After starting with a disclaimer, that he is not a doctor, Colby outlines a few guidelines for supplements.
First, understand the concept of bio-individuality.
Next, know that eating good, healthy food should always the first choice when you want to increase your body’s performance.
Absolutely use discernment when reading labels and marketing materials related to supplements.
Answer a few questions about why you’re taking supplements in the first place.
- Is it to optimize health?
- Or is it to take a shortcut? Maybe to bio-hack?
- Maybe to optimize performance?
There are many variables that affect studies about supplements that can affect their findings.
Colby’s note to coaches: you can make recommendations or suggestions, but the athlete is making the choice and takes responsibility for any supplements they choose to take.
Welcome to the Cycling and Alignment Podcast, an examination of cycling as a practice, and dialogue about the integration of sport, and right relationship to your life.
Colby Pearce 00:25
Greetings and salutations, ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of Cycling and Alignment, I am recording to you, while I’m riding the rollers. Why would I do this? Why would you tolerate this infernal background noise? Well, just a reminder that technique is king, and that we should be able to do things while we ride the rollers, amazing roller tricks. Not necessarily, I’m not actually saying we need amazing roller tricks, but I will say that having proficiency in your sport and having proper technique is king. If you’re never paying attention to technique, or you are never occupying your training activities with technique oriented riding, in my opinion, you’re most likely missing out on something, maybe you have perfect technique, by chance, but probably not. So, I’m not a big indoor guy, you know by now that I’m not a big Zwift person or TrainerRoad person, no offense against anyone who is there a lot of athletes who get really strong and really fast doing that stuff, but it is not my gig, it’s just not where I’m coming from. That said, I do enjoy a bit of rollers now and again. And at the moment, I’m riding the inside ride rollers, which are amazing, if you haven’t tried them out, I highly recommend them. They’re like a little platform, and the rollers move back and forth in that platform. They also have bumper bars on the front and back of the rear wheel, and little rollerblade wheels at the front wheel, so it’s not impossible to fall off of them, but it is much, much more difficult to fall off of them than it is standard rollers. So, if you’re terrified of rollers, or if you’ve never ridden them and you want to learn how the inside rug rollers, excuse me, the inside ride rollers are a great starting point. Anyway, now, we’re going to start today’s episode, which don’t worry, I’m not going to do the whole thing on the rollers, and it’s about supplements.
Colby Pearce 02:42
Supplements is a big topic, and I’ll do my best to give you some actionable advice. So, without any further beating about the bush, prevarication about the bush we’ll say, I’ll begin my solo-sode my interview with myself, me and the six of my Gemini friends. Hope you enjoy. Thanks for listening. I’m very grateful for all my listeners and my audience, I really appreciate your feedback. It’s what drives me to keep this program going, knowing that I’m helping people and providing insight is powerful motivation. When I set the U.S. hour record, people often ask me how I could possibly go that hard for an hour? And the answer is when you know you’re ahead of pace, when you know you’re going to set a world or hour record, U.S. hour record, which i’ve done both of, that’s a very, very large ocean of motivation you can tap into. So, there you go, you guys are my ocean of motivation to tap into when I’m doing my podcasts which tend to be more than an hour long. Thanks for listening.
Colby Pearce 04:02
Hello there young Padawan, Padawan of all ages, young, old, in between. Welcome to my discussion today about supplements. The first thing I’ve got to get out of the way is for you to know that I’m not a doctor, I’m pretty sure you knew that already, otherwise, my podcast will be called, “Doctor Cycling and Alignment”, but it’s not. So that means I can’t diagnose or prescribe anything, so let’s just be clear on that. You’ll get the idea that if you’re on some medication and you listen to my podcast that you should cease taking it that’s not the goal. And on that point, I’ll further elaborate and say that in case you didn’t know, doctors do not have a lot of nutritional training. In fact, a 2017 article on nutritionfacts.org states medical students are still getting less than 20 hours of new nutrition education over their four years, and even most of that has limited clinical relevance. Thirty years ago, only 37% of medical schools had a single course in nutrition. According to the most recent national survey, that number has since dropped to 27%, and it gets even worse after students graduate. So the point I’m making here is, if you’re wondering what supplements to take, or what to do to improve your diet, don’t ask your doctor. Doctors are good for things like broken arms. Acute medical crises is something the Western medical system is good at solving, but long-term disease? Arguably not as much. So, now that we’ve cleared the air on that little topic, I want to hopefully give you some ideas some direction, some path of action on how to handle the somewhat cloudy and confusing world of supplements, dietary supplements. Let’s define a supplement.
Defining a Dietary Supplement
Colby Pearce 06:10
First of all, so we know what we’re talking about, it can get a little confusing. The dietary supplement, according to a definition I found on the USADA website, that’s the U.S. Anti-Doping Association, in case you were wondering USADA. According to the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act, or DSHEA, of 1994, a dietary supplement is defined by law as a product taken by mouth, a patch, or a cream is not legally considered a supplement, that contains a dietary ingredient, and is intended to supplement the diet, the intended use can only be to supplement the diet, a supplement cannot advertise or treat to treat or cure a disease or ailment of any type. That was a rather unsatisfactory definition for me, I mean, give us some parameters, but it also used the same words to define dietary supplement over and over again. What I think they’re trying to say is, it must contain a dietary ingredient meaning it must contain something that is contained in food, meaning, then we have our definition of a dietary ingredient. The dietary ingredients contained in supplements may include; vitamins, minerals, herbs or other botanicals, amino acids, substances, such as enzymes, organ tissues, glands, and metabolites. Dietary Supplements may also contain extracts or concentrates of dietary ingredients, and may be found in many forms including; tablets, capsules, soft gels, gel caps, liquids or powders. They can also be found in other forms, such as a bar. If the label does not represent the product as a conventional food or as a replacement for a full meal or a diet. A dietary supplement can also be a liquid if the information on the label makes it clear that it is not a standard beverage or drink for the sole purpose of rehydration, as though Coca Cola was there for rehydration. Regardless of the form the DSHEA places dietary supplements in a special category under the general umbrella of foods, not drugs, and requires that every supplement be labeled a dietary supplement. So that’s the the distinction, in theory, a dietary supplement is not a drug, although drugs can have biochemical impacts in the body, and of course, dietary supplements and foods can as well. So, when you consider things from that perspective, it gets a little cloudy, perhaps.
Colby Pearce 08:42
But that said, what we’re saying is that when you consider a supplement, there are lots of possible outcomes or lots of possible forms that we can take a supplement in, for some reason they draw a line in creams, I’m not sure why that is, I find that quite curious. Because you can have different mechanisms of delivery to get the same substance in your body it can be oral, or can be topical, and when something becomes topical, it’s no longer a cream, or excuse me, it’s no longer a supplement. I don’t know if that makes it a drug, even though you had the same substance in it. That doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense to me, but not a lawyer, not a doctor, I don’t really understand how these classifications work, and there’s a really good chance that a lot of it, practically speaking doesn’t have any impact on you, but there’s some sort of legal red tape that we don’t care about, and yet has a powerful impact on our lives. Kind of like the 21 pages of small print that you get when you sign a credit card agreement but no one ever reads, at least I don’t.
