Does drinking 500ml of Jager Bomb increase sprint performance

Not blood doping, donating my body to scienceDuring the summer months I was taking part in a study into whether a ketone based drink could help sports performance in highly trained cyclists. I got accepted which made me smile as apparently I was a highly trained cyclist! Anyhow as you will now be aware I wasn’t going to Bath Uni to down Jager Bombs with the students and then smash myself on the Wattbike.

The whole process was spread over 6 weeks, the first being a familiarisation day which sounds nice but involved doing an all out 20 minute FTP test in which I achieved 327 watts which I was really pleased with, followed by 4 x 30 second all out sprints which were around the 600 watt mark.

This set up the parameters for the full test process which would be arrive, get a cannula inserted into your arm as you can see on the right, drink a bottle of whatever they give you and wait 45 minutes. We would then start the testing process which was 20 minutes at 85% of your 20 minute watts so 278 for me followed by 5 minutes rest and then 10 x 30 second sprints with 1 minute 30 seconds rest between each sprint, it doesn’t sound that bad when you see it written down but believe me it was horrendous.

Other important parts of the process included following the same diet 24 hours before testing which made me sick of chilli con carne and desperate for coffee due to the caffeine ban! We had to have our heart rate monitored and blood samples taken before, twice during and once after the testing, guinea pig comes to mind.

The first 2 test weeks were base line tests only using water which we were told, then the last 3 weeks we were given 2 different funny tasting drinks and water once more.

So my highlights from the weeks were as follows:

Week 2: Go in feeling good, test well achieving 600 watts plus for most of my sprints, one of the other subjects nearly feints at the end.

Week 3: really missed caffeine this day not feeling 100% but still achieve 620 watts plus, the same guy pukes after the testing.

Week 4: I get given a drink which I can only describe as tasting like the cheap fake Jagermeister with cheap energy drink (500ml of it) chilled which I had to down. I thought this must be it the rocket fuel, which fired me up to put a little extra in…. Bad idea after 2 sprints of 640 watts i develop bad heart burn and my performance falls of a cliff, my sprints see 500 -550 watts for the first time. As I go out for some air the same guy gets off his bike runs outside and proceeds to get rid of his orange drink the same way it went in.

Week 5: Water again and performance is back to 620-640 watts. Not as many sickies this week.

Week 6: Another strange tasting drink, a slightly different colour variety of scrumpy cider but not as strong tasting as week 4. Performance was immense 620 watts building to 650 watts followed by a cheeky 660 on the last sprint.

So after all of this was I any faster, well yes I did my FTP test again and I hit 338 watts so 11 more than week 1 which was a 3.4% increase which was form doing one intense training session per week with my usual weekly biking miles.

Another benefit of taking part in the trial was a track day with olympic medallist Rob Hayles at Odd Down circuit then a question and answer session back at the Uni plus a load of free supplements, so I will definitely be taking part in another study. I have attached the full results in this post for you to have a look at.

Paul Ransome – test results cycling

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