How to Fix Your Back

Over 65 million Americans suffer from back pain. Not surprising given our sedentary culture and how much of the body the back covers. Back pain can occur in the cervical spine (the neck area), the thoracic spine (mid-back) and the lumbar spine (lower back).

I, myself, have dealt with pain in all three areas, with lingering pain tending to occur in the thoracic and lumbar regions. My back started to degrade over my two years of investment banking – sitting 18 hours a day will do that to you. Lifting / cardio-ing / training martial arts at least five days a week for the last 10 years couldn’t have helped either.

I, like many other Americans, didn’t know how to best address this issue. I went to chiropractors (who probably made matters worse), acupuncturists (which did nothing) and massage therapists (many don’t know what they are doing). After finally putting the time into researching and testing alternatives, I have found these five methods that have worked for me:

Lacrosse Ball / Foam Roller

For immediate relief, nothing beats the lacrosse ball for myofascial release. It is something you can use on-demand – anywhere and anytime. It works better than massage, because you know your body best and you know where to focus on. From my experience, 8 out of 10 times when I tell my masseuse about a specific issue, she spends minimal time on it or totally ignores it. On the other hand, you know yourself best and know where your knots are.

If you want to maximize pressure, roll your back or neck with the ball using the floor as your base. This way you are able to use the full force of gravity. The issue, however, is that you lose control as the ball may not always move the way you want it to move.

Personally, I prefer to use a wall. I am able to generate enough pressure against the wall, rolling the ball back and forth on my knots until they release. I am also able to maintain a high degree of control with the ball, whether I am working on my neck or my back.

I also have a foam roller that I use from time to time. Although it is effective for the back, I feel the lacrosse ball works better because I am able to generate more concentrated pressure with it.

This video is a good demonstration of how to use the lacrosse ball effectively.

Stretching / Yoga

Stretching and yoga have been great for me for dealing with back pain. One of the key reasons for lower back pain is tight hips. After every workout involving my lower body, I make sure to do the requisite lower body stretches afterward with a special focus on the hips. The difference in my back is noticeable, especially on the days I don’t do this.

There are a lot of great yoga stretches that provide relief for the back. As a former Bikram yoga practitioner, I am especially a fan of the rabbit pose, the half tortoise pose, the cobra pose and the wind removing pose, which you can all see in this chart from illbefit.com.

hot-yoga-posechart

As an aside, with yoga, be careful with some poses (ex. fixed firm pose is probably not too good for your knees).

Cracking Your back

It’s tough to crack your thoracic spine or cervical spine yourself and I wouldn’t recommend doing so because doing so without a professional can be dangerous. I also question the efficacy of adjustments in those two regions.

For the lumbar spine, however, just sit in a chair, turn around, grab the opposite end of the chair and torque your back until you hear pops or just before you feel pain. Don’t be scared of the pops as these are a result of gas being released from the joints of the spine.

Standing

As I mentioned in my second post, I use my standing desk to get relief when I feel my back getting tight. One of the primary reasons sitting is responsible for back pain is because most people sit with bad posture. Even if you know what good sitting posture is, it is tough to maintain it for extended periods of time. I’ve noticed that it is harder for one to have as bad a posture generally when standing. Another reason for lumbar pain is because hips can get tight with hours of sitting – standing can help to loosen the hips up a bit.

Keep in mind that standing for extended periods of time can lead to back pain so I don’t recommend you stand all day either. It is best to rotate standing and sitting in a way that feels best for your back.

TENS Unit

A mainstay of chiropractors’ and physical therapists’ offices, the TENS unit is the reason I kept on going back to the chiropractor’s office.

The TENS unit works by sending an electric current from the main device to electrodes that you place over the injured area. The theory behind the TENS unit is that it stimulates the nerves in a way that they block pain signals and release endorphins. With the TENS unit, you can generally play with the frequency, intensity and pulse width of the current to reach the right feel for your body.

Here is one you can buy for use at home:

Lifetime Warranty FDA cleared OTC HealthmateForever YK15AB TENS unit with 4 outputs, apply 8 pads at the same time, 15 modes Handheld Electrotherapy device | Electronic Pulse Massager for Electrotherapy Pain Management — Pain Relief Therapy : Chosen by Sufferers of Tennis Elbow, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, Arthritis, Bursitis, Tendonitis, Plantar Fasciitis, Sciatica, Back Pain, Fibromyalgia, Shin Splints, Neuropathy and other Inflammation Ailments Patent No. USD723178S

Whatever you end up doing, I’d love to get your take on what works for you!

