Bicyling toilet paper ...
Bicycling Australia, bunk ....
Every now and then I buy a copy of Bicycling Australia, generally against my better judgement. It's Ride's poor cousin at best, but like a McPlastics thickshake, every now and then I'm drawn to buy it, knowing I'll feel awful afterwards.
The May-June 2009 edition is no surprise. A few years ago BA published some stupid article glowingly praising a fraudulent snake-oil product called "Oxy Shots" (go ahead, have a look at the website, it's .. breathtaking!) which claimed to improve oxygen saturation in the bloodstream by drinking (yes, drinking!) oxygen. Absolute bull, but there you go, and the muppets at BA endorsed the thing, gave it a whole page and the reviewer had never heard of placebos (despite apparently having a coaching qualification ...).
So what have they done this time? "Lact-Away". Yep, A page's 'review' of a product that claims to buffer the body from something THAT DOESN'T EXIST THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE! Our old friend Lactic Acid! Really! Blood lactate is a fuel and is used in the Cori cycle to produce glucose, it's not a performance inhibitor and LACTIC ACID DOES NOT EXIST IN HUMANS! The reviewer even mentions that she (I assume ... Shannon Johansen sounds female) started feeling like she was lactating more readily than usual. She breastfeeds while riding? Ok .... Strangers in the house and all that? Bizzare ... Anyway .. How would she know her blood lactate levels without a test? You can't feel it. Given that the active ingredient in this stuff is vinegar and salt (if you want to buffer the PH of your blood, sodium carbonate is known to work, and there's protocols for it and it's almost free at the supermarket, not that I recommend it), suggesting that the mugs buy a $125 bottle of this stuff to 'see if you're the one that gets a 20% improvement' is a poor joke at best, and downright irresponsible at worst. Looking for a magic potion to improve performance? BA, EPO works ... maybe you can promote its use?
If you really want to know what causes muscle pain and performance decreases, read this article. It's a little dry .... Here's a relevant quote :
In summary, it appears that the intracellular accumulation of lactate per se is not a major factor in muscle fatigue
And even more interestingly :
Experiments in which lactate was infused into whole animals while the muscles were stimulated to fatigue by nerve or direct muscle stimulation, found that the presence of extracellular lactate, which likely decreased pHi, reduced failure of sarcolemma excitability and restored force production (emphasis mine!)
"Lact-away", no, actually, I'd like MORE blood lactate.
So that's my BA thickshake for this 6 months or so. Fools and their money, and I was the fool again! Hopefully I'll resist the urge next time.