Principles of Supplements
Colby Pearce 09:46
Some guidelines on supplements and how to navigate these stormy waters. First of all, some principles. We have to understand the concept of bio-individuality. This means, in the infamous words of Paul Chek, “God is a novelty generator, and everyone is an individual.” This is a different form of the same role that Steve Hogg taught me when I learned bike fitting from him, and the only rule he taught me is there’s no rule on bike fitting because everyone is unique. So what that means is, to one person, an SMP saddle might be a La-Z-Boy and to another person who might be sitting on a screwdriver. In my experience, more of them are on the La-Z-Boy end of the spectrum, but the point is, we don’t know until we try and everyone is different.
Everyone is Different
Colby Pearce 10:38
The same is true with supplements, your body, your chemical makeup, your biochemical makeup is completely unique. And thus, we really don’t know how you will respond to anything, so we have to figure that out. Unfortunately, some of that comes down to trial and error.
Food is Always the First Choice
Colby Pearce 11:00
The next principle to keep in mind is that food is always the first choice, that means that rather than getting our Vitamin C from a powder made synthetically in a factory, probably in some other Country and encapsulated and bottled and shipped to us over a boat and an airplane or combination thereof, and a truck to our local grocery store where we purchase it and consume it in capsule form, it is always the first choice to instead get some Vitamin C found in nature’s little Vitamin C bonds, otherwise known as oranges, as one example, or acerola cherries, because we find those in the forest all the time. What I’m saying is, food is always our first choice, and so we protect our, we offset our need to consume supplements i’ll say, by consuming the best diet possible by making optimal choices in our diet. For further notes on how to eat food, please see some of my other podcasts.
Principle of Discernment
Colby Pearce 12:10
We also must use the principle of discernment. Discernment is how we solve the 2021 problem of the internet and being bombarded, lambasted, completely annihilated and carpet bombed with information from all sides at all times. Being in touch means that we get to talk to grandma over text, but it also means that we get updates from our social medias and our email lists, and our websites all the time, and we are assaulted out with new information, and this information is seeking to grab our attention, because this is how people make a living by capitalizing off of our clicks. We are no longer consumers, we are now products and we are products of people who want to make money off of our attention span. So, instead of plugging into the matrix, and chugging away at the internet and making other people their thousands of a penny, I propose that when you consult an expert, the first expert you should consult is yourself. Now, there’s a paradox here, the paradox is in order to truly have discernment, you have to have some level of knowledge and understanding about the topic. But that doesn’t mean you have to know everything. You have to know the basics. What do I mean? Well, as convenient as many modern cars are, you still have to have a basic knowledge of understanding about automobiles in order to operate one, you have to know for example that the car has to be on before you press on the accelerator and expect it to go anywhere. You have to know that you have to open the gas hatch, before you fuel put fuel in the tank. This really seems pretty elementary, and it is, but my point is you have to know something about the car, you have to know whether the car takes diesel, or regular fuel, and if you put the wrong kind and you’re gonna have big problems. So there’s basic operating skills that someone must have in order to drive a car. And this can be said about almost anything. It doesn’t mean you have to know every detail about how spark plugs work or turbos work or fuel injection works. So, when you have that basic level of understanding, you can apply a principle of discernment and that discernment is your own experience to interpret what different experts say. Read their arguments, and then use your intuition to figure out which one suits you, which path will work for you. We have to use discernment in this age because the problem is we can find conflicting experts on all sides of nearly every opinion, and we can easily access their arguments and their discussions. So if you want to do a deep dive on a topic like whether or not Vitamin C is going to help you recover faster from workouts, if you take it after your weight training, or whether or not Nitric oxide is going to help you perform better when you go to do your five minute intervals, you can find evidence on all sides. This is where the principle of discernment comes in, read the arguments, understand how to operate your car, understand the basics, but also accept that you could spend a lifetime studying a few select topics and never find the bottom, because science is by definition, a growing sphere of knowledge, and the bigger the sphere grows, the larger the surface area of the sphere is and on what’s on the other side of that sphere, that which we do not know. I will also point out that there are many basic principles in science that have been disproven, years and years later. So even the stuff inside the sphere isn’t always something we can take for granted. So that was a bit of a roundabout way of saying you got to look critically at stuff and think about it carefully and decide for yourself, weigh the the evidence you have, educate yourself about the basic principles, and then apply logic. And I’ll explain a little bit more about that method in a moment.
The Intent of Taking Supplements
Colby Pearce 16:35
But before I get there, I want to outline one more principle of supplements, and that is the intent. Why would you take a supplement? Why do you take the things you take? Do you take creatine? Do you take nitric oxide? Do you use a topical gel that is supposed to blunt the burn of lactic acid in your legs? These are some of the common supplements I think that people are playing with right now, and seem to think make a difference, and maybe they’ve gotten wind of these things, from articles or blog posts or their favorite sports scientist. I’m not bashing any of these people are here to tell you these types of people, articles or blogs are wrong or right. What I’m here to do is give you some lines of critical thought to help make your own decision. I think it’s all too common for athletes to sign up hook, line and sinker for a new supplement because it seems like the latest greatest thing, and I’ll tell you I’ve done this a few times myself. Sometimes these supplements have actually made a difference, and many times to my understanding they have not, or they’ve had the opposite effect. So what is your intent in taking a supplement? From what I can figure there are four basic pathways, we can choose the four options in this question. One would be to optimize health. Option two would be to take a shortcut or to biohack something. The third reason for taking a supplement intent of taking a supplement might be to optimize performance, optimizing health and optimizing performance are, I’ll point out not necessarily the same thing. The fourth would be to complement or offset the activity of elite sport.
