You mention that optimal health is integral to your approach—are there any specific practices we can use?
Specific practices are simple to learn but not so easy to follow. Rather than discussing specific practices it might be better to discuss areas of address. The first thing to understand, in terms of health, is that balance is the key. Many people focus on building up muscle and strength but this should always be balanced out with building of coordination and removal of acidic by-products. People want to do a lot of exercise, and take protein drinks—both of which are highly acid-forming—but they don’t understand how to balance this out with alkaline practices. The acid-alkaline balance is the most critical balance of the body; when we become too acidic (which often occurs as a result of eating acidic foods, excessive exercise, stress, etc.) our whole system is thrown out of whack. The blood is not able to carry the optimal amounts of oxygen, we lose minerals, our breath gets shorter, and we tend to become dehydrated. So, how acidic are you? You have to know the answer to this question, and then take informed steps to bring about an optimal acid-alkaline balance. Another crucial balance involved blood sugar. When blood sugar is too high (or too low) all kinds of bad things happen; and, as it relates to immediate performance, when blood sugar levels are deregulated the blood cannot carry sufficient amounts of oxygen to the muscles or the brain. Proper hydration is needed to regulate blood sugar levels.
In terms of this notion of always building up, let’s look at the lymph system. Athletes tend to put a lot of effort into “building up” because that is the general mentality but what about the removal of waste? All this building up and hard-core exercise produces large amounts of waste or by-products. As we build up our exterior muscles we pollute all our inner organs with that excess waste. So, we must take steps to remove these excess toxins on a regular and consistent basis. If we don’t remove the excess waste, there is no room for the cell to take in nutrients and repair itself. If the waste is not removed, and there is a “back up,” then all the supplements we take will have a minimal effect. The only way to remove the waste is to keep the lymph system active. Luckily, this is not much of a problem for athletes because the primary way to keep the lymph system moving is through regular exercise and movement. However, working out once a day only clears the lymph for one cycle; what we need is regular clearing, throughout the day.
In an ideal scenario, the lymph system should be pumped every ninety minutes. So, one should engage in some form of movement, and muscular engagement, every ninety minutes. The only remedy for this, when all-day exercise is not possible, is a special breathing-exercise method, that takes a minute or two, and which“pumps” the lymph system about 50 times faster than regular exercise. Even for an inactive person, using this method every two hours or so, would provide the same benefits (in terms of moving the lymph system) as someone engaged in regular exercise throughout the day.
Here is one more thing to think about: How come right after a sporting event the muscles do not all that feel sore but feel pretty bad after waking up the next morning? I thought that the eight hours of rest was supposed to be a time when the body could repair itself—yet, it seems, that things get worse. How could this be so? What goes on during a restful night—or what does not go on—which causes this morning soreness? Well, the lymph system remains dormant and the excessive waste (which includes blood proteins that are forced into the lymph system during strain or injury) “clog up” and cause low-level inflammation during the exercise-less night.
We must also address the heart and circulation because this system is vital to life and peak performance in sport. This is a field of study which every top athlete should become familiar with. One should know about various methods that promote heart health and improve circulation. Such methods include the use of bromelain, lecithin, apple pectin, and other such supplements help keep the arteries clear; proper use of vitamin C, bioflavanoids, and quercitin, provide for arterial elasticity and greater integrity of the arterial wall; potassium citrate and lemon juice to increase zeta-potential and "flowability" of the blood; and specific supplements for the heart, including CoQ10 and magnesium (taurinate, citrate, or malate). In terms of oxygen-carrying ability of the blood, sufficient amounts of chlorophyll are needed. This can be gained from various “green” drinks and/or eating sufficient amounts of leafy green vegetables. Perhaps the most powerful oxygenator of the circulation system (which allows the cells to pick up the oxygen in the blood), is flaxseed oil mixed with a sulfur-based protein (such a cottage cheese, whey protein, or “quark’) The sulfur protein “hydrolyzes” the oil, making it water soluble. This allows the body to utilize the essential components of the oil far more efficiently than taking regular oil. The regular use of cod liver oil can also be very beneficial. (Likewise, one should avoid all hydrogenated oil, as well as oil which has been cooked or which has become rancid).
