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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 10-11-05, 12:14 PM   #1
StalkerZERO
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Is Optygen and Cycling better than Cycling alone?

Please forgive if this has been discussed before.
I am interested in incorporating Optygen into my workout. Do you have to be an athlete to use optygen? Clearly I am not an athlete as I am cycling to reduce weight and for enjoyment. But I would like to get the most out of my rides as possible and Optygen looks like a good product.
Whats the general opinion of the supplement?
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Old 10-11-05, 12:49 PM   #2
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Cordyceps is the key ingredient.

Cordyceps sinensis, also known as Chinese caterpillar fungus, was popularized by the sudden success of the Chinese female distance runners in the early 1990s. When Wang Junxia shattered the world record in the 10,000m, her coach attributed her performance to a diet of turtle blood and caterpillar fungus. Needless to say, the success and running careers of the Chinese women were short-lived. Cordyceps is a black fungus that is a parasite for several species of caterpillar. The fungus kills the caterpillar and uses it for nutrients as it grows. Because cordyceps in nature is rare, a strain (Cs-4) which contains the active components is now cultivated for commercial purposes. Other than the success of the Chinese runners, there is very little evidence to support the claim that cordyceps improves performance. In fact, two recent studies of trained, male cyclists found no effect of cordyceps supplementation on VO2max, ventilatory threshold, or performance compared to a placebo. (See the articles in Medicine and Sciences in Sports and Exercise 36:504-509, 2004 and International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 14:246-242, 2004).

I would say save your money or go to China-town and buy the straight deal from some wise man
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Old 10-11-05, 01:23 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Enthalpic
Cordyceps is the key ingredient.

Cordyceps sinensis, also known as Chinese caterpillar fungus, was popularized by the sudden success of the Chinese female distance runners in the early 1990s. When Wang Junxia shattered the world record in the 10,000m, her coach attributed her performance to a diet of turtle blood and caterpillar fungus. Needless to say, the success and running careers of the Chinese women were short-lived. Cordyceps is a black fungus that is a parasite for several species of caterpillar. The fungus kills the caterpillar and uses it for nutrients as it grows. Because cordyceps in nature is rare, a strain (Cs-4) which contains the active components is now cultivated for commercial purposes. Other than the success of the Chinese runners, there is very little evidence to support the claim that cordyceps improves performance. In fact, two recent studies of trained, male cyclists found no effect of cordyceps supplementation on VO2max, ventilatory threshold, or performance compared to a placebo. (See the articles in Medicine and Sciences in Sports and Exercise 36:504-509, 2004 and International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism 14:246-242, 2004).

I would say save your money or go to China-town and buy the straight deal from some wise man
Ok thats dissapointing.
Has anybody here tried using optygen? Is it really a placebo effect? Would you suggest any other supplements then?
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Old 10-11-05, 02:11 PM   #4
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Try 2 cups of strong coffee. It makes a difference and is cheap.
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Old 10-11-05, 02:31 PM   #5
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Double-espresso works for me. There's also a glucagon-activation with glycogen-sparing effect that extends endurance distances before bonking. Although that shouldn't be a concern with adequate calorie-intake on a ride. It works really well when I take it in the last hour of a race. Gives a good mental stimulation and increases alertness, very important for the final-sprint game where you're trying to keep track of 10 guys simultaneously in the pack. There's also a pain-killer effect where my legs don't ache and feel as cramped, but I haven't been able to pinpoint why. Could be elevated levels of seretonin.

Then in the last 15-20 minutes, I'll take 2-tablespoons of bicarbonate for the sprint.

If you're just training, I think eating carbs, drinking water & electrolytes works just fine. It's getting the miles in and doing enough intensity that's gonna be where the improvements come from. I doubt there's any kind of supplements that'll actually create permanent physiological change in the body that's significant on the up-side. Of course, lack of nutrition or eating the wrong compounds, like arsenic, can have detrimental effects on your training...

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 10-11-05 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 10-11-05, 02:44 PM   #6
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Double-espresso works for me. There's also a glucagon-activation with glycogen-sparing effect that extends endurance distances before bonking. Although that shouldn't be a concern with adequate calorie-intake on a ride. It works really well when I take it in the last hour of a race. Gives a good mental stimulation and increases alertness, very important for the final-sprint game where you're trying to keep track of 10 guys simultaneously in the pack. There's also a pain-killer effect where my legs don't ache and feel as cramped, but I haven't been able to pinpoint why. Could be elevated levels of seretonin.

