• Bloomer Park, Rochester Hills, MI

  • Racing the Provincial's Crit 2014

  • Forest City Velodrome - London, ON

  • Larkenville Challenge, Buffalo, NY

  • Winning the Sprint at the ForestCity Velodrome

  • Track Nationals 2014: Keirin

  • Track Nationals 2014: Points Race

  • OCUP #1: Feb 2015

Health

Recently, I stumped upon the CBC Marketplace series on Youtube. What has become evident in watching the series is how gullible the average consumer is to marketing tactics of big business.  I recently watched a great piece on sports drinks and energy bars and whether they are required when you ride or train. I think you'd be surprised by the results.

First, a bit of background. I gave up on sports drinks a long time ago. I bought into the marketing hype from Dr. Phil Lim from scratch labs that one should eat our calories rather than drink it. Yea, I bought into the marketing but Lin seemed to make a good case scientifically for his notions. Lastly, I hated attempting clean the mold out of the bottles that eventually builds up when using sugary drinks in the bottles anyways. This last item actually is more why I stopped: just being lazy. So, I don't even bother with Skratch Labs drink mixes anymore. Realistically speaking, a can of coke as less calories than a bottle of sports drink so why not just buy a can a coke on a long ride if you think you need to be consume the candy in drink form anyways?

Years ago, when I moved to drop some 80lbs or more, I ended up doing something mostly by accident: reducing my sugar intake. By swearing off processed foods, eating in instead of out more of the time, and following most if not all of Michael Pollin's Food Rules, I ended up eating less sugar. However, most recently I discovered the ill effects of sugar and I have been more actively trying to cut it out of my diet (save the odd ice cream cone or danish in a bike ride).

Last night, I tried out a new recipe for energy bars from the Global Cycling Network. They used banana's instead of dextrose and other non-sugar type sweeters....and it worked. Check out that recipe on the GCN Youtube Channel.

First, I would like to say the information I am about to present is largely anecdotal. I have no scientific evidence to suggest that the claim I am making is true, but it does explain an issue I have encountered. I postulate that excess coffee consumption negatively affects athletic endurance. 

My Story

Over the last few months, I have been having difficulty finishing bike races I would otherwise do well in. This includes races at the Forest City Velodrome in London, ON, the Midweek Crit in Mississauga, ON, and the Larkenville Challenge in Buffalo, NY. Nevermind, a poor performance down in Georgia at Speedweek. I was getting spit out the back in races I should have finished with the pack. Part of the issue has been mental: I've not really wanted to race this season, so there have been times I just dropped out of a race. However, when I wanted to finish, I found that I could not. Two weeks ago, in Buffalo, I lasted 30 mins in the 65min race because I had nothing left: literally. The following Tuesday at the Midweek Crit, the same thing happened. Around the 30 min mark, I was blasted. Both races averaged 43km/h but I've done Midweek last year when it averaged 45km/h. This should not have been hard, but for some reason it was. With Midweek, I used to be able ride to work, ride to the race, do the A and B races, and ride home without issue. 100km in a day with a race in the middle. For some reason, this year, something changed. It is the "what" that changed I could not figure out. All this sudden inability also played havoc on my will to race. I was losing interest. Then, I a friend ask me: what changed? And, I got to thinking.

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