Beet it Sport Nitrate 400 – Disgustingly good

There’s an ever increasing market of products out there which claim to boost your performance. From energy gels to isotonic drinks and powders. Even beer. However the guys at Beet it have come up with this shot of beetroot which they claim does just that.

Beetroot has long been researched in sports to boost your performance so Beet it aren’t coming out with anything revolutionary more just trying to reinvent the wheel.

Beet it has come up with a new was to harness the purple powers of beetroot and change the way you perform. Developed specifically with the sporting elite in mind, Beet It Sport Nitrate 400 shot provides a natural boost to sporting performance in one quick hit. With a new Nitrate 400 strapline added, the name clearly communicates the optimum amount of natural dietary nitrate contained in each 70ml shot, which is needed to increase sporting performance.

Now I quite like beetroot as a root vegetable, it’s tasty when roasted and delicious in a salad. So beetroot juice must be just as delicious… right? Wrong. Personally I think it just tastes all kind of wrong and half way through drinking it I was really hoping that it did what it said. I had to wash it down with water and it took will power to go back in for a second gulp and finish the bottle off.

Apparently enjoyed (I say apparently because I honestly don’t think anyone looks forward to a shot of this) and revered by many leading international rugby and Premiership football teams, UK Olympic and Pro Tour cycling teams, the Beet It Sport shot is made from 100% natural ingredients, consisting of concentrated beetroot juice (98%) cut with lemon juice (2%).

Another downside to the drink is that for best effects you have to take it 1-4 hours before exercise and continuously for four days before competition or event. If you’re doing that, I hope the taste becomes more palatable!

However, shortly after drinking this purple thing, I started to turn in to what felt like the Incredible Hulk, but purple. My lycra ripped and my muscles bulged as I was able to somehow hold a slightly higher average power.

Now, I’m not saying it was all down to the magical power of beetroots, it may have just been one of those days when the stars aligned. It was strange though that I was feeling so good on my ride. I’m sure one swallow doesn’t make a summer so next time around I tried it again(the taste got better thinking that it could improve my ride). While my performance wasn’t as stand out, to myself anyway, the figures were still there. I was hugely impressed.

Here’s some science bit… Beet It Sport Nitrate 400 shots are the gold standard used by over 200 universities worldwide for medical and sports performance research into the benefits of natural nitrate supplementation. The research has identified that their naturally high dietary nitrate content (400mg per shot) interacts with enzymes in saliva to generate nitric oxide (NO) in the blood system. NO is a vasodilator that increases the flow of blood and oxygen to the muscles, thereby boosting strength and endurance – similar in impact (but legitimate) to blood doping!

One 70ml Beet It Sport Nitrate 400 shot delivers 400mg of natural dietary nitrate, the equivalent of 400ml beetroot juice.  It provides the maximum intake of natural nitrate in the smallest volume of liquid possible, thankfully.

Beet It Sport Nitrate 400 shot is available from Wiggle, Holland & Barrett and Amazon, with an RRP of £2.00 per shot.

For more information on Beet It brand and products, please visit www.beet-it.com

Beet It Sport Nitrate 400 shot

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Veloforte – nutrition bar

Veloforte sent me three nutrition bars to try out and I have to say, I’m glad they did! These little bars were super tasty, packed full of energy and easy to digest. Wonderful.

They sent, The Di Bosco, Ciocco and The Classico.

Di Bosco, meaning from the forest, is a mix of red berries, strawberries, sour cherries, rosemary, lemon, honey and some added extras like almonds and pistachios. I think this one is my personal favourite, I say think because they’re all super tasty

Ciocco is packed full of dates, almonds and cocoa. With The Classico being more of a citrus affair accompanied with almonds honey and spices.

I have to say from the off, the bars are delicious. Truly, they have a good mix of ingredients, they’re not stodgy, get stuck in your teeth or even feel like they’re too heavy to have when your really pushing on the pedals going flat out. The layer of rice paper on the top of the bar too is wonderful.

There is a down side though, the packaging is such that they’re super fiddly to get in to. On the bike it can be a bit of a faff, especially if you’re it confident with both hands off the bars not looking where you’re going… they take a fair bit of concentration and are probably better for when you’ve stopped and are at the cafe.

In all, I really rate these bars, I’m looking forward to seeing how they get on and if they can bring out a couple more flavours. Just sort out the packaging a little, please!

You can purchase the bars from the Veloforte website, here

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Erdinger – Performance enhancing beer

img_1626Have you ever been on a long summer ride and at your half way point had the thought “I really fancy a beer, there’s nothing I want more right now than a beer. I can’t I’m cycling, I cannot drink and ride, that final climb will kill me off. Better got for the coffee instead.” It’s the right and safe choice.

