Caffeine and Nutrition, Training with the Menstrual Cycle, Closing Gaps and More with Special Guest Amber Pierce – Ask a Cycling Coach 220

Special guest and Cannondale Pro Amber Pierce joins the team for a discussion on how caffeine affects mid-ride nutrition, closing gaps in a race, balancing performance with the menstrual cycle and much more. Tune in live on YouTube this Thursday, September 12 at 8:00am Pacific to catch Episode 220 of the Ask a Cycling Coach Podcast!

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Woot woot! @ambermalika coming back!



Yay Amber’s back


Oh, boy… this will be a loooooooong thread :stuck_out_tongue:


yeeh Ambers back.


Yay Amber! Gonna throw this out there… has she made any new drinks or recovery drinks? I remember she made her own but was curious if she has crafted them further since the last cast.

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I mean, I love the TR guys. But putting @ambermalika in the mix blows the amps, speakers, and causes the power plants to increase production!


This will be a good one for sure, happy to see Amber is back on!!


@ambermalika on coffee as @chad ruins everything:

So what you’re saying is, it tastes good, and we should eat more?

:rofl: :rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:


Thank you so much for answering my question about caffeine and nutrient absorption. Much appreciated!!


In episode 220, it was mentioned that EVOC came out with a new bike bag where you only had to take off the wheels. However, after scouring the internet, I cannot find any reference to this bag? Has anyone seen pictures of this bag and know when it is going to be released?

I currently use the EVOC Pro case and love it because it fits within the dimensions and weight limits that certain airlines have to qualify it for normal bag pricing. I’m concerned that this new bag won’t fit the dimensions.


found my answer in the show notes :slight_smile: nothing to see here


Hey guys I’m really disappointed by the suscreen conversation! A few things I thought needed better consideration especially since the discussion sounded a lot like health advice:

  1. I completely disagree with the idea that sunscreens are suspect because they contain “chemicals”, whereas barrier-type sunblock doesn’t. I was surprised to hear Chad talk about it this way because it honestly gives off a pseudoscience vibe, like when someone talks about “flushing toxins”. The idea that we shouldn’t apply “chemicals” to our skin misses the point that everything’s a chemical, even water. The active ingredients in sunscreen are tested and to my knowledge there’s no evidence that they represent any kind of health risk. The greatest health concerns that have been reported are allergic reactions to ingredients like PABA, which is why most sunscreens these days use a different ingredient instead.

  2. broad spectrum sunscreens that protect against UVA and UVB light do exist, and there is good information out there to back up which products in particular give you the best coverage. Most importantly you can and should protect yourself from both - both will cause skin damage and both are risk factors for skin cancer.

  3. I was surprised to hear Chad claim you can build up a tolerance to sun exposure. What evidence is there of this? It sounds an awful lot like the false claim that getting a “base tan” will help protect from sunburns. It doesn’t. Both tans and sunburns reflect skin damage.

I would like to hear more about vitamin D although it’s pretty important to balance the fact that most of us do get a reasonable amount of Vitamin D from our diets. If we need more, increasing intake through supplements makes a lot more sense than ditching sunscreen and sunblock.


Agreed on all counts. ‘No such thing as a safe tan.’

Not sure I’d advocate using spray on sunscreen either, every summer here (Aus) there are news stories about people getting burned to a crisp when using the spray ons and therefore blaming the rubbish product. It’s not a rubbish product, most people simply don’t apply enough of it, compared to lotion based.


I understood them to be contrasting chemical-filter with mineral-filter sunscreens, not bemoaning chemicals generally. More on that at EWG, with references.

I’d recommend checking out the resources from EWG.

When the FDA began to consider sunscreen safety, it grandfathered in active ingredients from the late 1970s without reviewing the evidence of their potential hazards. In February 2019, the agency released its final draft sunscreens monograph, which contains insufficient health and safety data to designate 12 of the 16 sunscreen filters allowed for use in the U.S. as generally recognized as safe and effective, or GRASE. These 12 ingredients include some of the most commonly used UV filters, including oxybenzone, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene, homosalate and avobenzone. According to the agency, “nearly all of these sunscreen active ingredients … have limited or no data characterizing their absorption.”

I literally didn’t know that products existed that didn’t do this. Everything sold here is uvb in a protection factor of your choice ranging from ‘i like to tan on the surface of the sun’ to ‘pasty white year round please’ and the UVA is I suspect pretty similar in everything. The SPF15 I put on this morning is marked UVA ultra whatever that means.

In a similar twist of what we might call cognitive bias it also never even occured to me that there were mineral Vs chemical sunscreens.

Regarding ‘building up tolerance’ of sun exposure - the skin naturally gets thicker and darker with sun exposure. And yes, that does protect from more sun damage. However in the process of developing that thicker skin, you might have already caused enough damage for more long-lasting skin damage…

It’s also worth mentioning that sun tan as a result of just UV-A from a solarium does not lead to the same ‘tolerance build-up’ as exposure to both UV-A and UV-B, and leads to a false sense of security.

Most suncreams contain chemical protection, but some also add minerals - nanoparticles of TiO2 and ZnO - to help reflect light (this is mostly optical, it makes a thicker layer of cream look transparent) and makes the cream easier to apply.

Some suncreams also add microplastics. I’d personally avoid those for their environmental impact, as well as those with oxybenzon, which kills corals (and is banned on Hawaii and other islands).


I LOL’d!

Haha! That last one was a doozy! This one is looking a bit tamer… :wink:

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