While most people hit Interbike to look at all the shiny new bikes and parts that will hit the market next year, I went into it with a different goal. Sure, I took some time to check out the new bikes and stuff but I was pretty interested in what who had showed up to promote their training equipment and supplements.
As a long time veteran of the strength training game I am pretty skeptical of most supplements and gimmicks but I tried to keep an open mind for most of the stuff. There were not a ton of booths dedicated to training and supplements but there were some interesting things.
On the positive side, I found a few things that definitely peaked my interest. One was a supplement called Ocinna that was touted as increasing body durability. This is basically code for increasing recovery and as you know I am a huge proponent of recovery tactics so I took a few minutes to talk with the owner of the company and see what it was all about.
In a nutshell, the supplement contains fish oil, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Cinnamomum Cassia, which is a component of cinnamon. Apparently that component of cinnamon has been shown in some studies to improve insulin sensitivity and decrease resting glucose levels in Type 2 diabetics and may hold some promise for athletes as well. All in all I was impressed with the straightforward, gimmick free ingredients and I’ll be doing some more research and testing it out to see what I think. You can find out more at www.fortisvita.com.
Another promising supplement I saw was Raw Revolution, which is a natural and organic live food bar. In a world full of crappy, high fructose laden energy bars finding an organic live food bar to fill some nutritional gaps is pretty cool. They are definitely better for you than another Power Bar! Plus, at about $2 a bar it is pretty reasonably priced. You can find out more about it at www.rawrev.com to order some and see if they might be carried at a retailer near you.
I also came across an interesting supplement called The Right Stuff. Apparently this stuff was developed by NASA in an attempt to find the fastest way to rehydrate astronauts after being in space for long periods of time. It is a patented blend of electrolytes that you put into 16 ounces of water and has been shown to increase blood plasma volume (body water) in some studies. Getting and staying hydrated is a big concern for optimal performance and this stuff may be worth checking out. I’ll keep you posted on my personal experiments. You can find out more at www.therightstuff-usa.com.
On the not so bad side I saw a huge booth from EAS. These guys are making a huge push to get into the alternative sports supplement market and have signed Mark Weir to help promote their products. Most of their stuff is pretty good but I am disappointed to see stuff like soy protein and HMB being used in their products as the science behind these things is pretty iffy. Still, it is good to see some traditional supplement guys paying attention to us as we tend to be the exclusive domain of carbo drinks and gels.
I also saw a supplement called Bazi that basically combines several super powerful fruits into one shot. I am always a fan of getting your vitamins and minerals from real food sources and this may be worth checking out. The reason I list it on the “not so bad” list is that it is sold through a multi-level marketing company so be aware that you may get asked to join something and try to sell it yourself if you look into it!
On the not so good side I saw at least 3 different “lung builder” devices. These are basically things you breathe through that restrict your air flow in one way or another and are supposed to build your lung muscles. One of them wanted you to do it for 1 hour a day!
This is another extension of the “muscle isolation” theory from bodybuilding in my opinion. Sure, you may build your lung muscles but if you don’t also build your muscles ability to utilize the increased oxygen being provided it doesn’t matter much. Plus, I would think that the 15 – 60 minutes a day being asked of you to use these devices would be better utilized working on strength, mobility or doing intervals.
Of course, if you are a professional athlete who has 4+ hours a day to train then there might be a place for it in your arsenal but for most riders you would probably get much better benefits simply doing things that work your lungs AND muscles together. Again, your lungs only work harder because of the increased demands from your muscles and working your lungs independent of an increase muscular demand is backwards programming. I could be wrong but I would label these things with a strong “Buyer Beware” label.
Of course, there were also the usual players – GU, Power Bar, Endurox and the other well known supplements in our sport. Most of them are pretty good but I wanted to let you know about some of the stuff you may not have seen before and should be prepared to hear a lot more about in the next year.