Low cost ways to delay fatigue and increase energy that have worked well for me

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by jason586, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    I'm nearly 39 years old, already eat well & exercise, and play 6-7 days a week with over 100 hours per month. With that much tennis, I needed more energy and less fatigue / lactic acid build up.
    I thought I'd post what has worked best for me that was low cost. For reference, I've been playing for 2.5 years and play 4.5 quality tennis; I'm 5'8" and weigh 145 lbs.

    1) Beta Alanine - SNS 501 x 750mg Capsules for $30 (6 cents each)
    * I take 1 capsule within an hour of playing
    OR
    2) Baking Soda - 1 lb Arm & Hammer for 68 cents
    * I take 1/4 teaspoon within an hour before playing + add 1/2 teaspoon to 8 oz water with some MIO flavor (so it doesn't taste bad) and take a large swig anytime I start to feel any fatigue in my legs. It removes the fatigue and lactic acid in about 5-10 minutes after drinking.
    OR
    3) ECA Stack - 24 x 25mg Ephadrine (Bronkaid) for $5.98 + 90 x 200mg Caffeine (Jet-Alert) for $3.50 + 100mg of any Aspirin
    * I take 1/2 Bronkaid (12.5mg) + 1/2 caffeine pill (100mg) + 100mg aspirin

    I have tried a variety of things over the past 2 years, and these 3 were definitely the best for a low price. I alternate between these so that my body does not become to used to any of them, and they do not lose their effectiveness. All of these have strongly delayed lactic acid build up / fatigue and definitely increase energy; although the ECA stack is the most effective for me.


    Anyone use something else that works well for a low cost?
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2014
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  2. r2473

    r2473 Legend

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    You need to post this part in the "Tips and Instruction" section
     
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  3. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    This sounds interesting. I take 8-10 fish oil tablets a day, 1000mg glucosomine and shark cartledge and 500mg MSM which does a lot for me. But will check out your system too. PS. How did you get to a 4.5 level in 2.5 years?
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
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  4. Talker

    Talker Hall of Fame

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    In the past have used potassium/magnesium aspartate about 2 grams, and about one gram of B-5 on an empty stomach a half hour before. Helped a great deal with endurance.
     
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  5. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    With that much tennis at 39, you should be more concerned with injury prevention. If you really do play 4 hours everyday 4.5 level, do you do any other sort of fitness, stretching, rest, etc?
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
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  6. tennisenthusiast

    tennisenthusiast Hall of Fame

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    I agree with BMC9670. What is your injury prevention technique? How do you recover at the end of the day? Do you just pop those pills??
     
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  7. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Not all my time on the tennis courts is 4.5 tennis as there are not enough people at this level available to fill that many hours. I would love for that to be the case; but I still play some with seniors, 3.5s, 4.0s, my wife, etc. I also have the opportunity to play with some 5.5/6.0 recent D1 graduates and some teaching pro friends.


    Injuries: Definitely something I am concerned about and take precautions against the best I can.

    I was a burned out scratch golfer, but I quickly figured out tennis was much harder on the body and took a lot more energy than a 4 hour round of golf even though I often walked the courses. Within about 2 months of playing tennis, my bicep was always hurting and getting worse which was from death gripping the racquet and arming the ball. Since I learned to hit a forehand correctly, I have not had that same issue. Next was my shoulder which was from practicing serving too much (especially first serves) with 12oz+ racquets. That is now mostly gone as once I feel any fatigue in my shoulder, I stop serving and practicing something else. I also reduced the weight of my racquets, and I ice + 2 ibuprofen when I get home if I feel any extra fatigue/soreness in my shoulder.
    Now, I have no major arm issues. Legs are pretty solid with no injuries, since I walked the golf course and played soccer for years. Hopefully, I will continue to be mostly injury free.

    Rest: A lot of sleep makes a big difference; I sleep 8-10 hours nearly every night. If I do not get good sleep, I definitely notice it on the courts.

    Stretching: I do not do any stretching. I know at some point it will become more necessary, but I have had no ill effects/pulled muscles from not doing it at this point.

    Fitness: Now that I play so much tennis, it has become most of my fitness. I do no extra leg workouts, running, etc.
    My current arm workout is taking 2 x 10lb dumbbells and doing non-stop curls, tricep, shoulder presses, etc for one episode of Dr. Who which is about 24 minutes long (my wife, kids, and I have been watching all the Dr. Who episodes from the beginning in 1963).
     
