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Caffeine and Beetroot juice effects on performance


Maximum Pace
May 25, 2009
but only if you abstain from any caffeine 5 days before the all out event. The research in to caffeine is pretty huge, HIGH5 conducted a lot of tests on the effects and if you have a heavy intake as normal you will not see any benefits.


Maximum Pace
Oct 11, 2009
For me personally caffeine has always been a performance booster. The scheduling is very important - and like FE notes, it helps to increase sensitivity by withdrawal. This year I also tried the beetjuice protocol. I used 2 different versions - 1) Biotta concentrate and 2) Powder conentrate intended for this purpose. Until I could get some test strips, I mainly relied on 'piss red' indicator. FYI - you need to have very concentrated beet extract to get to this point. If you just try with off the shelf beet powder you won't get enough. I noticed that while training, my aerobic threshold raised slightly - or, in other words, on the test hills I have plotted I could achieve same performance at lower heart rate - and during repeats, the number of repeats I could do increased by 1 . I usually do repeats such that when I cannot achieve at least 85% of my max HR, I'm done.

At the Haute Route - I didn't drink coffee or take any caffeine supplement for 2 weeks prior. I also used beet extract 2x a day. During Haute Route, I was sick the first 3 or 4 days with food poisoning, so my entire protocol was thrown off - however, as the TT approached I was able to start eating more normally and the day before the TT I drank 2l beet concentrate and good carbs to get my 'engine' refueled. On the day of the TT I followed the High 5 TT prep instructions and carried only 500ml water w/High 5 Extreme and a small amount of Oliosac. Very diluted. For glucose 'boost' I carried a couple of 'honey sticks' - if you don't know these, you should! You can get at most conbini in Japan - it's a dose of honey in a plastic strip.

I posted a decent time on the TT, in fact a PR for me and well into the Top 100 or higher, plus Top 10 in the dreaded 'grouper' category. I felt strong the whole way and could modulate at LTHR extremely well. This is what I noticed most about 'riding with beets' , is that the 'wall' is not so severe - and I can ride it a little closer. I HC TT based on HR and m/hr only. I set alarms for the HR if it drops below xxx and also an alarm for drink/eat @ 8min intervals. I could see my m/hr result decreasing slightly as I went above 2500m, but still much better than last year when this climb nearly killed me. At that point, I pushed into VOmax zone for 4min repeats and the last 1km was basically at 100%+ VOmax (anaerobic) which I train for all the time.

The effects I've noticed of beet juice is again a subtle increase or flattening of the VOMax 'wall'. And a slightly faster recovery when come off it. As for caffeine - it's just simple. If I ride with caffeine I'm faster all the time, and the more I feel doggy or heavy, I take more. One of my favorite caffeine supplements, btw, is the BLACK BLACK genki drink and chewing gum. Aside from that, I use High 5 Extreme. Definitely caffeine helps to uptake carbs which results in better sustained performance. The beet juice seems to operate on a different mechanism (VOmax) - so to test both would require different protocols and erg profiles IMO. They need to drill into the VOMax separately from the Lactate Threshold. Or look at scores of all 3 states. That's alot of testing! And you need significant time to do this, cause you'd need to clear out any residual effects which takes a couple weeks. So - you need the same group available with roughly the same training state to conduct the tests over a 6 week minimum period.
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