FLORHAM PARK, N.J. -- Trevor Reilly has a secret weapon and it is found inside a baby at birth or in pure snow. Before you go off thinking that it something slightly wackier than deer antler spray think again.
Reilly, entering his second season as a linebacker on the New York Jets, drinks a gallon of hexagonal water each day. His preferred delivery method is in the form of distilled water.
Distillation is essentially the purest water available, having removed the bacteria and heavy metals found in some drinking water. It is a six-sided molecule (most regular drinking water has five-sides) which means that it is more effective in picking up waste in the body when passing through the digestive system.
It is the purest form of water, a six-sided molecule as opposed to water found in springs or in a well. And he fills up his shopping cart with it - "it's just 90 cents a gallon" - when he goes to the food store.
"They say that when babies are born, they are born with six-sided molecules inside of them," Reilly told Metro this week when describing his adherence to drinking distilled water.
"I've been drinking distilled water for six years. I'm not a scientist but I've been using it as a flushing mechanism. I'll drink about a gallon a day and it is great during the offseason."
As a result, he needs to take a daily multi-vitamin because of the loss of nutrients from all the, ahem, trips to the bathroom.
"The biggest thing is that when people talk about these detox diets, it doesn't work. I've talked to doctors and it really doesn't work.," Reilly said. "This flushes your digestive system, flushes your bowels. It doesn't just make you pee more."
He urinates more times a day than Secretariat on Flomax. And the bowel movements, he says, are three-to-four times a day.
It is especially helpful during the offseason when his diet and his calories burned are not as high as during the NFL season. He has to watch what he eats but he also knows that distilled water can help flush out his system.
It may sound like a wonder cure and Reilly promised that drinking it for a week will lead to instant weight loss, but he is also careful with it. Hexagonal water, because of the way it works and the way it can cause frequent bathroom trips. But there is also nutrient loss which means it is not an everyday thing for someone with an NFL schedule.
"There is some care and common sense that has to be done here. Distilled water on the day of a game isn't necessarily the best thing because I want to hold in the salt, hold in the nutrients. But I like it early in the week, it flushes me out," Reilly said.
"It is the cleanest water you can find. That's why they say when you use your iron for clothes or to wash your car battery, there's no iron in it.
"I like the taste of it, I like the way I feel after it. It cleans out all the crap in your system."
When he talks, Reilly goes a mile a minute. The hands start twirling and then he'll stop, to listen. He's talking some politics on Tuesday with teammates, sitting on a stool outside of his locker. He pulls his right knee in towards his chest and leans back. Teammate Jason Babin is part of the discussion. Reilly is quiet now, contemplative.
Then he hears a point he disagrees with and the hands starting going again to make another point, a blur or words and gyrations.
This is Reilly, now in his second-year with the Jets but a bit older than most at that stage in their NFL careers. Last year, he was the 26-year old rookie who was a late round pick because of his age. Now at the ripe age of 27-years old, he should be in the prime of his NFL career.
Instead, he's fighting to make the two-deep and while he has a good shot, he's still learning how to play the game on Sundays after a strong collegiate career at Utah.
In many ways, Reilly is a man without a home in this Jets locker room. He is three or four years older than most rookies and second-year players and yet at 27 years old, he isn't quite experienced enough to be considered a veteran and fit into that clique. But he's easy-going and funny and willing to just enjoy life, even as he listens to a teammate dissecting a hot-button issue of the day.
His two closest friends on the team are veteran linebacker Jason Babin and second-year cornerback Dexter McDougle.
"I like to think of myself who gets along with everybody," Reilly said. "I think get along with most people."
Around the time when offseason workouts first appeared on the NFL calendar, it seemed like Reilly was as good as gone. Most projected him pretty low on the depth chart after a quiet rookie season. It seemed like his time with the Jets was ticking down.
Gone are general manager John Idzik and head coach Rex Ryan, the two men who drafted Reilly last year. In their place are a general manager and a head coach with no ties to the player and that is evidenced by their offseason moves. The Jets brought back veteran outside linebackers Calvin Pace and the aforementioned Babin as well as drafting Lorenzo Mauldin this past spring.
The 27-year old NFL sophomore now faces having to beat out two esteemed veterans and a rising young star in Mauldin.
"It's a business. They bring in Mauldin, Calvin has been here a lot of years, Jason Babin is a Pro Bowler. There's some good guys I'm working with. I think [outside linebacker] coach [Mark] Collins and [defensive coordinator] Kacy Rodgers has helped make me a better player," Reilly said.
Through three preseason games, he has seven tackles and he split a sack with Muhammad Wilkerson in the Saturday win over the New York Giants. Head coach Todd Bowles said of his performance that "I thought he was sound. He did some good things. He did the right things. He was where he was supposed to be, he played with leverage. He was in the backfield some. There’s a couple more things he has to learn footwork wise but I thought he did a decent job."
Reilly feels a great comfort with the playbook, with the team, with himself.
"I think they have confidence in me, you'll need to ask them that, but I feel like I'm growing each day," Reilly said.
But will they drink distilled water?
"They haven't asked," Reilly said. "But they should. They'd feel great. You will too."