Daily Detox Tips for Standup Paddlers
When symptoms such as sluggishness, bloating, mental fog, fatigue or irritated skin begin to slow you down, you may think it’s from a lack of sleep. While too many late nights may be part of the problem, these issues are likely the byproduct of something else: toxins. Unfortunately, avoiding toxins is nearly impossible because they come in a wide variety of sources including: food, alcohol, the environment, cleaning products and much more. However, there are efficient way to promote detoxification in the body and science backs the power of the ancient practice. Research is proving that maintaining simple daily habits–including these five rules–can drastically increase your energy level and in turn, your paddling time. —Shari Coble
1. Drink water throughout the day
We're not talking about downing 'naturally-flavored' water, juice, or sports drinks that are filled with the unknown or unpronounceable–we're talking about drinking real water. Aside from the fact that water keeps you hydrated, it also helps flush toxins from the body by allowing detoxifying and vital organs—like the liver and kidneys—to function properly and effectively. As a simple rule of thumb, remember the 8×8 rule–meaning you should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
2. Eat whole foods and cut processed foods
If it doesn't come from the earth, you probably shouldn't consume it. Processed foods are packed with preservatives, chemicals, added sugar, increased fats, excess salt and other ingredients that wreak havoc on our bodies. Proceeded food does our digestive and endocrine systems no favors, as they’re forced to work overtime to expel the nasty chemicals and toxins that these foods pack in. Like a well-running engine, our body runs better with clean fuel–namely organic fruits, vegetables, grains, and white meat.
3. Down ginger
This root is a powerful health food, boasting great flavor in addition to detoxifying health benefits including anti-inflammatory and disease-fighting properties. Studies show that ginger is a scavenger of free radicals—which is great in terms of ridding the body of harmful chemicals that will cause adverse health conditions. However, it’s important to not go overboard with ginger. Health experts suggest not to intake more than four grams of ginger per day to avoid heartburn.
4. Go crazy for cruciferous veggies
We've touted the power of these veggies before, but did you know that those categorized as cruciferous– broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, and bok choy–are helpful while trying to detox? Research shows that cruciferous veggies produce an enzyme–sulforaphane–that helps to clear toxins by boosting the liver's detoxifying functions.
5. Sweat it out
Need another excuse to SUP? Sweating is proven to detoxify the body, which is why sweat therapies have been used for eons. While it is unknown what amount of toxins that sweating rids the body of, research shows sweat eliminates mercury, lead, arsenic, and Bisphenol-A (BPA), which sometimes goes undetected in blood or urine tests, but is detected in sweat. So paddle hard, sweat a lot, and remember to drink lots of water.