When Russian roulette meets health and performance
Russian roulette, now there’s a bloody dangerous game none of us would choose to play. But we all do, because life is much like Russian roulette and we all begin with exactly the same weapon: a six-shooter that comes with one guaranteed bullet, and one guaranteed empty chamber.
Spooky sh*t, but there's good news: we get to decide whether the other four chambers are loaded or not.
Given you have to play, do you want to play with one round in your gun, or five?
Throwdown. But how many rounds do you want in the chamber?
The guaranteed bullet
This accounts for the random throw of the dice that sees people walking to work being squashed dead under trees that, until that precise second, have stood perfectly still for centuries. Or the cruel twist of fate that sees the healthiest people around taken down with terminal disease in their 30s.
If this one comes up, it’s shocking, unavoidable and a total bummer. Guard against it? You’ve got more chance of unicycling across the Atlantic.
The guaranteed empty chamber
More welcome than the above, but just as random.
This accounts for people falling from planes without parachutes to land without injury, surfers punching their way out of shark attacks, and folks who live to 100 despite smoking like Humphrey Bogart, drinking like Oliver Reed and taking an approach to exercise and nutrition that Homer Simpson would be proud of.
Freak accident or freak survival, freak life or freak death, all are freak occurrences. Statistical outliers. Betting on your guaranteed bullet not taking you out at random is as pointless as betting on your guaranteed empty chamber saving your life.
After all, one person falling from a plane with no parachute and surviving isn't evidence the rest of us should be doing the same, just as one chain-smoking, booze-swilling, salad-dodging centenarian doesn't suggest that's the ideal blueprint for life either.
Logically, this all makes perfect sense. But as humans we rarely work logically.
We’re prone to optimism bias, a basic human inaccuracy that's best summed up as thinking 'it’ll never happen to me'.
This, combined with our messed up media landscape, is where problems kick in. As we approach the remaining four chambers and whether they’re loaded or not, we're left with the potential to hand ourselves an unnecessarily well-loaded weapon in the game of Russian roulette that is our life.
The last four chambers
All of which brings us to those last four chambers which are very easily loaded (or unloaded) with:
- Stress and mental health
- Drugs and alcohol
Loading these (or not) is sooo easy, we’re not going to insult your intelligence by explaining how some exercise trumps none, why working 100-hour weeks on the bounce for a decade isn’t very good for you, or why injecting heroin into your eyeballs is a bad thing while the odd glass of wine really isn’t.
Good friends, good times, good exercise = more empty chambers and a better life
It's only when we come to the last chamber, nutrition, that things get sticky.
What we put on our plates and what we eat has the biggest effect of all on our health, wellbeing and performance. It is literally the stuff we are made of, but it’s such an emotive subject that many people simply shut down when confronted by any suggestion of change here.
Either an outlier will be rolled out as proof that eating like a dunce is fine:
‘My aunt Ethel lived on bacon, gin and cigarettes and was still running marathons at 126’
Or the freak nature of our guaranteed loaded chamber will be used to argue that what we eat doesn’t matter anyway:
‘Might get hit by a bus tomorrow, might as well enjoy today’
Or the abject confusion of today’s media landscape will be cited as why there’s no need to change:
‘One day the news says sugar causes diabetes, a week later it says it doesn’t. All these fad diets are boll*cks. Well, I’m not falling for it’.
It's a 50:50 deal
Fortunately there’s a very easy way to make sense of all this, because for every piece of evidence saying one food or ingredient harms or kills, there’s an equal amount of evidence backing up the other side of the story.
You can either devote your life to unearthing every angle in each case, while accounting for any bias and tracking down funding sources. Or you can accept evidence exists equally on both sides and conclude:
It’s a straight 50:50 deal.
Which means every food or ingredient in this situation has a 50% chance of harming or killing, and an equal 50% chance of being fine.
We don’t know about you, but for us a 10% chance of something we eat causing cancer, diabetes, dementia, arthritis and the rest is, oooh, about 10% too much thanks.
A 50% chance? Yeah, that’s really not debatable.
This is life, and more importantly, quality of life we’re talking about here.
This is sh*t you only get one go at, better make it a good one.
Which is why at 33Shake we’re busting the sports nutrition model wide open and making everything from the ground up with totally natural, totally powerful ingredients that pack the punch you want (massive performance) without the punch you don’t (50% chance of major health problems).
We’ll play our Russian roulette with just one bullet in the chamber, how about you?
No 50:50 here - too much fruit and veg never caused anyone a problem
Do you get a sports nutrition hangover? If you get a pounding head and aching joints the morning after race day chances are it's more than just exhaustion
33Shake, fueling limitless performance since 2012