What are the 3 most controversial letters in cycling? Without a doubt you can ask Lance Armstrong or his haters and get the same answer: EPO. Many in the cycling world want to credit Armstrong’s seven Tour de France titles to his blood doping habit and scandal with EPO. At the risk of sounding like I support Lance Armstrong in his decision to dope (which I can never do; doping is absolutely ridiculous) I truly feel like even if he wasn’t doping he would likely have still won those seven titles.
But what’s worse is that new research released hints that use of recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO – a.k.a. blood doping, EPO, etc.) in elite cyclists such as Armstrong isn’t likely to increase performance any ways. A new study published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology conducted by some Dutch scientists confirms that EPO use among elite athletes has very little effect in performance if any effect at all.
So what does EPO do exactly? rHuEPO became an endurance athlete’s drug of choice after it was shown to increase red blood cell mass and exercise capacity in patients suffering from anemia from chronic kidney disease. This resulting boost to the oxygen uptake (VO2max) could help performance in endurance athletes.
Why is it likely that it didn’t help Lance Armstrong? The math concept behind EPO is plain enough: increased oxygen in your muscles = improved performance. Simply because an elite athlete is at a fitness level very different than that of a patient suffering with anemia from chronic kidney disease. Elite athletes already have such a high VO2max that EPO can only effect a small change in oxygen uptake therefore having a little effect on performance. It would be like trying to warm a bucket of cold water by adding a single drop of hot water.
The Dutch scientists found that the VO2max in elite athletes was already 50%-100% higher than those in normal healthy young people. Also, VO2max in elite athletes plateaus while performance continues to improve through other factors such as muscle capillary density muscle metabolic adaptations, efficient biomechanics, and more. So any increase in VO2max was of negligible performance gain.
What’s worse? In fact, the Dutch found that using EPO carried significant and harmful side effects that could negatively effect an elite athlete’s performance such as Hypertension, Clots, and Inflammation. It would appear based on this research that elite athletes should shy away from EPO as the risks far outweigh any performance gain they can hope to achieve.
So what about those of us who are not elite like Lance Armstrong? The Dutch authors note that moderately trained athletes can improve performance through a variety of factors, including a boost to VO2max. So for those of you who are average cyclists and want to get faster EPO may work very well for you.
Wait, but I thought EPO was illegal? It is. Doping is definitely illegal. There are legal EPO style of supplements that can help boost your cycling performance. One my personal favorites is beet juice. That is right. Nitrate free beets are natures very own EPO drug! A study showed that cyclists drinking a half liter of beetroot juice prior to cycling exercise made them 3% faster and increased their power output as well as their ratio of power output to oxygen expenditure. Great news except beet juice can taste awful or the amount of beets you have to have on hand to take it daily can be crazy expensive. Fortunately there are many products on the market that have concentrated forms of beet juice, or beet juice powder. I personally like BeetElite carried in some local bicycle shops or widely available online.
Even more controversial is the new supplement out in the market called EPO-BOOST®. Meant to be taken daily and intentionally derived from the controversial cycling drug lingo “EPO”, this supplement claims to increase your naturally occurring EPO by 90% compared to their own study with a placebo group. A quick Google search of the product and you will see many athletes taking it and swearing by it. It is heavily marketed in the various cycling magazines and circles. All ingredients are in strict compliance with WADA, UCI, IOC, and NCAA rules thereby allowing athletes to pass drug testing.
Of course, the potency of this legal product EPO-BOOST® must inevitably be less than the illegal Lance Armstrong blood doping sort used in the Tour de France. And yet the same risks involved with EPO use are surely present as well as the same analysis for elite athletes.
I’m left to conclude that:
- Lance Armstrong would likely have won seven titles anyways.
- Illegal EPO use is not worth the risks for the marginal and very questionable performance gains.
- And finally, that for those of us who are not as elite as Lance Armstrong our performance can most certainly be improved in lots of ways that don’t include want-a-be EPO products but focus instead on disciplined training and eating habits. But for the heck of it we may actually see a boost in our performance from Beet Juice or products like EPO-BOOST®.