Optimization of Health
Colby Pearce 16:35
So looking at number one, what would be the intent of our supplement if we were trying to optimize health? Well, I’ll give you an example. For each of these, an example of taking a supplement to optimize health might be I haven’t been sleeping very well for the past three weeks, and I’m really starting to feel ragged, and I’ve made efforts to try to sleep better, I’m going to bed on time, I’m minimizing screen time at night, I’m respecting my sleep hygiene, I’m respecting my room temperature, I’m making sure that there’s no light in the room, no LEDs, I’m turning off all my electronic devices. If you’re lost on all those points that I made about sleep hygiene, go check out, Ben Greenfield Podcast on Sleep Hygiene. We’ll put a link to that in the show notes. I think most of you are probably plugged into that. So, let’s pretend that you have done all these things for a week or two, maybe three and you’re still running ragged, you’ve got big black circles under your eyes. So you decide to take some melatonin, “Okay, not the worst idea in the world.” This would be an argument that you are taking a supplement to optimize your health. Fair enough, we’re going to examine each of these intensive supplements and look at their potential pros and cons. If you take the supplement and your intent is to optimize health, assuming that you made the right choice and that it actually will optimize your health, then I’d say that’s a valid argument. For taking a supplement, however, I would still remind you to go back and look at the principles or the guidelines I gave you first, and the most appropriate one in this case is, food is always the first choice. You can take some melatonin, but there are also many herbal teas, for example, that can really help bring about a peaceful night of sleep. There also might be some breath work options that you can choose, that would help you achieve a better night of sleep. These are just two examples. But my point being, is before reaching for something in a bottle, consider alternate methods to solve the problem, and I think the reaching for a bottle to solve our problems is part of the challenge in this entire discussion. For some reason, in our culture in 2021, we look for simple solutions. The solutions, the easy path, is to when I have a problem is to pick a bottle off the shelf and take a pill, and we imagine that when we take a pill that’s going to make our problem evaporate. There’s an entire industry of drugs based on this model, and I’m here to tell you, conclusively, exhaustively, that when you take a pill to solve a major life problem, you never solve the problem. Of course you don’t, think about it logically, I know you agree with me on this, you might be fighting me if you’ve taken a pill and it’s really helped you feel better, but think about it in your soul, and you know it’s true, there’s just no way, like it doesn’t even add up logically. So even if you had some horrendous problem that you seemingly solved with that pill, you did it at a price, I guarantee you there was a price, maybe that price is not evident in the short-term, maybe it’s a long-term price, maybe to you that trade off is worth it, but this is what being old and becoming an adult is about. It’s about make It’s about taking complete responsibility, total responsibility for all the choices you make, and this is one of the principal differences in someone who walks on the earth for five or six or seven decades, versus one who’s walked the earth for, I just said six decades, yeah, six decades, one decade or two, or perhaps three, hammer math wrong there for a minute, is anyone who’s on the north side of 50 tends to all say understand more about long-term consequences of choices. This is when that aspect of your life starts to illuminate how these choices have played out how they’ve multiplied like compound interest. Eating an Eclair everyday when you’re 21 doesn’t really seem to have any downside, but when you’re 48, you see the downside of those choices. And it’s not only eating an Eclair everyday at the age of 48 where you see it, it’s the previous 22 years of eating that Eclair. Hopefully no one who’s actually listened to this podcast ate an Eclair everyday for 22 years, I think that would might not be good.
To Shortcut or Biohack
Colby Pearce 23:27
What if your choice is to in your intent is to take a shortcut or biohack something? What if you think that by taking a supplement, you’re gonna short circuit the system, or well, it’s not really the right term, we’ll say, outsmart the system, you’re going to Tim Ferriss 4-Hour Workweek this, this thing, you’re gonna be smarter than everyone else. I’ll take it for a moment that philosophically that might be possible, but let’s look at a good example of that, let’s even though this isn’t considered a supplement, based on the definition I read earlier, I’ve got to use this as my example, Sodium bicarb gel. This is a new thing, relatively new in the sport of cycling anyway, there these gels that are out there, there’s a couple different brands, I don’t need to name them, you can go figure out who they are if you want to, and you take this gel and you rub it on your legs and it delivers sodium bicarbonate into your muscles. There’s a pretty solid pile of evidence in the science, I love to say that, in the science, that shows us that when you have sodium bicarbonate ingested into your, into your body, if it makes it through your digestive tract without massive consequences and into your bloodstream, It buffers lactic acid and this improves performance. Okay, let’s break this down for a minute. This seems like such an easy carrot, of course i’m going to do this, why wouldn’t I do that? Now I’ve got a gel and it’s a transdermal gel, which means of course it goes through the skin, so then I sidestep all the problems with ingesting sodium bicarb. This is a really old one, when I was a Junior, I read books that talked about this, you can adjust sodium bicarbonate, you can just swallow it in a big glass of water before a time trial, and you’ll go really fast in the time trial, but you will also have one serious problem, when you do that. If you adjust enough sodium bicarb, to actually influence your performance positively, you are almost guaranteed to have with it, explosive diarrhea, which, unless you’re really good at putting distractions out of your mind during time trials, can be quite problematic. So how do we solve this problem? Tada! It’s 2021, we turn it into a gel. This is amazing, this is going to solve everybody’s issue. Well, okay, let’s take a step back for a second. What is it about this gel, what is it about putting sodium bicarbonate into your body that buffers lactate? and causes you to go faster? Let’s consider that most scientific studies that look at this kind of stuff are not using elite athletes, they’re not using really well trained subjects. Why? Because really, really well trained subjects, especially pros don’t have time to sit around and do sodium bicarb studies, they’re too busy racing their bikes and making paychecks. They don’t want to deal with protocols in lab studies, because that’ll interrupt their training schedule. But let’s assume that some of these studies used relatively well trained athletes, and they found a benefit, okay?
Colby Pearce 26:39
Well, if we’re applying a training stimulus to your body, and the idea is that your body adapts to that stimulus, and then it’s robust for competition, and then you train hard enough in training over the months that your race day is no harder than your harder training days. So the were adequately, adequately adapted to and prepared for competition, and you give your body proper rest and recovery and fuel and hydration for to handle the demands of your training, and you rest and you taper and then you show up to your race and then you smash records and do your best thing. That’s how training works normally, but we’re going to shortcut that process, eight weeks out from our event, we’re going to start taking this sodium bicarb gel and putting it on her leg muscles to help buffer lactate, and now we have shortcut to the system and outsmarted nature. And therein lies the problem, the hubris to think that you can outsmart nature without a long-term side effect, without a consequence. I mean, be real people like, this is not going to work, I can just tell you. Okay, it’s one thing to optimize performance, it’s another to take a giant shortcut.