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  8. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    I always take an Equate 50+ Active Adult multi-vitamain just to cover if I am missing anything in my diet, plus it has a large percentage of B-12 for a low price (220 vitamins for $7.96).
    I have tried Super B Complex as well, and it does make some difference in energy - but not at the same level as the 3 I listed.

    My goal was to get to 5.0 by 40 when I started which would be 3.5 years; it is not going to happen. I probably started at 3.0 just due to speed and some athletic ability. 3.5ish within a couple months. At the end of 1 year, I was about 40/60 against guys who played 4.0 league. It has taken another 1.5 years to start beating 4.5 players. The ex-college top 4.5s still beat me pretty good but I am getting more games as I turn my backhand more and more into a weapon instead of a weaknesses. I am getting more free points from weak returns as my serve has improved with better placement and variety of spins instead of pace alone. Also, I can sustain a rally of heavy pace now where I used to bail after 2 or 3 shots with a shot overhit or not keeping my margins or trying to hit a perfect drop shot, etc.
    Basically....being OCD and passionate about everything I do. I have lived tennis for over 2 years in every way; I enjoy the challenge of getting better at something new. A lot has to do with continually hitting with players better than myself although that is harder and harder to find.

    *I just noticed you are Group Dance Instructor in your signature. I was OCD about Ballroom and did 200 hours a month from 2001-2003 - first training to become an instructor, then instructing and continued upper-level training. It has served me well to be able to take my wife on a dance floor and make her feel elegant and graceful.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
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  9. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    Wow. 4 hours of tennis every day. 8-10 hours of sleep every night. Wife and kids. Either you don't work or you have the most understanding family on the planet!
     
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  10. comeback

    comeback Professional

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    Great going Jason, you are a motivated and disciplined person. Very few players can get to that level so fast without a fulltime private coach. That's cool that you are a ballroom dancer. There are so many similarities with dance and tennis. My wife could follow and she knew how to dance from a previous marriage but i had to learn to lead and did what you did by dedicating 2-3 years of hard practice. As you and others have stated, at the 4.5+ level playing tennis matches is physically demanding and injuries are inevitable. I have been thru the gamut of injuries but being a certified trainer helped me rehab, learn and come out as good as ever at 63. When i was coming up there wasn't as much info out about diet/stretching/rehab/. The biggest difference in my athletic career has been refining my diet which enables me to do all the training necessary to continue on.
    http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=476866
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
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  11. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Yes, I do not work AND have a very understanding family.
    We flipped our primary residences every 2 years and paid off all debts, mortgages, etc and saved up a nest egg and invested. We also live on a more modest budget, so that we can have time instead of just more stuff.

    We have 4 daughters from ages 3-7 that we home school. My wife started playing tennis about 1.5 years ago and plays about 3.5 but is not remotely as intense about it as I am. This last August our girls began going to the courts Monday-Friday from 11:00-2:00. With us, they do footwork and balance drills for 30 minutes, and then do hand fed drills for 30-45 minutes. Then while my wife and I drill and practice, we have taught them to hand feed balls, so they feed each other and practice tracking a ball and strokes on a spin doctor for 30-45 minutes on their own. Then they throw tennis balls learning to coil and uncoil and getting into trophy position for serving practice for another 30-45 minutes. Then they just play together doing whatever they want for 30-45 minutes

    Their progression has been fun to watch and quite rapid. It is work, but they enjoy it more than the process of learning to read, multiplication, division, etc.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2014
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  12. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Thank you - I am proud where I have got to, but more often I feel like I am not improving enough or fast enough which helps me push even harder. There are definitely similarities between ballroom and tennis; I find even more similarities between golf and tennis.

    There is a 4.0 66 year old in our group who still plays full court basketball with younger kids. His tennis is ok, but his movement and speed at age 66 always inspires me that I have plenty of time to enjoy this sport. I read the thread on the paleo based diet that you had success with - congrats. Since we try to live on a modest budget and have 4 young ones to feed, we eat our fair share of whole grain rice, lentils/split peas, fruit & vegetables that are on sale, and chicken; but we also very much eliminated any non-whole wheat grains, no sodas/sugar juices, and overall limit sugars and heavily processed foods. The 3 items I listed in the OP were easily the lowest cost ways I found to increase energy and delay fatigue for me.

