Seems like a lot of sick ravers lately so here's some advice on tripping, X-ing and staying healthy gleaned from my 15 odd years of experience. No these aren't cast in concrete, yes you don't have to follow them exactly, but at 35 I'm still in good shape, hardly ever get sick and can still party all night. Something to think about. :)
Smile a lot, laugh out loud.
- Frequency and dose - It really takes about a week for you to completely return to baseline after X or L. This means if you are doing it more often than that your body is being stressed, which lowers your immune system. Also, the higher the dose, the harder it is on your body. While X is easier mentally than L, it is much harder on the body. Doing just enough to get off will not only keep you healthy, it saves money too. :)
- Food - Both X and L suppress your appetite while increasing your level of activity. (X is worse because the suppression lasts longer than the trip.) This means that you are burning up your body's reserve energy when you are dancing and not eating. When the body's reserves are gone, you then begin burning muscle tissue, this is bad. Of course, all of this adds to your physical stress levels and lowers your immune system. The bottom line is that you must force yourself to eat correctly before, during and after X or L. This is complicated by the fact that both X and L slow down the movement of your bowels, making it harder to digest food.
- Before a trip - eat fruits, vegetables and starches, avoid oils and heavy proteins, don't eat anything heavier than fruit an hour before dropping, especially if you are prone to nausea.
- During the trip - drink juice, eat simple starches (bread, crackers) and nibble fruit (eating food is much easier on X than L), set a schedule for eating and stick to it (remember, you won't feel hungry) avoid candy, pop and anything with alcohol or caffeine. (These may seem nice, but they do bad things to your blood sugar and hydration.)
- After the trip - eat fruits, vegetables and starches, avoid oils and heavy proteins, eat several small meals rather than trying to eat a few large ones, remember you won't *feel* hungry but your body needs the food.
- Take a good look at yourself, are you just skin and bone? If you are, up your calories from starches and good fats (esp. olive/canola and fish). Your body needs a slight layer of fat to stay healthy, men and women.
- Vitamins and herbs - Vitamins are NOT a replacement for eating right! However, when you stress your body vitamins can help keep any negative impact to a minimum. X in particular (especially when raving and drinking lots of water) removes water soluble vitamins from the body. Also, certain vitamins are used up a higher rates when you're under stress or over exerting.
Here are some of my favorites:
- A good multi-vitamin multi-mineral for the day after. (break it up to help digestion)
- 2-3 grams of DLPA (DL-Phenylalanine) if I feel "bummed out" the day after.
- Melatonin 9-21 mg when I'm ready (and able) to sleep.
- 60 mg CoEnzyme Q 10 (oxygenates the heart), .5 - 1 gm inositol and 3.5 gm l-orthine alpha ketoglutarate (keeps the cells in aerobic respiration), 2 gm time release pantothenic acid (maintains endurance and fights stress) I take these 1 or 2 hours before dropping.
- Vitamin C 1-4 grams as needed 3-4 times a day. Every time they study vitamin C they find it does more good stuff for ya. Pluses are: time release, neutralized with calcium, mixed with bioflaviniods.
- Herbs - This is a complex area with many conflicting opinions. Some that I find useful:
- Reishie mushrooms - Proven to boost the immune system shitake and miatake mushrooms - contain "adaptogens" which help cope with stress
- Ginseng - more adaptogens.
- Ginkgo - increases blood flow in the brain
- Respect yourself between trips - learn to meditate and then practice it regularly. Take care of yourself, get some exercise, get some sunshine, get out in nature. Don't have your whole life revolve around just tripping and raving. Pay close attention to yourself and the world around you. Realize that what you see in life really depends on what you are looking for. Without any reason, do something good for yourself, a friend, a stranger and some one you don't like. (try to keep it simple and personal :) )
Smile a lot, laugh out loud.