Well intrepid cycler, we’ve been searching the shelves of our local supermarket and we are pleased to bring you this, Erdinger Alkoholfrei. Yes, your pigeon German is correct, alcohol free.

Why am I telling you about Alcoholic free beer though? You’ve seen all that before, well, in Germany (where else?) this was launched as a drink for athletes. That’s right back in 2001, Erdinger has been doing the rounds in endurance sports circles.

Sounding like an early bit of soft drink propaganda as being a performance booster, each 0.5 litre bottle has 125 calories and can help preserve normal muscle activity, reduce tiredness, promote physical and mental performance and have positive effects on the cardiovascular system.

img_1629With no chemicals, artificial colourings, aromas or indeed any other additives, this cold, crisp beer will help you conquer that final climb with vigour… Apparently.

Josef Westermeier, Marketing and Sales Director of Privatbrauerei ERDINGER Weissbräu said, “With ERDINGER Alkoholfrei, we have an excellent beverage which tastes fantastic, contains numerous healthy and purely natural ingredients, and is isotonic. The ideal drink therefore for athletes and people with an active lifestyle.”

An isotonic beer, well Josef, we will raise a bottle of Erdinger Alkoholfrei to that. Cheers.

 

 

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MaxiMuscle ProMax Lean

As cyclists we are run by a world of numbers, speed, cadence, watts, gradient and weight. We want to keep out weight to a minimum and power at a maximum. Reading any current professional or ex-pros book, from Tyler Hamilton to Chris Froome, they’ll all start talking about their power to weight ratio. Achieved in vastly different ways but the thinking is the same, be as light as possible and have enough strength in your legs to pump out as many watts as possible.

So, how do you assist your body in building your muscles without gaining weight? Many look to supplements, protein shakes and powders, and it can seem counterintuitive to guzzle down a shake to build muscle and keep your weight low. These shakes are packed full of calories and for the body builders, right? Well, not strictly true, not all of them, anyway.

The guys at MaxiNutrition have been developing a protein powder, which helps you build lean muscle. High in Protein and low in fats and sugars each 25g serving is after your work out. To help repair those ripped up muscles and build them without pilling on the extra pounds. MaxiMuscle ProMax Lean is newly formulated with 25 g of BioMax True Protein, a blend of whey protein and milk protein (casein) providing both fast and slow acting protein.

promax-lean-bundle
ProMax Lean also comes in a tasty bar for on the go

What on earth is BioMax True Protein? I hear you ask, and trust me I asked the same question too, but to cut through the PR mumbo jumbo, basically food protein concentrations are theoretically calculated based on the total nitrogen content, but this can cause some variances in the derived protein level. MaxiMuscle have gone one step further by validating the protein concentration in ProMax Lean by comparing the weight of the individual amino acids with the calculated factored amount, qualifying this as BioMax True Protein.

And before you start worry that while you’re drinking this you’re going to be another amateur cyclist who gets pinged for a performance enhancing drugs (why on earth are amateurs riding with performance enhancers in their system on a club TT? Blows my mind!) all MaxiNutrition products are screened for banned substances and accredited by the Informed-Sport programme. They also come in different flavours, Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, Raspberry and everyone’s favourite milkshake flavour, Banana.

complete-muscle-bundle
The MaxiMuscle bundle

But don’t worry endurance cyclist – it’s not just about the recovery shakes and muscle-building protein powers at MaxiNutrition. Oh no. They also have a range of products for us endurance athletes too. With gels and electrolyte powders for your water bottle, they have a range of products, which may make you think twice before heading for the SiS equivalent. With standard electrolyte gels and gels with a kick of caffeine to help get you up that final climb. MaxiNutrition have sponsored the Brownlee brothers, who aren’t that bad at riding a bike, are they?

So next time you’re in training for an event or just training in general, why not give your body a little added help with the MaxiNutrition ProMax Lean protein powder. It could be the difference between winning and first loser.

 

You can buy ProMax Lean from the Maxi Muscle website here

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Spotive Panic Buys!

With the “worlds greatest sportive” (not my words, the words of Prudential RideLondon) coming up, I thought it was a good time to have a look at what you might be thinking of for that all important ride. It doesn’t have to be the RideLondon 100 miler, it could be any cycling sportive you’ve got planned to train, push your fitness goals or even, push yourself for something you’ve never done before.

Clothing

With it being good old British summer time, it’s probably best to start with something… Weatherproof. I don’t think you’ll go far wrong than with a good gilet. These things are great if you’ve an early start time on a chilly winter morning with a day that will heat up or even a muggy day with rain showers. The chaps over at Huez* sent me their flagship gilet. The Starman Windproof Gilet. Fancy sounding, isn’t it?