Colby Pearce 27:54
There is a reason why cycling has certain laws that it follows because they follow the laws and the rhythms of human biology, and the laws of how athletic stress takes time and work and rest and fuel and hydration to develop an outcome in an athlete. When we apply stress, and we do efforts that build up a lot of lactate in our muscles, because we use a lot of glycolytic energy, then we are training our body both our glycolytic system to produce the lactate, and then our aerobic system to consume that lactate, and we also have enzymes that work to buffer that lactate that are naturally generated in our own system. This is called form when you have this, so it follows then, without even digging deep into physiology, that if you go out and do a whole bunch of really glycolytic activity and generate a crap ton of lactate before your system is really primed, or adapted to handle that lactate that you were going to injure your system. That’s also the stimulus that is needed to have your body adapt, your body has signals, molecules, enzymes in the muscles, that respond to this type of workload and adapt. So when you take away that signal or that stimulus with sodium bicarb cream, you are in fact shortcutting that system and you are enabling your body to do more damage in the short term than it is prepared to handle or repair. Because simultaneously while you do this damage this these interval work this interval work or these group rides or these hill climbs or whatever you’re doing to generate all this lactate and glycolytic work. Your body is not only learning to handle the load of that glycolysis the outcome of that, that lactate in your system and deal with the muscle damage and flush the waste products from your muscles and post exercise, but it is also generating the response needed to become stronger and handle that over time. So when you use an artificial and exogenous substance, meaning something from out of the body to disrupt that balance, you are putting the body further out of balance. You’re already in balancing the body and stressing it by training hard. I mean, understand, what we’re doing when we go out and do months and months of intervals is not a thing that humans were really evolved to do. This isn’t something that would be necessary in a survivalist world. A survivalist sense of the of the word in some sort of historic time where we were quite cave dwelling hunting humanoids. So we’ve already adopted a very special stress, and now we’re going to disrupt that cycle farther. So it’s a disambiguation of the entire process. I mean, cycling is an artificial sport, of course, you realize that, like, riding a bike is not necessary for a survival standpoint, unless you happen to have your bike under your legs and you’re chased by cheetah, there’s a good chance that you there’s a better chance to survive, but you’re probably still gonna eaten and if he decides to chase you down. Hopefully I made that point, clearly. What I’m saying is, when you take a shortcut, or attempt to biohack something, it depends a little bit in the intent of the hack. And I think there are hacks will say that can work I think biohacks a pretty brutal word, and Paul Chek has talked extensively about how he dislikes that term. He prefers the term bio harmonizing, which kind of a little bit of a different meaning, but before I go into that rabbit hole, or without going into it, I’ll say that I don’t necessarily find myself philosophically opposed to the concept of hacking something. I think there are moments in life when you can do things a little smarter, and I also like the idea of working smarter rather than harder. I don’t actually value hard work in and of itself, not afraid of it, I don’t think that people well, I’ll say, I don’t think hard work is good or bad in of itself. But I don’t think hard work for the sake of hard work has value, and I am sure there are a lot of people who disagree with that statement. There’s some sort of American Ford commercial glorification of Bruce Springsteen, how can hay bales onto a truck kind of hard work that is supposed to make you a badass somehow, and I don’t really follow that line of thought at all. Sorry, call me an American, I also use millimeters. Tea.
Optimization of Performance
Colby Pearce 33:05
So the fourth, sorry, third way that we can think about the intent of our supplement taking is to optimize performance. The example I have for that is nitric oxide. Let’s assume that you read some science, and you think that taking nitric oxide, or we might use beet powder, as our common food supplement will help you become a better athlete, and how does it do that? Well, it’s a vasodilator, so it’s going to help blood flow. If we increase blood flow in the capillaries, then ostensibly we’re going to increase our ability to move O2 to the muscles and also remove CO2 or whatever else we want to remove from the muscles during metabolism, deliver glucose to the muscles, perhaps, perhaps that’s our logic. That’s not a bad line of thought, but I’ll say that, again, our problem here is that science frequently studies subjects that are not really super adapted to exercise. So that’s one challenge, and sorting that out can be a little a little bit difficult, a lot of times you’ll be able to read that in the design of the study and the subjects that they were that they were to use, that were used in the study. But frequently, when someone’s not that adapted to exercise, they don’t have this response when we are exercising regularly. We’re talking pretty solid intensity, I’d say they’re probably some sort of line and this is just me guessing, from my own knowledge, this is not based on any science, but I’d say around 12 hours a week is probably some sort of threshold of considered where we could consider an athlete to be somewhat well trained, and that’s very broad statement, a big brush. Volume alone isn’t really that descriptive, we’d have to put some sort of intervals in there in some sort of quantification of strength or maximal force. So we’d have a variety of exercise intensities, and then we might be able to consider someone reasonably well trained. When someone is at that level or above consistently for quite a while they’ve got a solid acute training load, I would be pretty impressed if we saw any real difference in supplementation with nitric oxide in their performance. I said that sounds backwards, it was constructed poorly in order it was, but you got the point. Something I’m working on, constructing sentences in the proper order to get us to do with subjects and objects and verbs and whatnot. Funny thing how you grew up speaking English, and you don’t necessarily know how sentences should be constructed unless you study grammar, specifically, but if you study a foreign language, you study grammar. And therefore, theoretically, sometimes speak that language with better grammar than you do your own language once you reach a certain level of mastery that is.
Colby Pearce 36:17
So when we look at a study, some science on something like nitric oxide, we have to be quite discerning and understand a little bit about how the study was constructed, and what the subjects how well trained the subjects were, because what I’m getting at is when someone’s pretty well trained, their body has these adaptations built in most of the time. So they’re going to get no benefit or a very small benefit from nitric oxide. What am I saying in the big picture? I think it’s quite common for us to see a scientific article that comes out and shows benefit from a given supplement, but what we’re not seeing is that these subjects are relatively untrained, and you can give an engine that’s running at 60% of its capacity, a lot of different things and see a bump in performance, because we haven’t trained that system sufficiently to let it have its own adaptations. Nature should always be the default, meaning, we should always prefer that we allow the body to work out on its own solution to the stress we give it, and let its own little biochemical reactions happen. How do we do that? Just as Allen Lim said, “the best way to coach an athlete was to create the proper environment”, we’re doing the same thing for the body, we are creating the environment for the body to express its highest potential in sport. That means following Paul’s six foundational principles, which in case you forgot are; hydration, eating, breathing, thinking, movement, and sleep. Drinking, I guess would be the way to say hydration.
To Compliment or Offset the Activity of Elite Sport
Colby Pearce 38:07
The fourth pathway for the guidelines of supplements, excuse me for the intent of supplements might be to complement or offset the activity of our choice in elite sport. By elite what I mean simply is that we are choosing to pursue competitive sport, not everyone who listens to this podcast, necessarily does compete in competitive sport, that’s not a prerequisite for you to listen to the pod, but I’m assuming that most of my audience does. An example of this would be, let’s pretend that you are training more than 12 hours a week, perhaps 16 or 18, and you traveled to altitude for a high altitude camp in an attempt to put some additional stress on your aerobic load and you smash yourself for 10 days or three weeks, and then you come down to sea level and you get a blood test, and lo and behold, your hematocrit has actually gone down, and that was the opposite effect of what you hoped. I’ve seen this happen, especially when athletes spend a long time at altitude actually like a summer, this can be an outcome. So what is our path of action the next time you’re going to go to altitude and spend two months there? Maybe we recommend that you take some desiccated liver, liver is and interesting food, It’s one of the most if not the most nutritionally dense food we have, and it’s also extremely polarizing. I have found 100% of humans fit into one of two categories when it comes to liver, they are in either Category A which is their mother, grandmother or some other relative cooked liver and onions for them relentlessly when they were young children and made them eat it, and unanimously every single person in Category A hates liver as an adult. If this is you and you can’t stomach eating it, but you think that you might benefit from the nutrition of liver, I recommend you examine a high quality, desiccated liver supplement because as I mentioned, see my first point livers one of the most nutritionally dense foods on the planet and our goal should be to find extremely nutrient dense foods in our diet, and this replaces the need to supplement. Now in the case this is a perfect example, If we want to supplement health and build strong blood and get in good protein and get liver dense food, a great way to do that is to eat liver but if we hate liver and can’t deal with the taste, even in liver pate, or liver and onions or however you want to serve it, liver sausage, liverwurst, blah, blah, blah, then desiccated liver might be a good choice for you.
