Wednesday, July 17

Scintillas are not on a Mexican restaurant menu

Since the only straw I've managed to grasp in an attempt to make great bike race this weekend was seeking Selene Yeager's approval of my Chocolate Pop Tart nutrition plan, I decided to look elsewhere.  I mean, now that she's on to my program, it's only a matter of time before the whole world knows and everyone's dosing with the CPT.

I went looking for a new edge.  I remembered something that my old friend (our friendship is old, not her) Lynda Wallenfels had posted on Facebook.

Beetroot juice.  It had been the topic of murmured conversations in dark rooms and alleys at the Trans-Sylvania Epic back in May.  I ignored most of what I heard.  Mumbo jumbo.  Desperate riders looking for yet another simple panacea...

but now that Coach Lynda has dropped the knowledge, I've given the matter some more attention.

Lotsa tecnhobabble, but just look at the results:
"Plasma nitrate (PLA: 39.1 +/- 3.5 [mu]M, BR: 150.5 +/- 9.3 [mu]M) and nitrite (PLA: 289.8 +/- 27.9 nM, BR: 678.1 +/- 103.5 nM) measured immediately prior to exercise, were higher following ingestion of BR compared to PLA (P < 0.001, P = 0.004). VO2 during steady-state exercise was lower in the BR trial (2542 +/- 114 ml[middle dot]min-1) than in the PLA trial (2727 +/- 85 ml[middle dot]min-1, P = 0.049). TT performance was significantly faster following BR (1664 +/- 14 s) than PLA (1702 +/- 15 s, P = 0.021)."

So many numbers and mathematical symbols in there, but I recognize nitrates, nitrites, and the phrase "significantly faster".  Not so sure where to get beetroot juice in the Queen City, I went to the nearest source of nitrites.

Vic the Chili Man, loading up the dogs yesterday all in the name of charity.  Always down with the wiener in the Uptown.

Two chili dogs later, I returned to the office to do some more thorough research.  Come to find out, nitrites and nitrates... yeah, big difference.

"According to Jim White, registered dietician, spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, there is a difference between the nitrates in your beet juice and the nitrates in your hot dog. "Nitrates that are found in leafy greens are not harmful like the ones in processed foods." 

My hot dogs did nothing more than taste good and set me back a few American dollars.

So back to the drawing board. 

Also from the very same article:

"People will try anything to win, even if there is only a scintilla of evidence supporting its use,"

 I believe I am now up to two scintillas of evidence, so I had to keep pursuing this magical elixir.

I remember that my friends at Good Runnings were moving bottles for a local juicery.  I tapped Nick "Dip and Spray" Barlow for the deets, and then headed over to Viva Raw to get my beet down... sorry, Beet Boost.

Six dollars?  I think I paid seven.  Anyways, I met the owner, Scott Harris and followed up our cordial greeting with some questions. 

"Why can't I just buy straight beet juice?"

"Because straight beet juice tastes like shit.  You don't like the taste of shit, do you?"

Sorry, but since I don't recall the entire conversation.  I'm doing what a true industry insider media douchebag would call "paraphrasing."

So I threw good money at the problem and walked away with my vial of Beet Boost, fully aware of the fact that for $7, I coulda went to Walgreen's and walked out with a very large bag of peanut M&M's and some change in my pocket.

I sat down and consumed the entire 12oz serving...

and then I waited.

My next run of any considerable distance was down to the state courthouse for a filing, no more than a twenty block round trip.  I didn't notice getting there or back any quicker than usual, but then again, I've never timed myself before, so I had no solid empirical data on which to base any such study.


The rest of my workday was rather weak sauce, so my next ride of notable mileage was the 5:00PM commute home.  I know how long that normally takes me, and I must say I felt like I got home pretty quick.  The results might have been skewed though, as I was intrinsically motivated to pick up the pace.  There were only two Sneaky Pete's left in the fridge, and The Pie gets off work a half hour before I do.

So, yeah.

Beet juice, beet juice, beet juice.

We all saw that coming, so I just had to get it out of the way.

Am I a believer?  Who knows?  There are far better things I could be doing to improve my performance, and I'm not doing those either.  None of them make my urine red, and since I find that novel and entertaining, maybe I'll just blow some more M&M money on a few more containers of not so shitty tasting beet juice.

As long as there's just a chance that it will improve my performance a couple scintillas, whythefucknot?


rockridr said...

my food of choice is brown sugar cinnamon pop tarts, so I'm mostly with you on cheap fossil fuels.

Eric Gadlage said...

Rockstar is good for that glow in the dark piss

Anonymous said...

I'm glad to be a cyclist this week. You AND Mr Fat Cyclist have spoken about bodily function.

Anonymous said...

It's what powers Chris Froome up mountains at doped lance Armstrong like speeds!