Huez* 2
The fancy of this gilet though goes beyond the name. It packs down neatly it to its own carry bag, in my opinion it could probably pack down even smaller than its bag.

It’s windproof and even more than showerproof and will give you a brilliant extra layer in the changeable weather. But wait, what’s this, the gilet has an extra trick up its sleeve – if it were to have sleeves that is. It’s pretty nifty, you can whip this gilet off in seconds by simply hooking your fingers in to the tabs either side of the zip and tugging outwards. The zip simply peels away and you’ll be the first in the peloton to have you gilet off. Providing you can take both hands off of the handle bars that is. The slightly annoying thing about this is though, you have to have the zip done all the way up for it to work effectively. So, you could just unzip…

Huez*.png
It’s great, it really is but coming in at £115 it’s certainly got a big price tag. But you can be safe in the knowledge you’ll get plenty of wear out of it. While the fabric feels flimsy, it’s pretty darn durable and something you’ll get plenty of use out of.

Fuel

Now, you have your clothing sorted, let us talk nutrition. One of the biggest things people forget to do is feed effectively and feed well when riding a big sportive. Do not underestimate it. Personally, I would rather come home with pockets full of food than halfway round cramping up wishing I had another energy bar or gel!

The power of Science in Sport (SiS) and their rapid growth has been extra-ordinary, now supplying Team Sky they always have discounts and their stuff is super tasty and well known across the sporting world.

SiS 1

Maybe it’s just my body and how it breaks down the substances but the SiS stuff is fantastic, plus when you sign up to SiS they’re giving away gels. Their stuff is far superior to any out there, with SiS also supplying Team Sky this year and I think we could all agree their performance and recovery powers at the Tour de France this year was nothing short of outstanding.

SiS 2

SiS actually sent me over some figures; the nine-man Team Sky team consumed over 3,000 SiS products during the 23-day challenge. In a breakdown that is:

  • 570 GO Energy bars
  • 580 GO Isotonic gels
  • 180 GO Electrolyte gels
  • 240 Go Energy+Caffeine gels
  • 940 GO Electrolyte servings
  • 180 REGO Rapid Recovery servings
  • 210 Overnight protein servings
  • 300 GO Hydro servings

You may think that that’s all they eat on the bike, somehow during the stages they also have time for rice cakes and whatever else their chef cooks up for them!

If it’s good enough for Team Sky over 2,197 miles, it’s good enough for me over 100!

SiS 3

Ready to race? 

Hey there, hot shot. Are you race ready? Well, here is my little secret… Secret Training. I’m not on about sneaking an extra ten miles on the bike before you meet your club mates for a ride. I’m talking STRIP, or, Secret Training Race Informed Products.

STRIP 1

This little pack might set you back £50 (special introductory offer) but my god is it worth it. It contains:

  • Hand sanitiser
  • Start oil
  • Anti chaffing cream (chamois cream)
  • Hygiene wipes
  • Lip balm
  • Post race wash
  • Sun screen
  • Micro fibre cloths
  • A tin of pins

Let’s pick up on a few of those things, start oil, what’s that? Well it’s a muscle rub to put on pre ride. Word to the wise, apply after the chamois cream, it is similar to deep heat. You do not want to get that where your chamois cream goes! It also puts a protective layer between your skin and the elements, so you can keep going come rain or shine.

The sunscreen is SPF30, the size is perfect though, slip in your back pocket / saddle bag and help keep those tan lines sharp and cultivated (rule 6 of cycling).

The post race wash, many of you won’t need this as it’s for when there are no showers around. More for the racers and races this one but it is good stuff! Same with the micro fibre clothes, for personal use after a race.

STRIP 2

While the pack is too big to carry on the bike during a sportive, the essentials are perfect size and great for the ride. They all fit in the travel case perfectly and neatly. Great to give to a family member to meet you at the finish. It really is great; I am really impressed by this pack of secrets and can’t recommend it enough. It smells good and the chamois cream is a good performer for long days in the saddle.

Go get ’em

The biggest thing to remember on your sportive is to have fun. Don’t go under prepared and it’s not a race. The only person you are racing is yourself, challenge yourself but don’t ruin yourself.

It’ll be tough, you’ll probably ask yourself why you’re doing it, you’ll probably question why you’re even doing it and then before you know it, it’ll be over. You will be elated, proud and be able to say you did it.

Now, go get ’em.

 

You can buy the Starman Windproof Gilet here

You can buy the SiS Team Sky Bundle here

You can buy the STRIP Race Day Personal Car Kit here

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