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- Le Sensation American
Nitrate. It’s all the rage. So, while we’d love to talk about the delicious chicken chili enchiladas, cilantro rice, and black bean corn salsa that the Garmin-Sharp guys ate for dinner on Tuesday before stage 3 of the USA Pro Challenge, we will, instead, focus on the cilantro, arugula, and avocado salad that was also served. Why? Because arugula contains nitrate, and nitrate has been shown to significantly increase performance levels of athletes, including cyclists, in several serious studies.
Through a complex process involving the small intestines, saliva, bacteria and the stomach, consumed nitrate is converted to nitrite and then to nitric oxide, among other nitrogen oxides. Nitric oxide can have a surprisingly large impact on how well your muscles perform under high-intensity exercise, allowing them to use oxygen more efficiently. Although results obviously vary, one study showed an average increase of power of 5% for nitrate-ingesting cyclists during a short time trial. That’s freaking crazy!
Mike “Meatball” Friedman races for the Optum Pro Cycling team and is one of the best personalities in the pro peloton.
Good morning and welcome to my USA Pro Cycling Challenge blog post for CLIF Bar. Optum Pro Cycling Presented by Kelly Benefit Strategies is happy to have them on board as one of our great sponsors as we tackle races around the globe. It’s companies like Clif that allow us to do what we do - I personally rely on CLIF food during the race as they have a good mix of CLIF Bars, SHOT Gels, SHOT BLOKS, and recovery products, in addition to recently revamping their drink mix that we are currently testing at this race, which I have to admit I like.
If you read the blog yesterday, you’ll know that the Garmin-Sharp Pro Cycling team brings along a custom rolling kitchen to each stage race in the United States. And, if you watched today’s USA Pro Challenge stage roll into Breckenridge, Colorado, you’ll know that Garmin’s own Lachlan Morton finished second and pulled on the overall leader’s jersey a few minutes later.
So, what powered Lachlan over two grueling mountain passes and 120 miles of Rocky Mountain torture today? Take a look at last night’s menu:
We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a commentplease and thank you.)