How to Prevent Sports Injuries

I have been working on a longer blog about this subject, but seeing as how just about everybody on the Cleveland Browns has a hamstring issue, I have decided to post a condensed, emergency edition.

I am a 61 year-old cyclist with knees of steel. I can grind the peddles of my bike with maximum effort without having to worry about tweaking a knee. That wasn’t always the case. A few years ago, I had so much pain in my knees that I could barely walk. As you age, it becomes more and more difficult to keep your joints hydrated. So, I have had to become knowledgeable about sports nutrition out of necessity.

I have learned that you need to do two major things to keep your body injury-free:

Step 1 – Eliminate Diuretics

That means no alcohol, caffeine, theobromine (chocolate), or low-carb diets, which are the very worst diuretic of all. If you take any prescription drugs, find out if they are known diuretics and ask your doctor if there is an alternative. Diuretics cause you to urinate out water, leaving less available to form the synovial fluid that keeps your joints lubricated.

Step 2 – Keep Your Body Alkaline

That means no junk food, including sugar, soda, pizza, and surprisingly, some fruits like grapes and raisins. One of the most acidic foods I have found is honey. So, just because something is natural doesn’t mean that it isn’t acidic. Your body has several mechanisms to keep itself pH balanced. However, if you eat an acidic diet, your pH will eventually drop, and things will start to go haywire. The classic symptom is a stiff neck.


Avoiding diuretics is pretty easy, but learning about pH balance takes a little bit of work. So, start out by reading my Acidic & Alkaline Foods page.

Hydration and pH balance are related in that your body burns up electrolytes to neutralize acid. For example, calcium is an electrolyte and also the main ingredient in antacids like Tums. If your body needs more calcium to neutralize all the acid you are consuming, it will pull it out of your bones and teeth, weakening both.

And finally, pH balance is especially important for athletes because training itself is acidifying! Each ATP energy molecule that you burn results in the creation of an acidic hydrogen ion, which then has to be disposed of. Your bloodstream will carry the hydrogen to one of your kidneys where it will be injected into your urine. But when it goes, it takes a potassium atom with it, and potassium, of course, is one of your primary electrolytes.

If you stay hydrated and pH balanced, you will dramatically improve the condition of your joints, muscles, and bones, and have a huge advantage over nearly every one of your competitors. After all, what young athlete is going to give up beer & pizza? Answer: no one. So, this is low-hanging fruit.

If you are an athlete and have success using these principles, please let me know. If you would like to hire me as a consultant, please send an email to the address shown on this page.

No, Miami was Never “Hard Hit” by COVID-19

Every day during the COVID-19 crisis, the media here would describe Miami as “hard hit” or a “hot spot” or the “epicenter” of the pandemic in Florida.

That was 100% horseshit.

According to the official statistics of the State of Florida, the pandemic in Miami-Dade county peaked on April 4, 2020 with 22 deaths. (See the chart below.)


That’s literally 1/26th of New York City’s peak daily death toll of 581! (Chart here.)

Now, you might be thinking: “Yes, but NYC has more people, and the per-capita numbers are probably comparable.” Wrong. Florida has done fantastic per-capita too. As of May 11, 2020, this chart on shows New York State with 137 deaths per 100,000 and Florida with only 8!

Miami Beach got international media coverage when spring-breakers refused to stop congregating on the beach. So, there were corpses stacked to the rafters in South Beach, right? Wrong! In the South Beach zip code of 33139, I can find only one resident who died of COVID-19. And even there, that victim was 79 years-old, in Mount Sinai for another condition, and was infected with COVID-19 while in the hospital. Today, the state is reporting 219 cases in 33139, but that is the total for the pandemic, and they do not say how many of those people have recovered. Most of them probably have recovered, and the number of active cases right now might only be a couple of dozen.

If you live in a real hot-spot like New York City, and can afford to do so, you would be crazy not to buy a place down here that you can flee to when the wheels come off up north. We have clean air, with no nearby petrochemical industry to weaken your lungs. We have plenty of sunshine to keep your vitamin D topped-up, and when the hotels are on lockdown, our population-density is downright spacious.

Daily COVID-19 deaths in Miami-Dade Country for March 16 – May 11, 2020 (click chart to enlarge):

Note: data is reported with a lag, so these numbers will continue to go up a little bit. And when we come off of lockdown, there are bound to be more cases and deaths.

Note: the media has tried to browbeat the State of Florida into including tourist deaths in their statistics in an effort to paint a bleaker picture. However, the state reports only cover residents. Were there a lot of tourist deaths? I don’t know, but I have been unable to find any at all in South Beach. The media reported on two Winter Party attendees who died, but they did not live in Miami Beach. If there were more, the media would have trumpeted them, so I would bet that the tourist death toll was very low.

Here are some death-stats that I compiled for this time-period:

Average age: 75.3
Median age: 78.0

Males: 299 (61%)
Females: 191 (39%)

Biting Yourself While Chewing

Have you ever accidentally bitten your lip, cheek, or tongue while chewing your food? If so, then you know how painful it can be. Some people think that they are eating too fast, or just being clumsy, but I don’t think that is the case. The process of chewing is like the beating of your heart: it’s not something that you have to learn and practice. There was no “Chewing Food 101” class in school.

I think this phenomena is caused by a malfunctioning nervous system due to an electrolyte deficiency. Your nervous system needs sodium, potassium, and calcium to work properly. (Yes, that’s right, you need salt – salt is not evil.)

If your electrolytes are out of whack, then your body can’t control your muscles properly because it is either sending the wrong signals, or all the signals are not reaching the muscles, or both.

