Transplant Athlete
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
  Eat More Raisins

Back in 2007, I joined a gym and worked my tail off and I didn't really see much of a benefit. I was seeing minimal strength gains, and I certainly wasn't getting any faster on the bike. Lately, I feel like I've been putting on a lot of muscle mass for a little bit of work. I'm only riding about 5 hours per week right now, but my legs feel like they are getting larger and more defined.

No, I haven't started doping, but I did have an epiphany last night as I was happily spinning away on my trainer. I had opened up the bible and was flipping through the pages to see if their was any guidance I could use in my training when I found this: (and I quoteth):
"It's apparent that as we grow older muscle mass is lost...Nitrogen, an essential component of muscle protein, is given up by the body at a faster rate than it can be taken in...This is due to a gradual change in kidney function that comes with aging, ultimately producing an acidic state in the blood. Essentially we are peeing off our muscles as we pass the half-century mark in life...Also with a net loss of nitrogen, new muscle cannot be formed."
The Cyclist's Training Bible by Joe Friel, 2003

This didn't really register with me before, after all, I'm only 37. Lightbulb. My mom's kidney did pass the half century mark; for her sake, I'll leave out how long ago that was, but suffice it to say, I should have been eating more raisins, spinach, etc. to bring my blood alkalinity back into balance. I'm eating a lot of Calcium (Tums) as phosphate binders and that is probably helping me build mass now.


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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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Warning Signs for Kidney Disease:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Burning or Difficulty when Urinating
  • Frequent Urination at Night
  • Blood in your urine
  • Cola or tea colored urine
  • Swellig of the eyes, ankles, or feet
  • Lower back pain unrelated to physical activity

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