In addition to core strengthening, Ratliff attributes his recent stretch of perfect attendance to the attention he now pays to vitamins and minerals. He believes his previous vulnerability to injury was due in part to a deficiency in certain minerals that are key to the body's proper functioning, including calcium and magnesium. After Ratliff was traded to the Hawks, Atlanta commentator Mike Glenn put him in touch with Dr. Joe Wallach, who runs a company called American Longevity:
Ratliff relies on daily vitamins and minerals to replenish what he sweats out during the grueling NBA season. Here's a breakdown of what he takes every day:
- 70+ essential minerals
- Vitamin C
- EFA - essential fatty acids ("EFA keeps your ligaments elastic, so they don't tear.")
- Glucogel - gelatin pills for cartilage health, muscular nutrition and flexibility
- Osteocal - calcium for strong bones and joint health
American Longevity also developed a special sports nutrition drink tailored to Ratliff's needs as an NBA player. He explains:
Ratliff is clearly on a path that works for him. His numbers in the 2003-2004 season were outstanding. He posted a career-high nine blocks in a game against the Los Angeles Clippers on February 24. At the end of the year, he ranked number one in blocks per game, total blocks and blocks per 48 minutes. Perhaps most impressive, Ratliff has remained pain-free and injury-free for the longest stretch since his first two seasons in the league. His openness to new ideas and dedication to self-improvement have helped him refine both his game play and his approach to day-to-day fitness.
For more information on Theo Ratliff, nutrition and exercise, check out the links on the next page.