There’s so much talk about EPO as a performance enhancer and all the athletes getting busted for using it I wanted to find out what it does. Basically the kidney produces Erythropoietin (EPO). So, the dopers are stimulating red cell production.
Tips to Maintain Optimal Kidney Health
Urine that is clear and odorless is a sign of healthy functioning kidneys!
Maintaining optimal kidney health helps athletes achieve peak physical performance during competition and help in the recovery process as healthier kidneys can (i) naturally produce the maximum level of EPO’s necessary for the creation of Red Blood Cells to increase the bloods oxygen carrying capacity and (ii) efficiently clean the blood of waste and toxin, essential during endurance events.
Stay Hydrated. Drink sufficient amounts of pure water to help your kidneys eliminate toxic chemicals and waste products. For an estimate of how much you should drink, halve your body weight and drink that in ounces of water. So, if you are 150 lbs., try to drink 75 oz. of water every day. You can exchange part of this amount with organic nonfat milk or fresh squeezed juices from organic fruits and vegetables. If water is your primary source of hydration make sure you are taking in sufficient electrolytes. See Hydration for Endurance Athletes
Natural and Nutritious Diet. Eating a natural and nutritious diet puts less stress on our kidneys blood cleansing function. The more toxins we consume in our foods, the harder our kidneys need to work to clean our blood. Two studies presented to the 2009 American Society for Nephrology have shown a relationship between diet and kidney health. One study found a link between intake of excess sodium and sweetened beverages. It’s best then to avoid foods with excess salt and processed foods, which often contain excess salts. The second study found women who drank two or more servings per day of artificially sweetened soda doubled their odds of kidney function decline. Colas in particular contain high amounts of phosphoric acid, a substance known to change the urine in a way that favors kidney stone formation. Drinking too much coffee and similar stimulants will weaken the kidneys over time. It is also believed that cold and icy foods can deplete kidney energy.
Specific Foods for Health Kidneys.
- Watermelons. Occasionally Consume large quantities of Watermelons for a day, while regularly emptying your bladder. A watermelon fast.
- Cranberry Juice. Pure 100% unsweetened Cranberry Juice with no additives. Cranberries are known to protect against bladder infections by preventing bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall.
- Fish and Fish Oils. Studies have shown a potential beneficial role for fish and fish oil consumption in kidney health.
- Egg Whites. Egg whites are pure protein and provide the highest quality of protein with all the essential amino acids. For the kidney diet, egg whites provide protein with less phosphorus than other protein sources such as egg yolk or meats.
- Olive Oil. Olive oil is a great source of oleic acid, an anti-inflammatory fatty acid. The monounsaturated fat in olive oil protects against oxidation. Olive oil is rich in ployphenols and antioxidant compounds that prevent inflammation and oxidation.
- Cabbage. Cabbage is packed full of phytochemicals, chemical compounds in fruit or vegetables that break up free radicals before they can do damage. High in vitamin K, vitamin C and fiber, cabbage is also a good source of vitamin B6, and folic acid. Cabbage also helps produce Testosterone. See How to Increase Testosterone Production and Levels Naturally
The Kidney Rub and Tap. The kidney rub and tab is a brief exercise you can do to help maintain kidney health. You are able to massage your kidneys by placing the back of your hands on your skin over the location of your kidneys and rub up and down for about two to three minutes. The kidneys are located near the sides of your lower back. The kidney rub stimulates the adrenal glands and draws blood and energy to the kidneys.
Tapping the same area can help dissolve crystals before they form kidney stones and stimulates the kidneys.
Maintain Low Blood. Maintaining a low blood pressure is important to kidney health as high blood pressure creates constant and significant stress on the kidneys.
Exercise. Physical exercise is another important factor to consider for optimum kidney health. Both physical activity and sweating can help your kidneys to eliminate toxins and wastes. Sedentary lifestyle contributes significantly to many health problems including obesity, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, and kidney failure.
Get Enough Sleep. Good regular sleep is essential to maintain optimum kidney health. See Tips to Good Sleep Naturally!.
Hot Baths or Showers When Under Stress. When under pressure and stress, hot showers or baths before bed relax tight kidneys.
Don’t Eat Excessive Protein. Eating more protein than you need leads to greater workload on your kidneys, which must filter a by-product of protein metabolism called blood urea nitrogen (BUN) out of your blood. This increased workload can contribute to premature breakdown of the special capillaries (glomeruli) in your kidneys. Defining excess protein can be a bit tricky, particularly for endurance athletes with added high protein needs to aid recovery.
Don’t Take Over-the-Counter Pain Pills on a Regular Basis. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve), and aspirin are known to cause kidney damage and disease if taken regularly. Acetaminophen (Tylenol and Excedrin) can also cause kidney damage and failure if used regularly. All of these over-the-counter pain medications probably don’t pose significant danger if your kidneys are relatively healthy and you use them for emergencies only.
As many professional athletes have discovered during the past several years, regular use of prescription anti-inflammatory pain medication like Vioxx, Indocin, and Naprosyn poses even greater danger to kidney health than over-the-counter pain killers.