Colby Pearce 40:58
One of the sources for that, that I would recommend, although I haven’t tried it myself yet, because I actually eat liver would be Paul Saladino’s site, he’s got a sub site called “heart and soil,” and he sources very high quality organ meats. He’s really passionate about this topic, so he’d be a guy I would trust on this, he also knows a science quite well. So if you’re going to check out some organ supplements, that’d be my place to go. We will put a link to that in the old show notes, they’ll be a lot of links in this episode, so if you want to cruise over there and check them out, be my guest. If you’re a coach, and you are listening to this podcast, your goal your to do list is to make recommendations, perhaps or suggestions. But ultimately understand the client is the one who makes the choice and takes responsibility, and your job is to disclaim repeatedly that ultimately the client is responsible for every supplement that goes in their mouth, no matter what listed appears on or does not, no matter how much it’s been batched tested, no matter how many times you tell them that it’s their responsibility, they’ve got to understand and take full ownership of that action. If you’re a client, if you’re being coached, this falls on you to, stop pointing the finger at other people for choices you make, this is a major problem in the world in 2021, and yes, America you’re we’re the ones who started it, so good job. Stop suing people for spilling hot coffee on your lap, that is not a thing that should be happening. Have some balls, grab your ovaries. If you screw up own it stops suing other people for your stupid mistakes. You’re welcome.
How to Figure out if the Supplement is Legal?
Colby Pearce 42:47
With that part, out of the way now it’s time to move on to our discussion of the USADA list. How do you figure out in the case that you do want to take a supplement, if the thing is legal or not? Are you subject to UCI or USADA rules. If you are an athlete who’s competing at a national championship level, you could get drug tested, there’s even occasional testing that happens at local races, and if you’re doing something like Masters Worlds, you definitely are subject to testing. If you’re going for a Masters or National Record, you definitely could be drug tested. So, aside from the spirit of the sport, and intending not to cheat, which of course all of you are on board with, we also want to consider that tainted supplements do happen, and accidental positives or unintended positives, can be a consequence of supplement contamination. This is just a sucky fact of life, but we do have some tools to help us navigate these waters. First of all, I’ll just say that almost anything with the name “Andro” in it is probably a no go. If you want a little taste of what I’m talking about, we will definitely put a link to this in the show notes, but there is a document on the USADA site called the athlete’s substances or supplement 411, and this is a pretty cool document, actually, it is an extensive list of supplements by name that are considered no go or dangerous or bad choices. When you sign up for this list, you have to actually enter an email and do a login then you get a complete list of these different substances by meaning by brand name, they’ve got the company, they’ve got the stimulants or the substance that could contain and then they have notes and comments, and the list is pretty exhaustive. If you’re taking something and you would like to know if it’s on this list, I recommend looking it up. I will also mention that the USADA site has some other good resources, including, as I mentioned, the definition of supplements and how to reduce risk from supplements. There are also a few websites that are dedicated resources to helping athletes figure out whether their substances are clean or not. One of these websites is called Globaldro.com or global drug reference online, which is interesting, because here they’re calling it a drug, and a supplement doesn’t necessarily call itself a drug. Supplements don’t call themselves anything. So you go on to the site, and you’ll see the main page, but you’ll sort by user type, which includes coach, athlete, pharmacist, medical, professional, etc, then you’ll pick athlete and you’ll go to cycling, you’ll do the nation of purchase, and then you will search for, and when you search for your supplements, this will give you drugs by the drug name that are actually on or restricted by the USADA or WADA list, and this can be a powerful way for you to figure out what’s going on with your current supplements or even your prescription drugs, which yes, some of those can have elements that are contained on the WADA list prohibited list or the USADA privated list. So this is something to be aware of, basically, anytime you take anything, and put it in your mouth, and it’s not a piece of broccoli, it’s in a capsule or, or a powder or etc, etc., you really want to look exhaustively through the ingredients list and check it out. Then you also want to check the other web website resources we’ve listed to see if it’s on the no go list. USADA also has a page called the supplement guide, this is about reducing supplement risk. It’s got a lot of good Q and A’s, if you want to kind of understand more about how this whole process works, It’s a great place to start and educate yourself about the nuance of supplements from the perspective of USADA.
Colby Pearce 47:20
One additional website I’ll recommend, or I’ll mention is called Clean Sport. Clean Sport is an organization that sort of attempts to call everyone out on what’s happening in sports across all disciplines, the concept is that when you join the Clean Sport Collective, which really doesn’t cost anything, it’s a pledge. It’s a charter page, you go to your charter page, and you become a member, and you pledge to become a member, and you can do this as a professional athlete, an amateur athlete, student, a coach, a fan, or a brand, or an event or a manufacturer. The brands include apparel manufacturers, different supplement manufacturers, and the idea is that you pledged to this and you sign your name in a public forum. If you test positive, for example, as a professional athlete, you are pledging publicly that you will pay $25,000 to a charity, CSE charity partner if I ever test positive, so that’s part of the agreement for the professional athlete, you sign this publicly. So the concept is it holds people a little bit accountable for their choices in sport. And not only the people but the brands, the coaches, so it’s really a thoughtful way to think about how we approach clean sport from a collective perspective and give people some eyes on each other. I think it’s kind of a cool concept.