Disclosure: Bargaineering may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website.

 

Post Workout Protein

Let’s get straight to the point. The question people always ask me is, “Should I get Muscle Milk to drink after my workout?”

No.

Muscle Milk is absolutely delicious and I used to drink it for breakfast every morning despite it possibly having too many heavy metals (ex arsenic, cadmium and lead). If you are comfortable with this possible danger, it is a solid snack before bed or breakfast substitute in the morning due to its high casein and milk protein composition. However, this is a discussion for another post.

So let’s get back to the question at hand. If you are going to go the protein powder route, what should you have post workout?

I recommend whey protein isolate. You’ve heard of whey protein before but why is it so popular? It is because there is no other mainstream powder that absorbs as fast as whey post workout. Furthermore, whey has all the essential branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) and is especially high in the BCAA leucine (1 20 g scoop of whey will contain 3 g of leucine). BCAAs, and leucine in particular, stimulate protein synthesis on a higher scale than normal protein can post-workout.

Why whey protein isolate specifically? Per the NIH, approximately 65% of the human population loses some ability to process lactose post-infancy. Lactose intolerance especially affects those of East Asian, West African, Arab, Jewish, Greek and Italian descent. As whey protein is dairy based, it is logical to assume it will include lactose.

This is kinda true.

There are two mainstream types of whey protein: isolates and concentrates. Whey protein isolate is more expensive than whey protein concentrate, but it consists of ~90% protein vs. the ~80% protein found in concentrate. This is because whey protein isolate goes through an extra processing step that strips out a further level of fat and carbohydrates from the mix to maximize the protein composition of what’s left. In addition to fats and carbs, this processing step also strips out lactose to the point that isolate will contain less than 1% lactose. Furthermore, it is a good thing that isolate is almost completely stripped of fats because no one should be consuming fats in their post workout shakes. Fats are known to slow down the body’s absorption of protein. Thus, even if one handles lactose well, whey isolate is still the better pick. Isolate does have less nutritional value than concentrate but that’s okay because the goal here is to maximize protein absorption.

I highly recommend you consume carbs with your post workout shake to enjoy faster recovery. I particularly emphasize high glycemic index (GI) carbs such as sucrose (table sugar) and dextrose (a favorite of bodybuilders). Carbs help to transport protein to your beat up muscles to help them recover faster. The higher the GI, the faster the protein will get to the muscles. Keep in mind fruits are usually low GI so not all are a fit for this case; dates and watermelons are two higher GI exceptions, however.

Because I am aiming to gain strength right now, I personally shoot for a 2:1 carb to protein ratio post workout (~60 g carbs and ~30 g protein). Some high level athletes such as weightlifters will go as high as a 4:1 ratio. If you want to minimize the level of body fat you gain, shoot for a 1:1 ratio.

When you buy your whey isolate, make sure you get the stuff that is coming from quality (grass fed) cows, is cold pressed, is free of toxic metals and is free of GMOs and artificial sweeteners. Long-term, these factors will make a difference for you both in terms of gains (ex. better amino acid profiles & keeps whey non-acidic) and overall health (ex. high exposure to heavy metals long-term is not good for you).

I just bought a packet of Opportuniteas Grass-Fed Whey Protein Isolate from Amazon as it fits the full bill of what I’m looking for to a tee. I’ve had great results with it in the past and highly recommend it to anyone.


Grass Fed Whey Protein Powder Concentrate | Natural and Unflavored | Non GMO and Gluten Free | 1 lb (454 grams)

Disclosure: Bargaineering may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website.

Acai (aka Açaí aka “ah-sah-EE”)

There are two types of people in this world: people who love acai and people who haven’t tried acai. If you don’t like acai, you need to reevaluate your life!

Acai is my favorite fruit. Hailing from the Amazon, where it grows on palm trees, acai is a unique combination of delicious and nutritious. It tastes like a hybrid between blueberries and cacao – in its unsweetened form, it is subtly sweet and a tad bitter. When it is mixed with sweeteners such as honey, maple syrup and stevia, the flavor really comes out and the 10,000 taste buds that lie on your tongue can’t get enough.

