Race Day Boost

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Race Day Boost

Postby jwa » Sun Jan 30, 2011 11:47 pm

Hi all,
Is Race Day Boost recommended for ultra-cycling events or is it primarily intended for regular road race type events? If using for say, a 500 mi ultra, is the dosage or loading protocol any different than for a 40-50 mi road race?


Jerry A
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Re: Race Day Boost

Postby steve-born » Mon Jan 31, 2011 1:59 pm

Hello Jerry -

Most of the research on sodium phosphate was done for shorter-duration events (I believe that most of the research was done using cyclists doing a 40k time trial). So, if we were to go purely on the research it would appear that Race Day Boost would be best used for events in the 1-2 hour range, perhaps slightly longer.

That said, because sodium phosphate enhances the functioning of the body's three different energy systems, or metabolic pathways - the ATP-CP system, the lactic acid system, and the oxygen/aerobic, system - it wouldn't be a stretch whatsoever to say it would be beneficial for longer-duration events. The reason I say this is because even though the effects of sodium phosphate may "wear out" (for lack of a better term) after a couple hours of time, if the body's energy-producing systems are enhanced during first couple hours of a race, it stands to reason that this will only benefit you during the latter hours of an event. Add to that the fact that Perpetuem contains some sodium phosphate as well. I like to refer to this as a "maintenance dose," meaning that it helps replenish the sodium phosphate that your body has used up from the loading dose.

With all this said, while I hypothesize that the most noticeable results from Race Day Boost may come when taken in a loading dose format prior to races in the 1-2 hour range, it will most definitely be beneficial for longer-duration events as well, especially if Perpetuem is used as the primary fuel.

As far as the loading dose is concerned, I see no reason to deviate from the "standard" loading dose protocol that is suggested for Race Day Boost.

Here is some detailed information as to the body's three energy-producing systems and what the sodium phosphate component in Race Day Boost does for each of them:

The first energy system is the ATP-CP (adenosine triphosphate and creatine phosphate) system. ATP is the immediate source of energy for muscle contraction, breaking down to ADP (adenosine diphosphate) as it releases the energy to fire a muscle fiber contraction. This system releases energy very rapidly, but also depletes very rapidly, in just a few seconds of continued effort. It is the energy source used in brief, intense activities such as weightlifting or sprinting. Creatine phosphate, another high-energy compound naturally occurring in all muscle cells, also breaks down, releasing energy as it loses its phosphate group, but unlike ATP, it does not cause muscle contraction. Instead, the phosphate goes to an ADP, converting it back into ATP, thus replenishing the system. The sodium tribasic phosphate (STP) in Race Day Boost supplies phosphate groups used in the re-synthesis of CP and ATP, thus improving the performance of this short-term energy system.

The second energy system is the lactic acid system. A key feature of this system is its relationship with blood pH. Normal blood maintains a slightly alkaline pH of 7.3 to 7.4, optimal for the enzymes that produce energy via the lactic acid energy system. This system uses carbohydrates as fuel, primarily in the form of glycogen stored in the muscles. Our bodies break down muscle glycogen (a process known as glycogenolysis) into glucose, which then undergoes further breakdown via glycolysis. Glycolysis converts sugar to pyruvic acid, releasing energy and creating ATP. Glycolysis occurs with or without the presence of oxygen. At rest, glycolysis occurs at a slower rate sustained by the oxygen you inhale (aerobic glycolysis). As you begin to exercise, the rate of aerobic glycolysis increases. As intensity of exercise increases, aerobic glycolysis becomes inadequate to support energy production and the system switches to anaerobic glycolysis. Through a series of chemical reactions in muscle cells, the formation of lactic acid allows anaerobic glycolysis to continue. However, excess lactic acid accumulates during high intensity efforts, increasing the hydrogen ion concentration within the muscle cells and disrupting the ideal alkaline blood pH. This results in that all-too-familiar "burn" we all hate. Race Day Boost's phosphate salt buffers blood acidity and helps maintain this acid-alkaline balance by neutralizing excess hydrogen ions within the muscle cell. Effectively buffering excess lactic acid allows the lactic acid system to provide energy for a longer time.

Phosphates also aid in improving the third energy system in the body, the oxygen (aerobic) energy system. This system uses primarily carbohydrates and fats to produce ATP, but after 90-120 minutes of sustained exercise, this system starts to chew on protein, with about 5 - 15% of the energy coming from amino acids. The oxygen system can't produce ATP as rapidly as the other two systems, but it does produce greater quantities of ATP. It serves as the primary energy system of aerobic, or "conversational level," athletics. In other words, if you're breathing easily enough that you can talk while you're running or cycling, you're still in the aerobic mode. Even though it seems that you're always going anaerobic in a race, or at least going back and forth between all the energy systems, once you settle into a rhythm during the race, your body relies mostly on the oxygen energy system. Phosphates form part of a compound found in red blood cells known as 2,3 diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG). This molecule helps release oxygen from hemoglobin into the muscle cells. An increase in 2,3-DPG will improve the availability of oxygen to working muscles for the process of creating ATP.

--- END ---

As you can see, sodium phosphate helps to enhance the short-term, mid-term, and long-term energy-producing systems of the body.

I hope this helps answer your question!


Steve Born
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Re: Race Day Boost

Postby jwa » Mon Jan 31, 2011 3:43 pm

Thanks Steve,

Great detail in your answer, as usual.

One comment that occurs to me is that while the loading dose might last a couple of hours in a short, high intensity road race, in an ultra you are operating at a much lower level of effort. I would guess that if you're going anaerobic in the early hours of an ultra, you are going to be hurting big-time later on. So, it would seem that the beneficial effects might last longer at a lower intensity because you wouldn't 'use it up' as fast. Make sense?

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