How does this happen? Here are some possibilities:

  1. Chemically-induced dehydration – Caffeine and alcohol are well known to dehydrate you. If you stay out late drinking, and then guzzle coffee in the morning to stay awake, don’t be surprised if you start biting yourself. Adding some Gatorade to the mix might help.
  2. Eating a diet that is too acidic – This depletes your calcium. See the post I wrote on the cause of stiff necks and back pain for the full explanation and instant cure.
  3. Mineral Supplements – Taking extra mineral supplements can create a mineral imbalance. For example, when my skin breaks out, I take some extra zinc, which usually helps. However, one day, I must have taken too much because I started biting myself like crazy during lunch. I had been keeping a good acid-alkaline balance with my diet, sticking to one Dr Pepper per day, and a beer or two, so I’m pretty sure it was the excessive zinc.
  4. Getting Low-Sodium Religion – While your body can adapt to a lower sodium intake, going cold-turkey is not a good way to get there. If you suddenly reduce your normal sodium consumption, you just might start biting yourself for a day or two while your body adjusts.

The worst incident that I suffered was immediately after putting 15 sugar-cubes in my coffee. Why would I do something so crazy? Because I was trying to figure out how many carbs I could eat before my blood sugar spiked. It was an experiment. Of course, both coffee and sugar are acidic, and when I ate breakfast 30 minutes later, not only did I bite myself, but I bit myself continuously. It was pretty terrifying to see my body fly out of control like that. I had to concentrate hard to slow down my chewing in order to get through breakfast in one piece. So, the one time that I put 15 sugars in my coffee was the one time that I bit myself continuously. That’s pretty good evidence that an excessively acidic diet was the culprit.

Of course, I am a programmer, not a doctor, so if you don’t get a quick cure by adjusting your diet with the steps above, you should definitely see a doctor. If your nervous system is telling you to chew on yourself, then we can only imagine what other wrong things it is telling the rest of your body to do.

Miracle Stiff-Neck Cure

Bottom Line: Your diet is too acidic.

Have you ever had your neck stiffen up so that it was extremely painful just to turn your head? A doctor would call this a “sub-clinical” condition because it is not caused by a disease. Sub-clinical conditions also do not get much research because they are not considered serious. Of course, if you cannot turn your head far enough to see where you are going when backing your car out of a parking space, it could become very serious indeed for somebody walking behind you.

Sub-clinical conditions are a hobby of mine. When you have something as complicated as the human body, and no research being done on a condition, you have a good mystery to solve.

One day in February 2008, I woke up with intense pain in my upper back, between my shoulder blades. It was incredibly intense; like I had been stabbed. I literally almost could not get out of bed. I eventually staggered over to my computer and started researching. Once I made the “too acidic diet” conclusion, I ate a handful of Walgreens brand antacid tablets, which are a Tums knock-off. (If you don’t have Walgreens or Tums in your country, any calcium-carbonate antacid would work fine.) I felt the difference almost immediately. I was up and shadow-boxing in just a few minutes. It felt like a miracle. I used the antacid because everything I had in the house was acidic, which is how I got into this condition in the first place, of course.

There are many reasons to “eat your greens”, but probably the most over-looked one is that they help you maintain your acid/alkaline balance. Staying in balance is crucial to health and probably why the folk remedy of using fresh fruit to cure the cold, flu, etc. works so well. The slogan, “An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away” probably has its roots in the fact that apples are alkaline.

While researching this, I found many web sites claiming that you can incur this sort of pain by “sleeping wrong.” I think that is crazy. The very idea of “sleeping injuries” seems ridiculous to me. Yes, you can sleep on your arm and cut off the circulation, but do we really need to work on our sleeping skills to avoid injury in this “dangerous” activity? I don’t think so. Rather, I think that while you are sleeping, you are not eating anything that your body can use to reduce acidity, so that is a prime time for your muscles to stiffen up. I have also had this pain strike me during the day, so I’m certain that it has nothing to do with sleep itself.

I am no biochemist, but it appears that your body can use calcium to reduce the acidity of your blood. By using up all your calcium, you develop an electrolyte deficiency. Your nervous system uses sodium, potassium, and calcium to propagate signals along your nerves. So, what I think causes the pain is nerves going haywire due to lack of calcium. That would explain how eating something alkaline (especially calcium-carbonate) can provide instant relief: your muscles are not really damaged at all; they are only malfunctioning because your nervous system is not sending them the right signals. So, you don’t need any time to heal.

The first thing I did after making this discovery was to eat a lot more fruit. I had some juice with every meal, and ate a couple of pieces of fresh fruit each day. It worked, but my weight started to go up from all those extra carbohydrates. Then I noticed that lemons were at the top of the alkaline-foods list, so I ditched the juice and started putting lemon juice in my drinks. It worked beautifully.

While I was googling around researching this, I found several good clues, but nobody who had put them all together as I have done here. It is possible that somebody wrote this in a health book somewhere, but if Google doesn’t know about it, does it really exist? Until further notice, I am claiming to be the originator of this miracle cure.

Here is a web page you can use to check how acidic your diet is. Also, see my “Acidic & Alkaline Foods” page.

If you think you can continue eating your acidic diet and balance it out with a lot of antacid, you are mistaken. The calcium in the antacid will cause a mineral imbalance. For example, it might induce a zinc deficiency and cause persistent acne. It’s just not a good idea. Only use antacid in an emergency.

This, of course, is not professional medical advice. If your pain persists, you need to see your doctor since it could be something serious like tetany.