I'm reading TIme Crunched Cyclist right now, and the author talks a lot about the body adapting to the lactate buildup from exercise and learning how to clear it more efficiently as you exercise more, thus gaining more endurance, less soreness, etc.
My question is this: I have been using Sportlegs, which are a supplement that is supposed to buffer lactate and help the body clear it faster. I think it works. Since I've been using it, my muscles are less sore. So does this interfere with the body's ability to adapt to higher lactate levels and gain efficiency in clearing it? Could I be hindering possible gains to my body by using this?
My thought is that if the supplement works, then yes, you could be hurting your gains. Your body responds to stress by adapting to better deal with similar stresses--the stress is what causes the results. There are a lot of studies and trainers now that suggest several tactics that speed up recovery actually prevent optimal gains. There have been several studies on antioxidants--which are promoted all the time now--that suggest the damage caused by free radicals in your body actually spurs your training progress. Meaning that taking antioxidants after exercise can be detrimental.
But I also think its likely that the supplement doesn't work or hardly works. I know some people endorse it but I'm always skeptical of non-nutritional supplements. If the supplement doesn't work much in the first place, I doubt it could be detrimental to progress.
I'm not a doctor or a trainer, just a guy who reads a lot of articles and some books. What I think it open to criticism and questioning.
Im usually pretty skeptical myself, but I think theses things do work. Either that, or I'm finally adapting & getting better. I'm new, got about 800 miles on the saddle, and am finally to the point that I can ride back to back days without my quads burning. Could be the supplements, could be me, or a little of both. Think I'm gonna ween off of em though & see how it goes.