Then in the last 15-20 minutes, I'll take 2-tablespoons of bicarbonate for the sprint.

If you're just training, I think eating carbs, drinking water & electrolytes works just fine. It's getting the miles in and doing enough intensity that's gonna be where the improvements come from. I doubt there's any kind of supplements that'll actually create permanent physiological change in the body that's significant on the up-side. Of course, lack of nutrition or eating the wrong compounds, like arsenic, can have detrimental effects on your training...
The thing is my diet consists of an overall lowering of my carb intake. And it does seem to be working. I did lose 50 pounds within 7 month period without any noticeable drop in energy levels. ARGH!
Does this mean I need to go hunting for caterpillars and hoping they have some sort of fungus growing out of them?
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Old 10-11-05, 02:57 PM   #7
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Coffee has no carbs. However, even if you are on a low carb diet, carbs during exercise are still ok. You dont get much insulin production during exercise. It's the insulin production low carb diets are trying to avoid.
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Old 10-11-05, 04:14 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by StalkerZERO
The thing is my diet consists of an overall lowering of my carb intake. And it does seem to be working. I did lose 50 pounds within 7 month period without any noticeable drop in energy levels. ARGH!
Does this mean I need to go hunting for caterpillars and hoping they have some sort of fungus growing out of them?
Well, it depends upon what your final goal is in say ... 1 year or 5 years or 20 years. I've lost 65 lbs since 1-jan and I did it by increasing my carb-intake to over 60-80% of my total calorie intake. I'm looking at writing a satirical book called "Danno's Dessert Diet" or some such thing.

Weight-loss is really just comes down to total calories-in vs. calories-out. You've lost the weight by reducing your calorie intake and turning up the amount burned by cycling. Spurlock gained weight by eating McDonalds, other people have lost weight on the exact same menu. It really comes down to calories-in/calories-out. You could've done the same thing on any numerous other diets out there, the watermelon diet, the SouthBeach diet, the Atkins, the celery & peanut-butter diet, the paleo diet, the CabbageSoup diet, the Zone diet, the all-liquid diet, I even lost 5-lbs during the three months I tried to become an alcoholic by drinking liquor instead of eating (secret is liquor has lower-calorie density per volume than a lot of high-calorie foods ). Calorie-density is an overlooked factor, with vegetables you can get a lot of food for very little calories compared to a Carnivore's Delight combo pizza.

Anyway, you're probaby at the point now where the weight-loss may need to take a change in training to continue. Exercising on a low-carb diet gets dangerous because you can lose just as much muscle as you lose fat. Sure, the scale will say you've lost weight, but the dunk-test will show that you're still at 25% body-fat. Eventually if you keep it up, you end up at being a 125-150lb twig with a double-chin.

The idea with eating during rides is so you can burn off more fat-calories. Fat cannot be burned without carbs present. The most you can ride is 45-60 miles before your glycogen stores run outs, this will have burned off about 400-600 calories of fat and then you gotta call the 800-Cry-Baby number to have someone pick you up. However, if you eat more during the ride, an additional 1000 calories of carbs during the ride, you can then ride 75-100 miles and burn off 800-900 calories of fat for even more weight-loss without wasting any muscle in the process. It's actually after the ride where the damage really occurs, if you don't get about 1.5gm/kg of body-weight in carbs soon after a ride (followed by a full meal in a couple hours), your body will take apart good muscle in order to replenish its glycogen stores...

The top-athletes have a major problem with this because they burn off so many calories a day in training, 5000-7000 calories, that they simply cannot eat enough and absorb enough calories to supplement the glycogen stores. The body will always take apart their muscles to convert to glycogen. So they end up having to do a lot of weight-lifting just to maintain the same muscle mass & strength.

So low-carb diets are fine for sedentary couch potatoes, but if you want the fastest improvement rates in fitness and the fastest weight-loss safely, you gotta eat.

Last edited by DannoXYZ; 10-11-05 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 10-11-05, 06:46 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by StalkerZERO
Please forgive if this has been discussed before.
I am interested in incorporating Optygen into my workout. Do you have to be an athlete to use optygen? Clearly I am not an athlete as I am cycling to reduce weight and for enjoyment. But I would like to get the most out of my rides as possible and Optygen looks like a good product.
Whats the general opinion of the supplement?
Snake oil is snake oil even if it's caterpillar fungus or turtle blood.
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