Another key to improved heart health and circulation can be found in formulas which increase the “zeta potential” of the blood, which means it increases the electro-magnetic charge of the various elements in the blood, making each element more discrete by “pushing” itself away from its neighbor. It’s like having two magnets which are highly charged and which push away from each other. If the particles have a low charge, then they tend to “clump together” and have little force to “remain in solution.” This decreases the ability of the blood to flow. (In terms of diet and food, the only thing that will increase the zeta potential, and flowability of the blood, is the regular consumption of lemon juice in water; supplementing with potassium citrate is also very helpful).
A thorough (and somewhat technical) discussion of “zeta potential” can be found in Chapter 22 of Control of Colloid Stability through Zeta Potential by Thomas Riddick. (www.hbci.com/~wenonah/riddick/chap22.htm). In sum, a very effective way to optimally increase zeta potential is to take approximately 1.5 grams of potassium citrate per day. Do not take this in the form of a pill; the potassium citrate must be mixed in a water solution and taken in small amounts throughout the day.
"So long as matter remains in a solid state, it is subject to the forces of the
the earth. But once it moves into a liquid state, it undergoes the influence
of the cosmos." ~ Rudolf Steiner
What about bottled water that comes from a pure and natural source? How good is that?
Bottled water, stored for extended periods of time in plastic containers, is not that beneficial, even if it comes from a pure source. If you understand a few basic principles of water you will understand why this is the case. So let me explain: The first principle of water is that water is the carrier (and conveyer) of life; as such, it has to be moving. Water in nature is always moving; if not it “dies” and becomes stagnant. When water is held stationary for more than 24 hours it begins to loose its livingness and life-force. Another thing to know about water is that it is supremely sensitive; it picks up whatever it comes in contact with both in terms of physical elements (such as mineral and toxins) as well as “conscious vibrations.” Bottled water, for example, picks up the elements and vibrations of the plastic in which it is imprisoned. In addition, I often see bottled water sitting in direct sunlight. Not good. And really not good when this heats up the plastic! Water exposed to direct sunlight is enervated, depleted, and debilitated—and it has a similar effect on the body. (Exposure to moonlight, on the other hand, enhances the life-giving properties of water). And the actual water that is placed into the bottle—well, I’m not sure about that either. Nor about how the water got to the bottle. When water is pumped under pressure, through metal pipes, it de-structures and magnetizes the water, creating a kind of water that is difficult for the human body to assimilate. This is the condition of regular tap water and quite often the fate of bottled water. In nature, water never moves in a straight line; it is always winding and spinning in vortexes which enlivens and structures the water.
In general, I would rather drink bottled water (stored in hard plastic bottles) than regular tap water, which has been laced with chlorine, fluorine, and who knows what before it reaches your tap.
The optimal way to drink water is very regularly—a half a cup every every half hour is best but one cup every hour is also good. Mixing in a small amount of lemon juice to your water (every hour or so) helps remove excess acid, clear and build the liver, and increase the electro-magnetic potential of the blood, thereby increasing blood flow and oxygenation.
Practically speaking, the best water to drink is pure artesian well water. If that’s not available (and it rarely is) then use well-water or water that has been purified through distillation or reverse osmosis and properly energized. (It is also important to store water in a glass or earthenware jar, and prepare it fresh everyday.) Low micron carbon filters are OK, depending on the initial quality of the tap water. Most bottled water, regardless of the source, is pretty much “dead” (and often plasticized and depleted). Regular tap water, which has been laced with chlorine, fluorine, and who knows what, is usually not drinkable. Whenever you drink low-quality water it vitiates the water element in the body and throws your whole system out of balance. Water is the carrier of life; every dedicated athlete should form a beneficial relationship with this vital element.
An excellent book on the subject of revitalizing water is, The Healing Power of Energized Water by Ulrich Holst. Also see: Colloidal Minerals and Trace Elements by Marie-France Muller.