You have all heard by now that acai is absolutely packed with antioxidants, which are known for fighting aging. This is not an urban myth – acai has 10x the antioxidants of grapes and double that of blueberries. Furthermore, when compared to other fruit, acai in its pure form is mostly composed of healthy fats such as omegas and has a negligible amount of net carbohydrates (carbohydrates – fiber, the true way to calculate the number of carbs you are consuming). In addition to this, acai has been linked to helping digestion, aiding in weight loss and promoting better skin, which may be why you find it as an ingredient in many creams and lotions.

Acai is rarely served in its raw berry form. This is because, in addition to going bad quickly, the seed makes up the majority of the berry so it is tough to eat. Thus, it is often sold as a juice, a freeze dried powder or as a frozen puree (what I buy!) that can be blended to make a smoothie or acai na tigela (“acai bowl” in English). The acai bowl, as it is served in Brazil, has a base of acai puree or powder, a juice or a milk and a sweetener such as guarana syrup or honey. This base is then topped with bananas, granola and / or other fruits.

acai na tigela1.jpg

The World Famous Rio Acai Bowl

Although this traditional Brazilian recipe is packed with nutrition, it is also packed with A LOT of sugar. I’ll admit the standard Brazilian acai bowl is absurdly delicious, but I don’t eat it unless I’m on vacation in Brazil. Rather, I’ve developed my own practical Acai smoothie / bowl recipes for everyday use.

The recipe I follow depends on whether I am preparing acai for myself post-workout or under normal conditions.

If I make an acai smoothie for myself post-workout, I mix a high amount of protein with a reasonable amount of carbs (namely sugar) to replenish the glycogen burned in my workout and to repair my muscles. The ingredients I throw in the blender (I use a Vitamix) in this scenario are:

  • 1 Sambazon Original Blend acai puree packet
  • 1 banana
  • 2 scoops of whey protein (or however much to get 25 g of whey)
  • 1 tbsp of non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp of coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp of flaxseed
  • 1 tbsp of maple syrup (or honey)
  • ¾ cup of cold water
  • 2-3 ice cubes

This adds up to roughly 450 calories with roughly 35g of protein and 55 g of net carbohydrates – at least for me, this macronutrient profile + the minerals and antioxidants (too many to list!) + the good fats (such as omega-3’s and MCTs) make this smoothie a potent and delicious breakfast that refuels me after my morning cardio and holds me over until lunch.

On mornings which I haven’t trained, I prepare the following acai bowl:

  • 2 Sambazon Unsweetened Blend acai puree packets
  • 1 banana
  • 2 scoops of whey protein (or however much to get 25 g of whey)
  • 1 tbsp of non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp of flaxseed
  • 1 tsp of coconut oil
  • 1 packet of stevia
  • < 1 cup of water (the less, the thicker the texture will be)
  • 2-3 ice cubes

This recipe is about 450 calories as well but low on carbs – the banana is your only true source of carbs – and high on protein and good fats. Every now and then, I may top my bowl with a little bit of granola but I don’t see the need to add extra bananas or fruit. I love this recipe, not because it is my own (!), but because it tastes great and keeps me full for hours.

A quick note is that if you are not a fan of protein powders, you could substitute another form of protein such as a larger dose of Greek yogurt or nuts and seeds – almonds, hemp seeds and chia seeds are solid options. You could also choose not to include more protein-driven food sources.

Like most food preparation projects, the hard part is getting a hold of the ingredients, in this case acai. There are a few brands that sell the puree packs, such as Sambazon, Nativo and Amafruits. Sambazon is the most mainstream of these brands and can be found at Whole Foods and Wegmans. All three sell online as well, using dry ice to keep the puree packs frozen when they ship to you. You can find Sambazon and Amafruits packs on Amazon:

Amafruits Acai Traditional Mix with Guarana Smoothie Packs

Pure Acai Berry Puree Smoothie Packs

Sambazon does also sell a freeze dried powder, which you can buy on Amazon as well (I’ve never tried the powder but it does have a 4 star rating).

Sambazon Organic Freeze-Dried Acai Powder, 3.17 Ounce

Zola is a popular acai juice brand, which can be found on Amazon as well.

Zola Acai Juice Original, 12 Ounce (Pack of 12)

If you guys are already making yourselves acai shakes and/or acai bowls, I would love to hear your recipes!

 

Disclosure: Bargaineering may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website.