    After trying several things over the past two years, I thought it could be helpful for a number of people as all 3 are affordable by anyone. Who would have thought baking soda.......until I googled it and read studies with sprinters, race horses, swimmers, etc. Everyone's body is different plus different age, body weight, fat percentages, etc; so there was a little trial and error at first to figure out how much and when to take for me. The ECA Stack is the newest find. After taking it this last Saturday my wife ran 12 miles on her elliptical with energy afterward, and I played 4.0/4.5 doubles from 7:00-10:00 and then played 4.5 singles from 10:00-12:30 with energy still in the tank and no lactic acid burning in my legs. Pretty amazing difference for me, plus the ECA stack suppresses hunger especially the desire for junk food for me.
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2014
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  13. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    I don't care about your tennis achievement but, man, I idolize your ability to arrange this ^^^. I'm of your age range, except overweight, smaller family ...like 1 daughter, work nearly 50hrs/week, and have several mortgage debts. I don't know how the f#%#$ I arrived at this point. :cry: :(

    oh, to make my post somewhat relevant, I drink coffee for increased energy. $7 instant Taster's Choice last me a long time.
     
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  14. bennis

    bennis New User

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    www.mrmoneymustache.com is an excellent blog that you may be interested in. :) Never too late to make a change!
     
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  15. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Thanks - if someone is willing to be patient to buy right, do home improvements, and change there primary residence every 2 years - there are not many ways to make large chunks of tax-free money. It does not happen overnight though.

    If you pick up some Bronkaid at Wal-Mart to take with your coffee (large cup of coffee is also about 100mg), you will feel a real difference. The caffeine and ephadrine work extremely well together where 1 + 1 = 3.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
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  16. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Bronkaid is the stuff to treat bronchial and asthma problems. Why are you suggesting it for those of us that don't have these problems?:confused:

    ---from the web:
    GENERIC NAME: EPHEDRINE - ORAL (eh-FED-rin)

    Warning | Medication Uses | Other Uses | How To Use | Side Effects | Precautions | Drug Interactions | Overdose | Notes | Missed Dose | Storage

    WARNING: This drug should not be used in combination with other stimulant products (e.g., caffeine), other cough-and-cold products, or as a dietary supplement for the purpose of weight loss or body building. Doing so may increase your risk of unlikely but potentially fatal side effects including: stroke, heart attack, seizures, or severe mental disorders (see Side Effects section and Precautions section). In addition, dietary supplements containing ephedrine should not exceed 8 mg as a single ephedrine dose, 24 mg of ephedrine per day (24 hours), or be given for longer than 7 days, as recommended by the FDA. Exceeding the recommended ephedrine dose increases your risk of the side effects noted above. For detailed information, consult your pharmacist. Check all product labels carefully to see if they contain ephedrine or ephedra/ma huang.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
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  17. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    It is the ephadrine in the Bronkaid that combines well with caffeine to give the extra energy / reduced fatigue / mental alertness. Bronchial products are the only OTC products that have ephadrine in them anymore. Like sudafed, claratin, etc - you have to take a card to the pharmacist to purchase it.

    You can google "ECA Stack" - lots of detailed info online.
    I am just offering up what has worked well for me. As with anything new, I started with conservatively low amounts of each of the three I listed. Then through trial and error, I figured out what worked best for me. The daily amount I use now is 1/6th what the average body builder uses in a day; nearly everything has side effects when taken in excess.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
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  18. BMC9670

    BMC9670 Hall of Fame

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    ^^^ IMO, if you're in the best shape you can be in and eat/rest well, and still need a drug or combination of drugs to ward off fatigue or increase energy, you're likely doing too much. Your body is trying to tell you something.
     
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  19. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Yes, it is telling me I am 39 years old.

    Did you miss the OCD part that was posted............if you want to achieve what others think is unlikely/overly difficult (4.5 tennis in 2.5 years, graduate college in 2 years, become a scratch golfer, retire before age 30, etc), you likely have to do what others believe is "too much".

    BTW - Great racquet in the 7G! It was my main racquet until I gave it to my wife which took away the wrist pains she was having with another racquet. She still loves it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2014
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  20. Stasko

    Stasko New User

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    The last week I've red a lot and I've found out that citrulline malate is the best supplement for endurance. Beta-alanine is also good but is has to be taken every day and it starts working in a about a week or two, just like creatine. Citrulline malate can be taken just before your match and you should feel the difference.
     
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  21. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Sounds very interesting - I'll research it online.

    Have you been using it personally and how long?
    How is it performing vs. other things you've tried personally?
     
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  22. Stasko

    Stasko New User

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    The weather is bad so I haven't played since I bought it. Hope to try it in 1-2 days.

    I was told to take 6 grams before playing. Will experiment and see what dose is working. I'm planning to take it only when I have tournaments.
     
