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EPO BOOST follow-up

After being sent a sample of EPO BOOST I was eager to test it out.  I started on the 4 pill a day (at 4 different times a day) regiment and was able to stick with it pretty well for about 3 weeks.  I was riding other day putting in about 75-100 miles a week.  I was feeling great and setting new PR’s (gauging this using my Garmin and Strava) regularly.  Around the 3 week point I started to notice it was difficult for me to keep track of my dosage.  I’ve never really taken pills before and I found it difficult to do it everyday and at 4 different times.  Then I caught a lung infection the totally knocked me down for 2 weeks.  I stopped taking the BOOST and was  not doing any physical activity.

I wish I could have finished the experiment straight through.  Now that I’m feeling good again and back on my bike I don’t think I will be ordering the BOOST to start the regiment again.  If I was a serious racer I would probably stick with it because I do think the science is sound, but for an average guy I don’t want to deal with the added hassle of taking pills all the time or the expense.

Naturally BOOST EPO? Sounds good to me.

So I got my free sample of EPO-BOOST and started taking it on 4/12/12.  I was offered a trial after my “Gaining an Edge Through Nutrition” post was read by one of the folks at EPO-BOOST.

It’s supposed to take about a week to start noticing a difference in your performance.  My plan is to track my performance in a pseudoscientific way by using my rides on Strava to do comparisons from a 30 day starting point.  I really hope I notice a difference!

I read about EPO-BOOST in Bicycling Magazines May 2012 issue: “How Elite Athletes Are Gaining an Edge:” and was curious how they were boosting red blood cell production naturally as the article claimed.

I would encourage anyone interested to visit the HOW IT WORKS page of the EPO-BOOST site and read through the detailed info, but here is the basic idea: “EPO-BOOST™ safely stimulates your body’s natural production of the erythropoietin (EPO) hormone. EPO increases the body’s oxygen carrying capacity and has been shown in controlled human clinical studies to significantly increase athletic performance and endurance.”

When I first went to the EPO website and started reading about the ingredients the first thing they mention is the use of Echinacea in a dosage of 8g per day.  My initial thought was that I could save some money by purchasing Echinacea and concocting my boost, but after searching at my local store and online I have found that it’s actually much more expensive to purchase that much Echinacea on its own and you do not get the other vitamines and minerals included in the EPO-BOOST formula.

I started EPO-BOOST a week ago and so far I feel great.  My last two rides have netted several PR (personal records) and I have a century club ride coming up on May 5th so the timing is great to have started the supplement.  With any luck my friends will have a hard time staying on my wheel!

I plan to do a wrap-up post after my full month is up.

Gaining an Edge Through Nutrition

I obsess about improving as a cyclist.  Like many of you I have limited time to ride and maybe 1 out of 10 rides I can see or feel like I have made some progress in my overall endurance and speed.

I have come to believe that I can significantly improve my performance through diet and nutrition.  Although I am not as disciplined as I could be in this area I have been tweaking my diet and believe I see improvements.

The biggest change I’ve made is juicing.  After watching Fat Sick and Nearly Dead I became convinced that I needed a juicer. If you have not seen this film I highly recommend it.  You can watch it for free on Hulu by clicking the link above.  It’s a documentary about two men who are in wretched condition and turn their lives around by going on a juice only fast.  I have not gone on a juice fast but have added it to my daily diet and having the infusion of natural vitamines and minerals is defiantly boosting my immune system and recovery time after rides.  I have 3 small children so the common cold and viruses are always being brought home from school.  Several times I have felt the symptoms of sickness creeping in and I will immediately go to my juicer and make and extra-large batch of super juice.  The results have been great! I have been able to ward off several colds that I’m convinced would have otherwise had to run their course. I bought the Jack Lalanne Power Juicer from Costco for about $100.00 and have been very happy with it.

My favorite juice recipe right now is:

1/2 cucumber

2 apples

2 or 3 cups brocoli

4 stalks of celery

3 cups carrots

2 tablespoons chia seeds (If you are not up on the “super food” chia seeds here is a link with more info)

In the latest issue of Bicycling there is a very interesting article How Elite Althletes Are Gaining an Edge: The article focuses on a product called EPO-BOOST www.EPOBOOST.com EPO BOOST claims to “naturally safely stimulates your body’s natural production of the erythropoietin (EPO) hormone. EPO increases the body’s oxygen carrying capacity”. They back up their claim with a 28 day double-blind placebo controlled clinical trial.  The study found a 90% increase in EPO production in those using EPO-BOOST as compared to those taking the placebo.

After reading the article I was ready to go the website order the product and I was working on my justification speech to my wife explaining why I need to spend $45.00 a month for this product.  Then I started thinking that if this is an all natural product they must be formulating it using ingredients I can buy at the store. Conveniently any food product has to list their ingredients so I went to the EPO-BOOST site and within seconds had my answer.

After looking at the ingredients I realized Echinacea was the most obvious ingredient lacking from my diet.

I did a Google search on Echinacea and  boosting EPO and found this recent article on BikeRadar.com.  The article cites a very similar study to the one done by EPO-BOOST in which participates were given 8g of Echinacea for 28 days and placebo.  The group given the Echinacea showed “EPO levels similar to the results obtained from altitude training,”  “There was a significant increase in the per cent change of measured maximal oxygen uptake in the experimental as compared to the control group.”

My conclusion is to run out get some Echinacea and start my own experiment for a month to see if adding this my diet helps me see some significant performance increase.

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