5 Ways to Achieve Better Sleep

I’ve had sleep issues as far back as I can remember. Even in elementary school, I was never one of those kids who could fall asleep at 9, sleep 10 hours and wake up refreshed at 7 the next morning, eagerly awaiting the school bus. Today, on many days, especially Sundays when my sleep cycle gets out of whack, I am unable to sleep until past midnight unless I take one or more of the supplements that I will discuss later. On these restless nights, it takes until 1, 2 or even 3 in the morning until the alpha and theta waves of Stage 1 sleep kick in. So yes, I’ve always envied you people who can just shut your eyes and be asleep minutes later!

For many of us, it sucks to face the world running on less than 6 hours of sleep, especially if our bodies are not attuned to abbreviated sleep. In my case, when I sleep less than 6 hours, I tend to have a shot memory, I am unable to concentrate and I feel very drowsy at certain parts of the day. These symptoms obviously correlate negatively with productivity in the workplace.  As mentioned in prior posts, I avoid coffee, but I tend to reach for caffeinated teas when my 4 substitutes for caffeine don’t work.

These caffeinated teas get me through the day, but I’m back at square one, struggling to sleep that night due to my caffeine sensitivity. End result: a vicious cycle in which I sleep minimally and caffeinate again the following day.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned techniques to address my sleep issues. It helps to avoid TV / computer screens and to dim the lights in the evening, but the only surefire way I know of getting to sleep quickly is through supplements.

So what legal supplements do I advocate taking?

1) Melatonin is, in my opinion, the king of sleep supplements and my go-to helper. Although not a sleep hormone, per se, melatonin is a hormone naturally produced by the body that signals it is nighttime and gives the body context for sleep. Present in trace amounts during the day, melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the evening to prepare you for sleep1. Humans, especially those in the first world, don’t produce melatonin as early in the evening as their historic counterparts due to the stimuli today involving light and other related factors.

Thus, in these modern times, your pineal gland may delay the production of melatonin. That is why supplemental melatonin is so useful – once you take it, it will tell your body that it is time to go to sleep. In most normal cases—i.e. you are not stressed out or depressed—you should fall asleep within 30 to 90 minutes of taking it. At least I do! In addition to being natural, melatonin is NOT addictive and has been linked to fighting cancer2.

What are the risks of using melatonin? From a usage standpoint, if I take a huge dose (such as > 5 mg) in one sitting, I tend to wake up after 3 to 4 hours of sleep and am unable to go back to sleep without a subsequent dose. What’s the solution to this problem? Don’t take > 5 mg of melatonin in one setting! Take 5 mg or less (for me, 2-3 mg is optimal). If, for some reason, I wake up in the middle of the night and struggle to fall asleep again (a rare occurrence), I take a very small dose (1-2 mg) and am usually asleep again within a half hour. I’ve noticed that on the days following nights like this, I am surprisingly productive and alert anyway despite the disturbance to my sleep the prior night. So, don’t panic!

Clinically, melatonin can cause next day grogginess, nausea and irritability, but you typically experience such symptoms if you screw up dosage as per the example in the previous paragraph. Furthermore, although melatonin has been shown not to be addictive, use common sense— don’t take it every day and don’t use it for months on end. Also, this one should be obvious but don’t take it during the day unless you want to be a mess for your 3 PM meeting. Although melatonin has been clinically proven not to be addictive, in my opinion, melatonin users should cycle melatonin (i.e use it for X number of days, avoid it for a while and use it again if needed) to be on the safe side.

I prefer time release capsules of melatonin as they are built to release melatonin into the body at various intervals through the night to keep you asleep. I’ve had particular success with the brand below (link on Amazon provided):

NATROL Melatonin 5mg Time Release 100 CAPS

2) ZMA is a popular supplement generally used by athletes to promote better quality sleep (and thus quicker recovery from the grind of training). ZMA is composed of zinc, magnesium aspartate and vitamin B6. For sleep purposes, zinc aids in the metabolism of melatonin. For men, zinc is crucial for maintaining testosterone levels and, for women, it aids in the synthesis and secretion of sex hormones3. Magnesium is something that most Americans sadly don’t consume enough of – not only does magnesium promote muscle relaxation (and thus sleep) but it also aids in optimizing brain function4. Vitamin B6 has many benefits but its role here is to enhance the effects of zinc and magnesium so that all three ingredients can play their roles in an optimized manner.