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  23. TeamOB

    TeamOB Professional

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    On the Kyrgios/Thiem/Zverev bandwagon!
    One thing that works for me is drinking Coke while playing. I know it sounds terrible but it actually does supply energy and reduce fatigue.
     
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  24. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    I think you should try eating instead of pill popping.
     
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  25. Stasko

    Stasko New User

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    Today I've tested it. 30 minutes before playing took 4 grams. I can't say that I felt some benefits from it. Will keep taking it before playing and report.
     
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  26. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    In first sentence of opening post:
    "...already eat well & exercise,..."

    I think you should try improving your reading comprehension before posting worthless comments.
     
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  27. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    It has 40 grams of caffeine in it, plus the sugar gives a short term boost.....but as you hinted to - probably not the best choice.
    You could take 1/4 of a 200mg Jet Alert caffeine pill for less than a penny and get about the same effects.
     
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  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I've had incredibly good results by passing on the warmup.
    I save lots of energy, my game slowly get's better as the set goes on, and by the end of one set, I'm playing pretty strong and the opponent is out balance as my game changes for the better the whole set.
    Naturally, being 65, after that one set, I can maintain for 2 more games before the inevitible decline.
     
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  29. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Makes good sense to keep the gas in the tank for the games vs using too much during warmup at that age.
    I play with a 4.0 66 year old on occasion who is in very good shape, and he is the same way about not wanting to warm up too long to preserve energy.
     
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  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Thanks.
    It helps my mental game much much more than just resting and abstaining from a hard warmup.
    I lose almost every point I hit at the beginning, so I have to concentrate that much harder to prevent this from happenning mid set. If I hit a lucky winner, it really messes with the mind of the competition, knowing I didn't bother to hit one ball that day, and starting the set.
    Not saying it can work every time I play, of course.
     
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  31. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    If you already eat well and exercise, then there is no need to pill pop and yet there are those who say this and still find a need to pill pop so presumably it is a psychological issue or perhaps even an example of cultural emulation given that there are elite athletes who do need these things. The rest just imagine that they need them.



     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
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  32. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Of course there is no NEED to use supplements, etc. There is no NEED to play tennis at all. Another worthless post attempting to sound intelligent.

    They are absolutely NEEDED for the quality and amount of practice/playing that I do for well over 100 hours a month at age 39, because I enjoy it and WANT to.
     
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  33. Bartelby

    Bartelby G.O.A.T.

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    How is ephedrine and caffeine not simply functioning as a stimulant to mask fatigue?, and fatigue causes injury.


     
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  34. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Good question.
    It is a little more complex than that, but that is a major part of it. I am after results and have tried many things to improve both my play and practice at a rapid pace. For me, this stack gives results more than anything else I have tried. It literally slows the ball down in my mind, and I can take it earlier + I can practice/play longer and harder with no side effects as if I am in my mid-20's.

    Although injury can happen more easily while fatigued, fatigue does not necessarily cause injury. Otherwise, why play tennis with any vigor at all.
    As for injuries, the ECA stack does not mask pain or pulled muscles or cramps or a worn out shoulder from serving too much; also I was in pretty good shape in the first place. It allows me to push harder and for longer, so I get a better workout due to pushing my muscles harder/longer just like working out harder/longer. The first couples times my muscles felt the extra fatigue and muscle breakdown afterward due to the extra workout my muscles were getting, but it was just like if you pick up weights and worked out after not doing so for quite awhile. My muscles have now been conditioned, and I do not have any issues with this.
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
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  35. OTMPut

    OTMPut Hall of Fame

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    Look up Scott Jurek, arguably the GOAT of ultra-running.
    He has interesting ideas on recovery and upping performance. His book eat and run is definitely worth a read.

    P.S.
    Your choice of the word "delay" wrt fatigue is interesting.
     
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  36. jason586

    jason586 Rookie

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    Thanks, I'll definitely check it out.
    I don't know if "delay" is exactly the best choice of wording either.
     
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  37. dman72

    dman72 Hall of Fame

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    When I was a teenager, my friend and I used to make a gallon of 4C iced tea and bring it to the courts...we'd play 3 hours in 95 degree heat and have plenty of energy after guzzling that whole thing.

    :shock:

    Claritan D does work better than caffeine...I've played with a head cold a few times, and when I'm on that stuff I probably play my best. There's a reason baseball and football players used to take speed. Of course, they die of heart attacks at a young age, but hey.
     
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  38. maggmaster

    maggmaster Hall of Fame

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    Stimulants exacerbate heart conditions that are already present there is little evidence that they cause new problems. Doctors prescribe amphetamine salts all the time for various medical reasons and for long term use.
     
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