|Massive doses of coffee
One member of our group swears by this and
religiously consumes it at every opportunity. Too much coffee makes me
jittery on lead. I use it when I need a boost and for something to do in
Mexican climbers turned me on to Arnica.
They use this cream on injured or painful muscles and stiff finger joints.
I tried it along with five friends. All of our fingers were less stiff
for sure. We donít know what it is or what it does. I use it occasionally
when my fingers are real stiff and when I remember. Mari Kromljanek massages
arnica and also comfrey (another herbal remedy) into her hands and fingers
to promote ligament/tendon/muscle healing and swears that it helps.
Glucosamine is a pill that is sold in health
food stores. It definitely relieves stiff joints. It may be more effective
with older climbers. Even two of the disbelievers in our group have reluctantly
admitted that this Glucosamine works.
This is the staple food of British climbers
and they all climb 5.13.
Flax Seed Oil
Flax Seed Oil, rich in Omega three fatty
acids is necessarry for keeping joints working and many other good things.
Don't take it and check out your finger joints in 10 years. You will wish
you followed this advice.
Hockey players use large doses between
periods to jack them up. I use this occasionally when energy is too low
although it can make me jittery especially if I am leading. I used it on
a wall once when energy was gone and all seemed lost. It is a banned substance
in most sports. Watch out for the drug testers. It is also useful if you
have a cold or hay fever.
Chocolate Coated Espresso Beans
Peter and I used these regularly on walls
to a boost. This worked well until one hot day all the chocolate melted
and we were left with a sickening mess. Peter ate them anyway.
Melatonin makes you sleep deeply. It is
great for recovery from hard workouts. It is also useful for uncomfortable
bivies. Like Layton Kor, donít tell your partner that you use it. He will
wonder how you can sleep like a log on that five-inch sloping ledge while
he tosses and turns all night. This stuff is banned in Canada but available
over the counter in the USA. For some reason it is deemed to be too dangerous
for Canadians but not Americans.
I bought some of this liquor from Homero's
store in Mexico and became addicted. One glass acts as a total muscle relaxant.
Two glasses makes you Psychotic. No-body who has gone beyond two glasses
can talk coherently about the experience. A friend who we will call Jeff
was there but canít remember anything. Unfortunately they donít sell this
Mezcal in Canada. I complained to the LCBO but was told that it wouldn't
sell in Canada.
Argentinian climbers turned me on to Yerba
Mate. It is some kind of herb that you drink from a special gourd with
a metal straw like instrument. There are all kinds of web sites that describe
the effect of this stuff. Mate does all kinds of good things to you.
It is also fun to drink in a group. It is the national drink of Argentina.
"Che" described drinking it in his Motorcycle Diaries. It makes me feel
energetic but calm at the same time.
Creatine is a supplement that body builders
use to increase muscle size. Some climbers have found that it increases
power endurance. To avoid increasing bulk, take it on a cycle. Try it for
about 5 days in 3 weeks and experiment from there.
Pelinka is Romanian liquor that is good
for starting a fire in wet conditions. Also can be taken orally. Be careful.
Do not light a match or smoke around this stuff. Pelinka can takes your
mind off climbing on a rest day. It is not easy to find in Canada but
worth the effort.
Medical experts have not endorsed the above
list and probably won't. But what do they know? All we get from them is
ranting about the lack of studies supporting this or that and that there
may be dangerous side effects related to consumption of this or that. In
a short thirty years studies will be complete and they will know unequivocally
that such and such hypothesis is not disproven. The above information was
gleaned from climbers used to being at the sharp end, men and women who
do not fall for the latest elixir, men and women who are not in the habit
of buying snake oil and used cars from strange men in plaid suits and are
not sponsored by supplement companies (or any company for that matter).
I say go for it. At the very least, try some Pelinka next New Years.