Many times, I take ZMA alone, but, on Sundays, I take it with melatonin so that I achieve not only a quicker onset of sleep but also quality sleep to get a strong start to the week. It is important to take ZMA on an empty stomach 30-60 minutes before bed in order to best absorb the zinc and magnesium to produce the desired effects. Absolutely avoid calcium consumption around the time you take ZMA as calcium blocks ZMA absorption.

What are the downsides of ZMA? Be ready for some intense dreams! This is not surprising given the amount of time you will spend in REM sleep with ZMA. Make sure to take the right dosage – from a typical bottle, men should take 3 capsules, which should equate to roughly 30 mg of zinc and 450 mg of magnesium. Going under may not lead to the desired benefits. Going over may cause adverse effects on the immune system, metabolism and muscle growth. Due to the greater testosterone production resulting from ZMA use, women should be careful and stick with 2/3 the standard dose if they do decide to take it.

Although most brands of ZMA are similar, I’ve added a link to the brand I normally buy here:


Optimum Nutrition ZMA, 180 Capsules

3) Diphenhydramine HCl is another means to achieve sleep quickly. Popular brands based on diphenhydramine HCl include Zzzquil, my go-to, and Benadryl. Diphenhydramine HCl is an antihistamine. Antihistamines block histamines, which are neurotransmitters that keep you awake.

On a given night, if my goal were to guarantee a full night of sleep, I would pick Zzzquil over melatonin. When I take Zzzquil, I am KNOCKED OUT for at least 7 hours, but the downside is that I sometimes wake up mildly groggy. Take diphenylhydramine HCl at least 30 minutes before bed (I personally aim for 60 minutes).

Zzzquil is a drug that should not be taken regularly. Diphenylamine HCl can build tolerance and lose effectiveness after three days of continued use5. Additional side effects to be aware of include dry mouth, dizziness and headache, although I recall experiencing only the dry mouth.

You can find it in most pharmacies, but, if you’re feeling lazy and have Prime, you can find it on Amazon.


ZzzQuil Nighttime Sleep Aid Liquicaps 48 Count

4) Chamomile tea is another popular sleep supplement that has been used for hundreds of years to aid with sleep. In addition to sleep issues, chamomile tea has also associated with treating stomach issues, muscle spasms and inflammation.

When I’ve taken chamomile tea on a standalone basis, I have felt calmer, but sleep efficacy depends on the brand. I’ve found Tulsi Sleep tea to be one of these effective brands (I’ve attached the link below for your reference):


Organic India Tulsi Wellness Sleep Tea, 18 Count (Pack of 6)

I generally use chamomile tea and melatonin together as chamomile tea taken on a standalone basis doesn’t always guarantee achieving sleep quickly. If you are going to stack the supplements together, from personal experience, I recommend taking chamomile tea T-1 to T-1.5 hours from bed to get the body relaxed and then the melatonin T-30 minutes out so that it kicks in faster.

Chamomile doesn’t have many side effects but you should avoid it if you happen to have daisy allergies.

5) Beyond the supplements I list above, there are others. Some folks I know swear by red wine and, although it can help bring about sleep, be prepared for poor quality sleep as it can disrupt the sleep cycle. A glass of warm milk before bed can be helpful as it contains tryptophan, the same amino acid found in turkey that sends us into drowsy states on Thanksgiving. However, I’ve personally never had much luck with warm milk. Valerian root, which is derived from a flower plant, is another popular sleep supplement that is worth mentioning. I tried it years ago and, from what I recall, it wasn’t as effective as melatonin and Zzzquil were so I stopped using it.

Whether you decide on melatonin, ZMA, Zzzquil, chamomile tea and / or any of the others, use your best judgment when you take it. If you feel serious side effects from using these supplements, which should not happen unless you are reckless with dosage or have a pre-existing condition, talk to a doctor, scale back on dosage or stop taking the supplement. For the 99% of you that will use these supplements correctly, here is to a better night’s sleep!

As always, thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this post, please click here to receive my newsletter.

***

1)https://sleepfoundation.org/sleep-topics/melatonin-and-sleep

2)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22753734

3)http://main.poliquingroup.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/812/Top_Ten_Benefits_Of_Zinc.aspx

4)http://main.poliquingroup.com/ArticlesMultimedia/Articles/Article/669/Twelve_Benefits_of_Magnesium.aspx

5)http://www.mainlinemedianews.com/articles/2011/11/07/people/flair/doc4eb87026f08c6955095435.txt

Disclosure: Bargaineering may be compensated in exchange for featured placement of certain sponsored products and services, or your clicking on links posted on this website.

