Literature review of supplements and erogoeinc aids used by cycling athletes Professional cycling is among the most physically demanding sports with a combination of extreme duration, intensity and frequency of the physical demand. Professional cyclists have approximately 100 race-days in a year with races ranging from 200 to 3000 and more kilometers on different terrains with different requirements for physical endurance, terrains like roads, mountains, cross road etc…
It was estimated that the cyclists spend approximately 82 680 KJ of energy during this event. From this total energy spend in the race 54 percents were obtained during the race with intermittent ingestion of liquids, energy and sports drinks and other sources. Based on this approximately 46 percents of the total energy was provided by the intrinsic stored energy (in a form of glycogen, fats, proteins etc.) form the cyclist. As a result of this at the end of the race cyclist loosed 1.19 kilograms of body weight. This example shows that energy demands during long lasting cycling events are extreme. It is estimated that they are 3 times greater than the highest recorded energy demand in a heavy industry worker. There are many parameters that are used in order to measure the level of physical demands in one exercise and in the same time to evaluate the physical condition of the athlete. One of them is VO2 max. It is defined as maximum oxygen consumption in one athlete or peak oxygen intake in a period of time during intensive exercise. It is the maximal measured capacity of the organism of the athlete to use oxygen during one physical exercise and is measured in liters of oxygen in minute or milliliters per kilogram body weight in minute. It is a measurement of the ability of the organism to use aerobic system to produce energy. In order to better understand the implication of this measurement we must note that the organism has several systems of energy production that in essence is one complex system, composited of the ATP system, anaerobic system of glycolisys and aerobic system or mitochondrial respiration. End product of all systems is ATP (adenosine three phosphate) which is the main energy source for the cell metabolism. During low level exercises human muscles almost exclusively use aerobic mitochondrial metabolism as for energy production. It is much more effective process of energy production because from one molecule of glucose it produces 30 molecules of ATP. Because of this during low levels of exercise muscles use mitochondrial respiration. But we must understand that the metabolism of glucose is conducted both by aerobic and anaerobic metabolism. In the anaerobic metabolism glucose is converted to pyruvate which is than metabolized oxalate and oxalate it then finally metabolized in the mitochondria to CO2 and water producing 30 molecules of ATP. Now in low level exercises almost all glucose is converted to pyruvate and all pyruvate is metabolized to CO2 and water using this aerobic metabolism in the mitochondria. VO2max is actually measurement of this ability of the human organism to use aerobic processes to produce energy. In order to measure VO2max the intensity of the exercise is gradually increasing until the oxygen consumption reaches maximal values (Niels et al. 2004). It is important measurement because by aerobic metabolism energy is used much more effectively and therefore athletes can produce better results in a long lasting low level exercises. However in the case of extensive exercise (for example during a sprint before finish or very steep slope on the mountain) there is a demand for more energy and more glucose is metabolized to ...
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