Arizona based bicycle accident lawyer Ben Dodge
If you, or someone you know were injured in a bicycle accident caused by road debris, hire a personal injury attorney who is experienced and has a successful track record. Ben dodge, a licensed bicycle accident lawyer in Arizona, has dedicated his entire firm to one purpose: representing cyclists. Bicycle accident cases are the only cases Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC handles. Home based out of the great state of Arizona, Ben can still help cyclists in the entire United States.
Ben Dodge has represented and assisted bicycle accident victims across the entire united states. As an avid and competitive cyclist himself, Mr. Dodge currently participates in national and local cycling events all over the country. It isn’t uncommon to spot him in early morning hours out riding his bike. The day he fell in love with his job was the day he devoted himself completely to bicycle accident cases.
Ben represents cyclists injured in bicycle accidents, at the police station, with insurance companies, and in the courts. He advocates for the rights of all cyclists, not just his clients. He teaches the police about bike laws and bike safety, he educates drivers about the rules of the road, and he trains cyclists and clubs to ride more safely.
A consultation with experienced Arizona bicycle accident attorney Ben Dodge is free
In recent years there has been approximately 700 bicycle fatalities in the united states every single year. Approximately 2,000 bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. approximately 30 fatal bicycle accidents are reported in Arizona every year. Bicycle fatalities are terrible and horrific tragedies that affect the lives of too many families and friends to count. Understanding your rights and obligations as a cyclist can bring clarity to your specific accident situation. It will always be in your best interest to be represented by an attorney who knows the bicycle laws and has a successful track record of winning bicycle accident cases. The negotiation tactics and strategies of winning a case are extremely important but should always take a back row seat to the litigation experience and knowledge of court room rules, local, state, and federal rules of civil procedure that can have significant impact on your bicycle accident case. It is wise to be represented by someone well versed in bicycle accident law, local and state bicycle ordinances, rules, regulations, policies, and laws. You should hire someone very familiar with negligence and tort law, civil procedure, and the rules of evidence as they all relate specifically to bicycle accident cases.
Ben dodge always offers a complimentary in person consultation to all local cyclists and a complimentary phone consultation to any cyclist injured in a bike accident. Typically the consultations are schedule from 30-60 minutes depending on the severity of the accident. You can expect to get answers to questions, clarity, information, and reassurance of your personal bike accident liability and potential for recovery. In your free consultation you can generally expect to discuss such topics as:
- your specific bike accident details, diagrams, and pictures from your perspective and then from the perspective of your bike accident attorney.
- the applicable local, state, and federal laws underlying your case.
- your cyclist’s rights, obligations, and any potential liability.
- the process, procedure (in and out of court), and the time frame required to conclude your case.
- the value of your case and what you might expect as compensation.
You can call Arizona bicycle lawyer Ben Dodge of bike accident attorneys, PLC at 1.855.663.3922. Mr. Dodge’s staff is standing and ready to accept your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. Ben will personally return your call within 24 hours. there is never an obligation for a complimentary consultation with Mr. dodge. His passion is in representing cyclists and his entire office stands ready to serve with kindness and patience.
Bike Accident Attorneys, PLC
Call Ben Dodge, the Arizona Bicycle Lawyer today at 1.855.663.3922. Reach him by fax at 1.800.958.8902.
Mr. Dodge can also be reached by email at email@example.com
His main Arizona offices are located at:
Mesa Arizona (home base office)
4824 E. Baseline Rd., Suite 124
Mesa, Arizona 85206
Phoenix Arizona office
2415 e. Camelback rd., suite 700
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
Tucson Arizona office
One South Church Avenue, 12th Floor
Tucson, Arizona 85701
Mr. Dodge represents cyclists in the entire state of Arizona including but not limited to mesa, phoenix, tucson, yuma, gilbert, peoria, glendale, scottsdale, ahwatukee, tempe, chandler, prescott, sedona, flagstaff, surprise, kingman, page, lake havasu city, payson, goodyear, buckeye, queen creek, paradise valley, show low, winslow, maricopa, nogales, globe, avondale, cave creek, fountain hills, apache junction, carefree, wickenburg, pinetop-lakeside, strawberry, anthem, safford, and more. Ben Dodge is currently involved with bicycle accident cases all over the country and can assist in representation in all 50 states.