Colby Pearce 49:05
Colby Pearce 49:07
Another excellent resource for you to figure out what’s going on with supplements, and this one has nothing to do with USADA, this is a website called examine.com. It’s just like it sounds we’ll put a link to this in the show notes as well. You can become a member for I think the basic membership is free, if I remember correctly, but you have to go check it out, and they’ve got various different guides you can purchase. You can search on their website using their little engine and find almost any substance that you want to find. For example, you can sort by category or by supplements. You can look at for example, supplements related to fat loss, and they have limonene, coffee, whey protein, nicotine, alpha lipoic acid, berberine, caffeine, casein, coconut oil, l-carnitine. When you click on each of the supplements in this category of fat loss, it does an exhaustive breakdown of the science for you, so this is a really powerful resource. You can look, for example, at alpha lipoic acid, and I’ll just pull this up, so I can give you the quick cliff notes on how this works. It’s got a human effect matrix. So it gives each um, it gives each scientific study, a level of evidence, an outcome, a magnitude of effect, consistency of research results, and notes. So really, what we’ve got is a big chart of information that you can very quickly look at and see how does alpha lipoic acid impact symptoms of diabetic neuropathy, the magnitude of effect, it has two out of three arrows down. It’s got two studies, and you can you’ve got a direct link to both studies, and then it has notes, and it shows you a little bar graph, that gives you an idea of the level of evidence. So this is a really powerful resource, If you want to research a specific supplement. Let’s say you’re on a ride, and someone tells you, man, I’ve been taking alpha lipoic acid, and it gave me the most amazing legs, I went and smashed all my Strava PRs and you’ve got to try it, like what the heck is alpha lipoic acid, you can go to examine.com, enter it in and look on your human effect matrix and understand what alpha lipoic acid has been studied in, and in this case, I’m just gonna read off this list because it’s impressive. You can see how quickly you can learn about this supplement. For alpha lipoic acid, we have studies on the symptoms of diabetic and diabetic neuropathy, General oxidation, which is definitely of interest to athletes, the effect was minor, and there were six studies, and the end result was it appears to reduce biomarkers of oxidation, whether that’s good or not, you have to decide, blood pressure, symptoms of intermittent claudication, blood flow, HbA1c, inflammation, lipid peroxidation, nerve repair, protein carbonyl content, weight, antioxidant enzyme profile, blood glucose, C reactive protein, heart rate, insulin sensitivity, motion sickness, symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, symptoms of dementia, muscle creatine content, oxidation of LDL, skin quality, and glycemic control. So, okay, we’ve got a pretty big pile of studies that have been done on alpha lipoic acid, and you can quickly synopsize whether all of these tell you anything useful or not. And you can also see that most of them show very minor effects. In fact, they’re ranked by their level of evidence, so when you get about halfway down this list, you can go I don’t really care, I’m just going to look at the list and see, “Oh, I’m still interested in glycemic control, I’m going to go read that study.” Or maybe I’m just going to read the synopsis of that study, Cool. So examine.com is a powerful little resource in our universe of navigating the chumby waters of supplements. The last website I’ll recommend is NSF international or nsfsport.com, and that is certified for sport. What this is, is a website that does batch testing and independent testing of various supplements, and I believe how it works is the supplements pay for the testing, but they’re tested independently. So you can look up a lot of these supplements or specific products on their website and have a good idea of whether or not they passed. First, the manufacturers reach out to NSF and they honor they have to comply with GMP registration or good manufacturing practice. Then they have to the NSF experts evaluate the product contents, and they look for contaminants and the verify that what’s on the label is actually in the product, and then they finally are once steps one and two are passed then they are certified for sport, they earn that certification. Then those products end up being put on the website, so that’s a level of safety that you can rely on when you’re trying to figure out which supplements work for you or whether you want to take a supplement and try to have as close to a guarantee that you won’t test positive from contamination as possible. Of course, there going to be disclaimers all over the place that anything is possible. But understand for a moment that many supplements are made in really large factories and the factories make supplements for many different companies.
Colby Pearce 55:02
And it can be as simple cross-contamination can be as simple as the manufacturer not adequately cleaning the machines between batches, if they run a batch of Seven Keto DHEA, and they make 70 million tablets of it, and then the machines aren’t cleaned off completely, before they run their batch of Vitamin C, and you buy the Vitamin C, and you get the first batch from the first lot, it’s possible you might have Seven Keto DHEA in your Vitamin C. That’s one very simple and practical application of how cross-contamination is possible. It’s not even necessarily intended, it’s just a fact of sloppy manufacturing, or maybe wasn’t even sloppy, maybe it just happened anyway. This is not me knowing a lot about supplement manufacturing, this is me just understanding little bits of it from what I’ve learned and gathered from people like Ben Greenfield, who has had and still does manufacture a lot of supplements, He’s talked a lot about this in his podcasts. I don’t go around visiting supplement manufacturers that regularly.
Why take Supplements?
Colby Pearce 56:10
So let’s talk about why you would supplement, what I’m trying to do here is lay a foundation for discussion to allow you as athletes or you as people to make smart choices about whether or not you want to take a supplement. Let’s examine why for a moment, I mean, some people ask is supplementation necessary at all? And others would argue that supplementation is the way of the future, and that we’ve got to outsmart nature or we’ll say optimize things by taking pills. Those are kind of our two ends of the spectrum, right? Well, on the why supplement at all argument, we have people who eat very healthy diets, it let’s say you’ve got someone who eats 100% organic, or biodynamic or Demeter farm food only, which is really hard to find the U.S.. Demeter is a standard that’s even higher than organic and biodynamic, in case you are wondering. So let’s say we have this person, well, why would this person need to supplement at all? Well, I would pause it or hypothesize that today’s organic food in 2021, even the cleanest food you can get, is less nutritionally dense than it was a few 100 years ago, and this is simply a function of over farmed lands, industrially farmed lands, that are impacting topsoil, even on organic farms. You know, we’re at the point where there’s no such thing as a citizen of one nation anymore, or one state or one city, we it’s a global, we are all global citizens, and we are all impacting each other on a daily basis. Take a moment to consider how many people there are on the face of this planet, there’s almost 7 billion people here, and we are impacting every aspect of the biology of this world on a microscopic level, so you can’t really expect that even in the most isolated environment, you’re going to have food that is unimpacted by pollution, microplastics, glyphosate, EMF’s, topsoil erosion, numerous other problems that I probably don’t even know about. Food, even organic food, even biodynamic food, is treated, sprayed, irradiated, transported, you know, we do our best to avoid all these things, and consume the best food possible, at least if you’re our hypothetical person on the extreme end of the spectrum, but let’s be realistic, most people don’t live like that. Most of us who are health-minded shop at Whole Foods and do the best we can drink some clean water, but we also have occasional Chipotle, and, you know, drink a little wine here and there and have our you know, chocolate filled croissants or whatever, or eclairs, and that’s okay. I’m not here to tell people they have to be monastic, I’m not here to instruct you or tell you that you’re a failure if you’re not eating organic food only, that’s not my mission at all. Life is here to be enjoyed and part of enjoying being a human is part of being is being part of our social creation, It’s part of culture and having a croissant is part of culture. Now enjoy too much culture and it can be bad for you, there’s got to be balance in all those things and some aspects of culture are really bad for you. You know, I mean, take heroin, for example, that’s a, that’s a cultural creation, it is an outcome of our societal function and desires to manipulate bio-chemical substances into extreme things. Now, I don’t know exactly how heroines made taking poppies and doing some sort of chemical reaction to it, and then you get the result, and then you’re addicted for the rest of your life and doing all this crazy, all sorts of crazy things and letting your life fall apart for this drug that is so powerful. So, culture in itself is not good or bad, and with all things, the dose makes the poison, and in some cases, the dose can be very small. But you can die by croissants also, maybe not a bad way to die, I don’t know, depends on how you go, I suppose.
