In recent days the conversation amongst many of my riding mates has shifted to the issue of supplements. Or, more specifically, whether they actually make much difference for hack riders like the majority of us? Of course EPO has received a mention as it always does, as has colostrum and creatine. But without doubt some of the most interesting discussion has surrounded HGH, or human growth hormone.
I’m no sports scientist and have zero intention of getting into the specifics here (plenty of websites and blogs do that already, often directly contradicting each other!). But I did want to mention one thing that ‘arose’ while I was out riding this morning.
One chap I know who has a science background explained the human body naturally produces HGH during high intensity exercise and also sleep, especially in adolescent males, which is one of the reasons why men of all ages often experience ‘morning glory’. As he continued, now with more than a slight blush and noticeably lowered voice, it became clear this was not to be our usual bunch ride conversation.
“It can also a good way to determine if you’ve had a good training session or not,” he says with a schoolboy grin. Huh? “Well, I’m not saying it’s happened to me or anything (translation: “It’s happened to me”) but there are plenty of reports of cyclists having erections towards the end of hard rides or work-outs.”
After a moment of contemplation, one wag pipes up: “So you know you’ve been training hard if you start busting out of your bike pants?”
“Yep, pretty much.”