) can be a real headache. Literally. It's still an addictive substance. Don't try to quit cold turkey. Just cut back gradually. Half a cup instead of a full, regular instead of espresso, test your resolve and fortitude; DON'T finish your cup, toss out the bottom several gulps, wean yourself off the acid fix. It's empowering and important to know you CAN get a grip on caffeine. It might take two weeks of gradual cutting back, but for me, the cold turkey

TEA
Black pekoe has lots of caffeine, green tea hardly any. Make an effort to have a cup of green tea daily. There's a smart alternative 'longevity tea’ by Bob Teagarden. Smart cookies from our Far East globe-mates!

ALTERNATIVES
Coffee substitutes are quite viable and a smart choice for a change or while tapering off coffee. A visit to other lands can be enlightening: Pero (barley, malted barley and chicory, no caffeine), Yerba Mate (herbal caffeinated tea, a daily staple of South America), Cafix, Roma, a mate chai which is mixed with honey.
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COLD DRINKS
Don't mix fruit or fruit juices with vegetable juices or lunch or breakfast or anything else but fruit! NOT carrots and tomatoes fer chrissake! Talk about a uneducated marketing idea! Don't mix fruit in any form with anything else! Best SOLO JUICE bets are the anti-oxidant, phyto-chemical, nutrient-packed sub-acid guys: all the berries: blue’, straw’, red’, black’, rasp’ and cran’; pomegranate; grape, papaya; melon (yes, melon juice, just look hard, ask). At all costs, AVOID slamming back lots of orange juice, grapefruit juice, lemonade or limeade on any regular basic. All of ‘em rank very high on the yin (acidic) scale. Remember, yin means ‘girlie’. If you want to get round and smooth and soft then yin is it. I don't think so!

Go easy on FRUIT JUICES. They’re all very sugary sweet even with no added sweeteners; some are very acidic , some use the purest, 100% organic ingredients. Most are made from concentrated versions of the real thing. But don't drink fruit juice with anything! Only as an in-between-meal thirst quencher. Don't give 'em to your kids either on a daily basis despite those cutesy convenient beverage box things. They're full of sugar even if they're quality; full of crappy corn syrup and cheap artificial ingredients if they're less than noble. You wonder why kids bounce off the walls all the time?

OJ RANT
That glass of orange juice every morning dictum is such a blatant marketing hype. There's more vitamin C in a green pepper or raw unpeeled potato than a pile of oranges! All that very yin acidity in a glass of orange or grapefruit juice combined with the usual breakfast fare causes sheer turmoil in your gut. Our guts try to deal with it, kind of, or more accurately we get dulled or inured to the bad mix. (Eat a piece of plain toast, that'll help absorb and neutralize it ... the universal poison antidote.)

The typical "American breakfast" begins a vicious cycle that will have a cumulative effect over the years if not sooner. No one but me will point accusing crossed fingers at oranges and curse aloud: Ulcers! (See Food Combining: Save Your Gut)

A JUICY DIVERSION

I highly recommend some of those mixed greens juices. One in particular* mixes apple, peach, pineapple, banana, mango (low acid fruits) with spirulina, chlorella, and green grasses. It might sound like bad food combining: grasses with fruit, but it's not. * Mega Greens

It’s rare to get anything like it anywhere from any source, but, man, this is one tasty way to get a bunch of potassium and all kinds of chlorophyll (why leaves are green, the very bottom of the food chain). It tastes nothing like swamp water, not that I know the difference. Chlorophyll is the definitive Life Force, live and direct to your musculature from the Sol (the sun) and Mama Earth. Earthy. Look for it or something like it.

DAIRY
I used to avoid milk products altogether for the longest time, thinking cow's milk is only for baby cows … for calves, not humans, right? Adult cows don't drink cow milk, adult humans don't drink human milk; why should adult humans drink cow milk? That was a different purist phase of my knowledge base. Well, when you were weaned off breast milk at four DAYS young, then the immune system and bone marrow have got to be lacking from the get-go. It's called colostrum.

Building real muscle with massive good protein requires the lactic acid in milk to help break down all the meat fiber. It fits. I used to drink pure quality usually organic sometimes whole cow milk now because I train hard and eat a lot. Were I a sedentary sot, probably not. Even old dogs can learn a few new tricks. Now, I've grown lactose intolerant; you can't fool Mother Nature.

Don't limit yourself to milk from cows either. Goat milk is excellent, delicious. There are grain-based milks: almond, walnut, hazelnut, rice, soy..... Variety is important.

EXTREME TEMPERATURES
Here's something so basic no one seems to think about it. I've done this forever and I believe it's endemic to my amazing health, a 68-year-old guy living well with HIV for over 25 years.

Drink only tepid, lukewarm
or room-temperature fluids.
Temper the extremes as much as you can
Let the coffee cool a bit, use less ice.

ICED DOES NOT ALWAYS EQUAL REFRESHING: We Americans abuse ice really ‘well.’ I believe iced drinks alone cause long-term damage to the stomach and digestive tract. Frozen treats ain't caveman cuisine! They’re unnaturally cold (duh). Our stomachs aren’t designed to handle them efficiently, particularly at every meal and every hour in between! ‘Well, if it’s advertised on tee vee then it can’t be BAD for ya, can it?’ Ugh.

Do the math: Take a 40-degree 16-ounce drink, dump it all into your stomach, try to raise the temperature to about 98 degrees, calculate the number of calories burned just to warm it up to digestion temperature multiplied by HOW many dozen times per week times HOW many gallons of soft drinks every day! All this temperature-adjusting in your gut is a huge waste of resources, of valuable muscle fuel. Oh, quit whining. This is what it takes to make serious muscle. We’re whittling away at the smaller things that add up to much bigger badder ones.

CARBONATED WATER IS TOUGH ON YOUR GUT! and shouldn't be called a 'soft drink' at all! Sodas suck! Sparkling mineral waters however, seem to sit much better and I like getting the extra minerals, which is what makes any water taste good (i.e., New York City tap water: all those ancient pipes!) Dasani consciously adds magnesium sulfate, potassium chloride and a scant trace of salt to purified water, which accounts for its pure fresh taste.

A healthy body signals us when something's awry. We just need to be clean and clear enough to recognize the signs as what they are: warnings, alerts, red flags. The classic of all warning signs is an ice cream headache (see next section). Too much, too cold, too fast and WHAM, big pain in the forehead. Your body's screaming ‘something's really wrong here!’ Let these frigid bad boys chill, I mean, rather, warm. Let 'em sit to warm up a bit, pick out most of the ice, ask for NO ice, hold it in your hands till it warms up. A little moderation goes a long way when it comes to extreme temperature.

Your stomach will thank you immediately AND ten years from now. You do WANT to have a happy gut, don't you? I'm telling ya, the ramifications are long-reaching. Your taste buds will have a chance to taste again too. Taste buds you can then trust.

BRAIN-FREEZEHEADACHES

You just guzzled half of your smoothie waaay too fast... BAM! BRAIN FREEZE.

Alleviate that huge spike in your forehead: press your tongue hard against the roof of your mouth and hold it. Like magic, the pain stops! The body’s an amazing machine, huh?

 

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