Colby Pearce 1:00:56
What I’m saying is, there is an argument to supplement even the cleanest diet, that’s what I’m trying to get at. There’s also an argument to skew someone who there’s also an argument on the other side, which is don’t take a whole buttload of supplements to offset what is really fundamentally a crappy diet, if you’re eating standard American diet right now, and then you’re justifying it by having a multivitamin, I would argue that is pretty poor logic. I will also say for the record that multivitamins are pretty useless, in my opinion, we like to think of it it’s an insurance mentality. That’s how we think of it, and the fact is, that’s not the way the human body works. You never find a multivitamin, in nature, what you find is liver, and those are two totally different things. When we take a supplement, like a vitamin, in particular, like Vitamin C, or and pick any example you want, and we obfuscate it by artificially synthesizing it and producing it, and giving it to the body by itself without it’s a naturally occurring environment, when you take a pill that is contained, that contains potassium, your body sees this as a an obfuscation of nature of a slice of what it should be, when you eat a banana, the body understands banana, and bananas contain the potassium you need in their natural form, contained also with water and cellulose and all the other things that are contained in bananas, flavor and energy.
Colby Pearce 1:02:43
Everything is energy and information, and when you break things down to their elemental cores, and then serve them to humans, in tiny bits, pills, you’re really reducing the nature of a food down to something that is so far removed from what we find it where we would find it in normal consumption, that it doesn’t make a lot of sense if you think about it. So there are powerful arguments potentially on both sides to supplement or not. And this brings us back to our principle of discernment. Now, if you have had excellent results, taking multivitamins in the past, your health was really struggling and you had problems A, B and C and you took a multivitamin, and those problems went away then that suggests that you are doing well on that and it’s solving a problem for you, so I’m not here to tell you to stop taking a multivitamin. I will however suggest that there may be better ways to solve that equation, perhaps with less Pop Tarts and more bananas. Especially organic bananas, but they’re also maybe a timeline where don’t assume that because you took a multivitamin for four weeks and the dark circles under your eyes on your eyes went away or your skin became less dry or scaly or your skin tone improved or your joints stopped aching, that that was the magic bullet that will solve that problem forever, because bodies are dynamic, health is constantly evolving. We are always under different stresses in our environment and in our world, and we have to account for that in our nutritional needs. So don’t assume you’re the same person you were three years ago or five years ago or even six months ago, you were not. Things are always in flux. Also, keep in mind that our environment is now filled with more toxins than ever. I hate to say it but it’s just a fact, more people on the planet means more things more industry, more production, or culture. It also means more mycotoxins, more phosphate, more microplastics, more electromagnetic frequencies traveling through our air, more stuff in our water, etc, etc.. So one aspect of supplementation can be detoxification, and there are detoxification elements in certain supplements. I’ve talked about one of those that has worked for me in the past on a previous episode that is Glutathione. I take the Quicksilver Glutathione, it is a liposomal supplement, which means it passes directly through the skin barrier onto your tongue and into your bloodstream. So it bypasses the GI tract, which is kind of handy.
Figuring out if a Supplement is Right for you
Colby Pearce 1:05:44
Your job is to use your experience, and your wisdom, understanding and knowledge, your discernment to try to figure out if a supplement works for you or not. One of the tools we can use depending on the supplement in some cases is also bloodwork. So if you get regular blood work, you can figure out what some of these levels are, and if you need them, that can work in some cases. It’s not going to tell you much about nitric oxide, probably, but it can tell you if you’re really low in Vitamin D, which for the record, is, generally speaking not really good, and you go out and take a Vitamin D supplement, they’re not terribly expensive, and if you live in Seattle or Portland, it’s probably not the worst idea in the world. If you live in Colorado, just go outside with your shirt off for 20 minutes a day, even in the winter, you’ll probably be okay on D. A few brief specifics on common supplements that I want to point out, Iron is one that’s a bit confounding. Now, if you’re a woman, you’re losing iron every month, assuming you’re menstruating, because you’re losing blood, and when you lose blood, you lose iron. Irons a peculiar one, there’s a good article about iron on Mercola’s site, Dr. Joseph Mercola is all just say at point blank, he’s a bit of a nutter when it comes to a lot of his articles on COVID and stuff, he’s very conspiracy theorist, so if you want to read that stuff, you’re welcome to. I’m not gonna comment one way or another on that, but I’ll say his views are extreme, but that aside, you can ignore all that and get some great article, some great information on the site about things like iron, he’s also got a good, good article on his website about fish oil, or specifically about krill, the difference between krill oil and fish oil. I’ll put both those in there, I think those are both worth read. So those links will be in our show notes. But iron is a growth factor, iron grows things. So when you are young, and you’re 14, you definitely want a lot of iron in your blood and you want iron in your diet a good source of iron and heme iron, otherwise known as animal protein is pretty much the only source of iron. If you’re an endurance athlete, a young endurance athlete living at altitude, your iron needs are pretty high, and it can be somewhat easy to go into different stages of anemia if you’re training really hard as a young athlete at altitude. That said, as soon as you stop growing, men tend to accumulate iron in their bodies, because we don’t menstruate and unless you get attacked by a tiger or crash a lot, you don’t lose a lot of blood, and when you have a growth factor accumulating in your body, especially when you get to be mid 40s, 50s, iron can accumulate at toxic levels in the body. So this is a problem, so as endurance athletes, we’re kind of told all the time, “Oh, you want to have enough iron, you want to have enough iron,” because of course when our iron levels are low, we tend to not do so good at transporting O2, and that’s a problem for performance. But keep in mind as an aging male athlete, a Masters athlete, you want to be really cautious about your own level, so that’s something worth checking in your blood levels in your blood tests, in my experience. You can also have a profile done to get your omega three to omega six ratios looked at, I will put a link to that in the show notes.
Supplements guide, USADA
Colby Pearce 1:09:23
The last bit that I will talk about is on the USADA site, they have a supplements guide, and I mentioned this earlier, it’s a pretty good guide. It’s got some good outline concepts about some of the things I’ve spoken about, For example, would you rather get your calcium from a pill or from sardines, and this goes back to my principle of food is always the first choice. So when you eat a healthy, varied diet that is primarily has a variety of good healthy animal proteins and vegetables in it and we’ll use root vegetables as our primary source of carbohydrates, then I think you’re in pretty good shape, assuming that you are following some good, basic guidelines about sourcing your food. What they talk about on this site is potential risks of supplements, and they give a pretty good list.
