Good Golly it’s Hot

July 31, 2013

I got up early this morning at about 5 am and flipped on the local news. Sitting right there in front of me was the seven day forecast. My only thought was “Well, its about time.” It went something like this.

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When I moved to Austin from New Jersey almost 10 years ago, I made a promise to my self that I would never complain about the heat. As long as I didn’t have to shovel snow I would be fine. So far, I have kept that promise. But the question remains – How do you stay hydrated in this heat? It’s tough. Proper hydration for today starts with proper hydration yesterday. Once you get behind its almost impossible to catch up, especially in the Texas heat.

The first thing to do is to try try to reduce or even eliminate beverages such as soda, energy drinks, coffee, tea or anything else with high levels of sugar, sweetener or caffeine. Second, try to keep a water bottle on your desk, in your car, your workshop or wherever you are. Do your best to sip on it all day long. As for your workout, you will need to supplement with additional electrolytes. There are lots of great choices on the market from Power Bar, Clif, Gu, and Hammer Nutrition, but my favorites are Eload and Skratch. Most good shops such as ours (shameless plug) will stock single serve packs so that you can try different options and find out what works best for you.

As for after the ride my, mantra is drink, eat, drink and eat some more. The body needs to refuel and now is the time to do it. After a long hot ride I’ll try to use a recovery drink such as Emend or Ultragen as soon as I can. I’ll usually try follow this with a healthy meal or, if I’m working at the store, a series of smaller snacks over the immediate few hours.

The key is to get some nutrition as soon as practicable after the ride. Experiment with different foods and products and decide what works best for you.

Thanks for reading.

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Beet Juice – A Natural Performance Enhancer?

July 29, 2013

Earlier this year I was introduced to a new company here in Austin, Texas – Neo Genis Sport

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Last February, Tom G., a long time friend and masters cyclist, excitedly came into the store with a box of product from Neo Genis Sport.  He said that he had been using the Beet Elite Neo Shot for a few weeks and was convinced that his riding and recovery had improved substantially. He didn’t suggest that I try a Beet Elite, but rather insisted.

Now what is Beet Elite Neo Shot you ask? Beet Elite is a natural source of dietary nitrate and nitrite that helps the body increase physical endurance. Yea, yea, yea – but what does that really mean? Here’s the drill. Vegetables such as beets and spinach are naturally high in anti oxidants which are converted to nitrate and nitrite in the body. These are then converted to nitric oxide which increases muscle blood flow and improves glucose uptake by the muscle cell. In a few words, better blood flow and more efficient use of glucose improves performance and recovery.

All this science is well and good, but does it really work?  In a word – Yes.  I set up my own simple test – One week on and one week off with the same workouts.  To allow for built up fatigue, I completed the first weeks’ workouts as a baseline and then tried to repeat the same workouts in the same order and location using Beet Elite.  During the second week I found that I was able to warm up faster, breathe easier and recover better.

Just this last week we asked three of our regular riders to try Beet Elite.  All three reported feeling stronger and two of them were able to stay with the group longer than before.  There are a lot of variables at play here and the real question is will work for you.  I have some samples in the store, let’s find out.

Thanks for reading.  By the way – day 7.