4 Caffeine Alternatives to Amplify Your Day

In my last post, I wrote about my tale of picking up and subsequently dumping the coffee habit. A reasonable follow-up question would be what I substitute for caffeine to optimize my energy throughout the day.

Here are a few of my natural caffeine alternatives:

1) Take a cold shower – This is something I started to do regularly last year when I was feeling exceedingly sore after jiu jitsu training sessions. Yes, stepping into a stream of ice cold water will feel like hell for the first minute but your body will adjust quicker than you’d think. When I started taking these cold showers, I noticed not only reduced soreness but also greater alertness and mental sharpness that would last several hours. When I dug into why I felt so good, I discovered that the deep breathing and increased heart rate that came from the shock of cold water also boosted oxygen and blood circulation, respectively. Oxygen and blood are two of the key ingredients that get your brain going!

For reference, although the experts say 8-10 minutes in cold water is optimal for complete recovery, I’ve found even 2-3 minutes will make a difference. Side benefits: cold showers have also been shown to boost testosterone (what guy doesn’t want to maximize his T levels?) and fat metabolism (which 99% of the Western world is after)1.

2) Get a standup desk – We have all heard that sitting is the new smoking. Long-term, sitting for extended periods leads to a bad back, heart problems and all types of musculoskeletal issues. Short-term, sitting can lead to a foggy brain as sitting for hours has been shown to lead to a slowdown in brain function2. At the New York headquarters of MediaMath where I work, all employees have standup desks. So when it is 3 PM and I hit a mental rut, working on my feet for 20 minutes will usually get me back to working a productive level. If you don’t have a standup desk, considering taking a short walk, especially outside in the cold, to get blood, oxygen and the right neurotransmitters flowing into your brain again.

3) Take a nap – Yes, I do realize that most of the working world is not able to do this after lunch on weekdays and, no, I do not advocate passing out on a toilet (unless you are a sleep-deprived IBanker). However, if you are considering a scoop of Jack3d or a cup of coffee at 5 PM before your evening workout, I strongly suggest taking a 20 minute nap as soon as you get home from work. Why 20 minutes and not an hour or two? Although hitting REM cycles in your core nightly sleep are essential for making new connections in the brain (and thus facilitating learning), waking up in the middle of a REM cycle will leave you back at square one, feeling groggy. Even if you don’t hit a REM cycle, sleeping over 30 minutes may still leave you out of it when you wake up3. The 20 minute power nap is ideal for alertness and motor skills and will thus better prepare you for getting out of your mental and/or physical funk and tackling whatever is ahead of you. One of napping’s several advantages over coffee is that it is more likely to keep your memory intact as caffeine has been shown to decrease memory performance.

4) Eat a lot of veggies – I eat salads almost every day during the workweek, not only because it helps keep unneeded pounds off, but also because I feel an energy boost after binging on veggies. I don’t intend to be Captain Obvious here but the key is to eat the right veggies (i.e. iceberg lettuce probably won’t do much for you). Kale and beets are two examples of vegetables that will make a difference for optimizing your performance. Talking about kale, all around Renaissance man Joe Rogan eloquently stated, “You’ll feel fantastic, have a big boost of energy and later on your poop will fly out of your body as if it was late to catch a plane.”

beets

Beets by Dre…sorry

Beets, especially the roots, are well-known natural performance enhancers used by athletes to promote greater blood flow, thus fueling the body and brain. Also, make sure to eat your veggies with fats! Fats are not only essential for brain function but also vital for allowing the nutrients from veggies to absorb into your body. I use either coconut oil (high in medium chain triglycerides or MCTs, which have been linked to elevated fat burning) or avocados (which are packed with nutrients).

Now that you are fueled by this new knowledge, tomorrow, I implore you to duck that morning cup of coffee or caffeinated drink of choice and try at least one of these four techniques. If you want to report on your results or learn more, email me.

Much thanks to Krutika Gupta, Ankur Sisodia, Dan “The Man” Suzuki and Marcos Rivas for aiding me in publishing this piece!

1)      Scientific Evidence-Based Effects of Hydrotherapy on Various Systems of the Body

2)      The Health Hazards of Sitting

3)      The Secret (and Surprising) Power of Naps