Risks of Taking Supplements
Colby Pearce 1:10:23
What are the risks of taking supplements, okay, we have waste of time, waste of money, some of them could be dangerous, some supplements could contain unhealthy ingredients, some of them could be contaminated. In some cases, you could, you’re risking a positive drug test, and they list one of the risk factors as false hope, meaning you think you’re going to get this amazing supplement, I assume this is what they mean, and you spend all this money on it, and you think it’s gonna make you superstar, and then nothing happens, and that is a risk or cost for taking that supplement. I suppose that’s possible, I don’t think that’s incredibly likely as a outcome, I don’t think there are that many people are athletes who really believe that much that they are going to take one supplement and become a rock star, Maybe people do that when they read about Creatine or something. What I thought was interesting about this list is they really missed the biggest problem with supplements, the biggest potential risk, and that is the risk of unintended consequences. This is a concept that’s really important. Your body, the body, is a cybernetic organism, which simply means it’s a system of systems. No, I’m not saying you’re the Terminator, I’m not saying you are made out of adamantium alloy, but a cybernetic organism is simply it’s a fractal system, it means the deeper you go, you find more systems that run systems that are governed by systems. All these systems have an inherent order, they all have a very specific way of regulating, down regulating, those systems regulate each other and, and work in harmony and in balance. That’s always what the body is trying to return to is a sense of harmony and balance. So when we dis-regulate that harmony, the body seeks to restore balance, it seeks to restore homeostasis, when you exercise really hard, the body shuts down makes you sore, so you stop doing so much, and makes you lay on the couch makes you really tired, these are signals, this is not an accident, this is on purpose, So you stop riding your bike, so you’ll lay on the couch and rest and take more naps because you’re really tired, you just rode 200k. That’s all on purpose. That’s part of the system, and when you impose a big demand, the body will respond and give you a sensations in response to that load in order to facilitate recovery. The problem with taking supplements haphazardly is it’s pretty much just taking random shots in the dark to see what positive impact you can have, without really understanding the implications of how it’s going to impact the system, this is why the biggest risk of supplements is unintended consequences. Any supplements should be taken with specific intent, timing, and dosage. Without those three basic parameters, you really don’t know what the hell you’re doing. If you read on the internet, that you should take nitric oxide and you go out and you just start taking it haphazardly, that can have unintended consequences, meaning if you take it at the wrong time, you can actually have the opposite effect, or how many times have you heard about your buddy who took a new whatever and his stomach her all day, and then it ruined his ride, or he or she got the shits or had to pee too much, and their race was ruined, or their stomach hurt or whatever, and these are just easy examples. But biochemically, for example, I’ll give you one brief example to leave on.
Colby Pearce 1:14:16
Lots of riders are under the impression that we have to offset the oxidative stress of our sports, by taking antioxidants. There may be some truth to that, but it’s not quite as simple as just taking antioxidants whenever, we have to respect the body’s natural rhythm. So you go out and do an effort on the bike, let’s say you get on your bike at nine in the morning and you ride for an hour and a half, and you go do your two by 20 or whatever, so you’re back in the door at 10:30, and then you’re going to work. We all go to work at 10:30 now because COVID, nobody goes to an office anymore, right? I’m sure that’s not true, but anyway, you get my point. So we’re working through the middle of the day, but we come home and, lo and behold, at 12:30, one o’clock, two o’clock while we’re doing our work at our desk or whatever work we’re doing, our legs are achy and sore, and this is a normal curve of response. There’s an inflammatory response that happens, as our body registers the impact and deals with the impact of that work that we did that hard, those two hard efforts are 40 minutes worth of work, two by 20, and that response is what generates change. That is our training load, and when we blunt that load, in the middle of that cycle, when you come home and slam juice that’s got five grams of C or 10 grams of C in it, and a whole bunch of other antioxidants, because you just did your heart interval workout, you are blunting that hormetic response, or hormetic response is the natural curve, that happens when you do an interval workout, it’s the natural curve of a tee, when you blunt that hormetic response at the wrong point in the cycle, then you’re potentially undoing the benefits of your interval workout. There’s an order of operations that must happen if you’re going to take antioxidants at the right time. The reason that we hear over and over again that antioxidants are good, because they reduce inflammation and, and help assist our body with the oxidative load of exercise is because that’s true, but that doesn’t mean we want to offset the oxidative load of exercise right after we did the exercise. So, it might be more constructive for you to take your antioxidants at night, if you trained in the morning and let your legs ache during the day. Not do your ice bath, 20 minutes after you walk in the door from your ride, not get a massage one hour after you come back from your ride. These things might offset the hormetic response of exercise. So this is just one simple example of how when we focus so much on over recovery, and we focus so much on this concept of taking a pill to solve our problem, or worry too much about recovering from all the hard work we’re doing, we can disrupt the system and sort of exacerbate our problems, we undo the natural rhythm of our body’s own inflammation recovery cycle. To a certain degree, that’s what exercise is about, that’s what you’re supposed to do, that’s how you’re going to get the response you want. So I use this as an illustrative point, to help explain how supplements taken at the wrong moment might potentially be causing some sort of problem that we didn’t think about or didn’t understand, and this is one of the challenges of supplementation. It’s not an easy world to navigate, because our bodies are so nuanced and complicated.
Colby Pearce 1:18:11
So hopefully, I gave you some clues there on what to do in this little universe, and I just want to say thank you to all my listeners for hanging out during my solo-sodes. These are at times quite challenging for me to get out of my brain, I’ve mentioned that before, but I’ll just say it again. It’s an ongoing craft for me to learn how to clearly express the ideas that are floating around in my brain cells and get them out in a cohesive way so that you guys can get something out of them. If you have feedback, questions, input, you can reach me at “info” at cyclingandalignment.com. I’d love to hear from you on ideas for future episodes. Is there a topic you are burning to hear about? Something that you just know that I can answer? And you’re just convinced? Let me know. I have a series of pods coming up, with some exciting experts and guests, so keep your pants on, there’s lots more to come. I hope you’re all doing well, and thank you for those of you who wrote to me about my office space. More news coming on that soon, as well. Things are in motion, fear not, all will be known. Thanks for listening everyone. Supplement carefully.
Colby Pearce 1:19:36
Attention space monkey’s, public service announcement, really, technically, it’s a disclaimer, You already know this, but I’m going to remind you that I’m not a lawyer and I’m not a doctor, so don’t think anything on this podcast to constitute loyally or complete either of those characters on the internet. Also, we talked about lots of things, and that means we have opinions. I guess opinions are not necessarily reflective of the opinions of anyone who is employed by, or works at Fast Talk Labs. Also, if you want to reach out to talk to me about things, feedback on the podcast, good, bad or otherwise, may do so, the following email address, email@example.com that’s all spelled just like it sounds. Gratitude.