One thought fills my mind as I approach small towns during cycle tours. Food. Specifically bakery products and milk, the original isotonic sports drink. Going slowly means the expensive food-like substances used by real athletes are unnecessary. It doesn’t matter if some of my blood flow is diverted away from my limbs and towards my gut for digesting the real food which fuels me as I have plenty of time.
Or do I?
Researchers have found that the branched chain amino acids, leucine, isoleucine and valine, found in weightlifting supplements prolong the active lifespan of nematode worms. They knocked out a gene called bcat-1 which breaks down branched chain amino acids and found C.elegans bulked up, had more sex and stayed active for longer. They then confirmed that feeding more of the amino acids to the worms had similar effects. The relevance is that we share the bcat-1 gene, and several others affecting longevity, with nematodes.
No wonder Tesco has a shelf of supplements for athletes near the vegetable aisles! You guys were already on to this.
Two hikers who know all about getting the miles in are EA “Snorkel” Thomas and Gilad Nachmani, the Hiking Father. Snorkel has several great posts on food on her blog, for example this one, and Gilad knows his onions on helping us flatlanders prepare for hiking in the hills.