Forget the pot-bellied portrait on your $100 bills. Young Ben Franklin was quite the looker. At 17 years old he was almost six feet tall and strikingly muscular and barrel chested. Few people in the 18th century knew how to swim, but Franklin taught himself and took frequent dips (he even thought about becoming a full-time swim instructor and is the only Founding Father in the Swimming Hall of Fame). While working in England at a print shop, he made a conscious choice to drink water instead of alcohol to improve his ability to perform in the shop. It worked: Most printers could only carry a single tray of heavy lead type but a muscular Franklin usually carried two and got promoted. Franklin also became a vegetarian, believing that veggies were healthier than meat. This diet was less expensive and left him more money to spend on books—beefing up his brain too.