By Russ Marchewka
There are safe and effective ways to pump up your game without resorting to cheating. As many of you know, I’m a health geek. Big surprise, right? Through the years, my approach has always been, “How can I make (this) healthier?” That applies to whatever I’m doing: cooking, cleaning, drinking water, breathing air, gardening, on and on. It may surprise you, or maybe not, but I’ve taken that same approach to performance enhancement.
By the time you’re reading this article, the Olympics will be shortly upon us. As of right now, many Russian athletes have been banned from participation, but these are just a few examples of the many doping scandals that have arisen in recent years across the spectrum of sport, from cycling, to football, track and field, water polo and, yeah, even beach volleyball.
Here’s my take on performance enhancement in light of the professional doping controversies: Sure, I get the argument that some athletes are so competitive they’ll do anything to win, including cheating. But what if you could achieve those results without cheating? That’s a question I’ve asked myself for many years.
I’ve written articles about how a supplement like Green Vibrance can increase oxygen levels in the blood when consumed before competition. I’ve mentioned how Aloe Life’s aloe vera juice can increase your endurance (above and beyond training) when consumed regularly. I’ve said that fish oil helps you recover faster, and that Turmeric extract fights inflammation better than any NSAID I (or any of my clients) have ever used.
There is a difference between herbal supplementation and synthesized herbal alkaloids that are extracted, converted, isolated and concentrated in a pharmacology lab. For instance, chewing on a coca leaf is way different than rubbing Colombian marching powder on your gums.
Let’s get one thing straight, I have never taken a banned substance, nor have I used anabolic steroids. Have you heard how LeBron James has an atmosphere cryochamber at his house for faster recovery? Obviously, we can’t all afford that, but I don’t view that as cheating. I’m operating in that same realm. I may have access to more ways to naturally boost performance, but that’s not cheating.
In all my studies, though, I’ve come across many natural foods and wild-harvested herbs that can give you performance enhancing effects without sticking a needle in your butt or taking pills targeted at health conditions you never had. I’ve worked for years with athletes who reach out to me, helping them maximize their effort and get results, all in a natural way. I wish I could afford a cryochamber, but for now, I do what I can afford.
That’s why I don’t respect the cheaters. Not because they want to get an edge. Who doesn’t? I don’t respect them because they do it the dangerous way, the short-sighted way. We all want an edge, and even with steroids, you have to work really hard. Why risk damaging your body long-term for a short-term goal that can be achieved without those health risks?
If you want to maximize the effort you’re putting in, there are some really safe and effective herbs to help you do just that. I’m more than happy to speak with people about what I’ve used, gotten great results with, and the programs I have put other athletes on.
In the meantime, if you want to study up and consider some alternatives to your current routine, here are some philosophies to consider:
Oxygen and circulation are your best friend when it comes to endurance. You have to train the mitochondria to get stronger, produce more ATP and for longer. Develop an eating, exercise and supplementation routine with a focus on circulation and oxygenation and you’ll be amazed how you feel.
Hormones are paramount. Whether you’re a man or a woman, estrogen is not your friend. It’s critically important for our bodies, but only in required amounts. Elevated estrogen ages us faster than almost anything else. All of our bodies have too much estrogen circulating, a result of (phyto and xeno) estrogens in our diet and environmental factors like plastics and pesticides on food. Many foods and herbs have estrogen detoxing properties – broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, to name a few. Get as many of those in your body as possible and you’ll extend your career and your life.
Proper digestion is more important to focus on than how many calories you get, even if you’re a weightlifter! It’s much safer and easier for our body to utilize whole-food nutrition than when we try to bypass the process with isolated nutrient supplements.
Recovery is a complicated process, but it relates to the previous three points. Hydration is #1. It allows nutrients to be sped easily to the appropriate repair sites via more efficient circulation, facilitates timely detox and helps improve digestion.
Remember, your health is your true wealth. Just ask Steve Jobs. You can be on top of the world, but any athlete or businessman would trade their success to get back their health once they’ve lost it.
Let’s go Team USA!
Russ Marchewka has spent the last eight years studying how nutrition affects
his volleyball game. For more, visit his website, WorldHealthHub.com or check
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products and suggestions are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.