It’s been almost exactly one year since I first tried PR Lotion. Since I last wrote, PR Lotion has undergone a re-branding/repackaging and I’ve ridden close to 9,500 miles, many of them with PR Lotion on my legs. Seems like a good time for a follow-up on what has become my favorite training aid.

Note: if you didn’t read the series of articles I wrote last year you can get them here. They include a lot of specific performance numbers which may be of interest.

What Is It?

Here’s how Amp Human Performance (the company behind PR Lotion) describes their product:

PR Lotion is a tool for the human body that delivers bicarbonate directly to your hardest working muscle groups. Bicarbonate is what your body naturally produces to neutralize acid, battle fatigue and reduce soreness. More bicarbonate means the ability to do more–more work, more results and more days doing what you love.

It is well-known that sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) can boost performance in cyclists (here are articles from the US National Institute of Health and TrainingPeaks on the topic, but Google will bring up many more). The challenge with bicarb is the difficulty of ingestion: it is unpleasant to consume, and if you do it wrong things can go south fast. The TrainingPeaks article above says, “One of the more common side effects is gastrointestinal distress in the form of cramping, vomiting, and diarrhea.”

PR Lotion sidesteps the ingestion issue: instead of eating it, you rub it on your legs. No gastrointestinal distress.

How Do You Use It?

I typically do two hard training rides (60-120 minutes) per week, plus a long ride on Saturday. These are the rides where I’ve been consistently using PR Lotion this year. (It isn’t needed for my recovery rides since the goal then is to not push myself hard.)

To put it plainly: I now have two essentials for every hard ride: water and PR Lotion.

I rub the lotion in 15-30 minutes before the ride begins. It is worth noting that the application is the worst thing about PR Lotion: it’s rather sticky stuff, and takes some effort to rub in sufficiently. I rub most of it into my quads from knees to waist, but I may also rub more into my hamstrings and calves if I am anticipating an especially hard effort (or if I squirt out too much lotion). Once it is all rubbed in I wash my hands, which takes a few cycles of soaping and rinsing.

What Does It Do?

For me the effects of PR Lotion have been clear and simple: it reduces muscle burn during hard efforts. Pain levels are difficult to quantify precisely, but I would say it knocks down the burn by 10-15%.

Now, if I was doing specific interval workouts I might find that I can complete those intervals with less suffering. But in my typical training ride situation (competitive outdoor group rides or indoor Zwift races) this means I just go harder and set new personal bests.

Training harder means faster gains. It also means improved performance in the races I love!

The results I’ve experienced are in line with the studies Amp Human Performance cites on their website which found that PR Lotion:

  • Meaningfully increased lactate levels, leading to an improvement in muscle efficiency
  • Increased interval completed before exhaustion by 25%
  • Reduced muscle soreness by 53%
  • Delivered a lower heart rate at the same workload

Sharing is Caring

When I like something, I tell others about it. That’s why I’m writing this post, and that’s why I’ve shared tubes of PR Lotion with my local cycling buddies. Most who have tried it continue using it today. Two mountain biking friends even started shaving their legs just so they could apply it more easily… now that’s saying something!


Save 25% Today!

I’ve arranged a short-term discount with the good folks at Amp Human Performance–a portion of your purchase goes to support Zwift Insider, but you also get a great deal. A win win!

Buy PR Lotion

Buy PR Lotion here, and use the one-time discount code ZWIFTPR to get 25% your purchase through November 21. Shipping is free on orders over $25, so if you buy the big tube (good for 10-15 workouts, regular price $35) it will ship free. Plus it comes with a 60-day money back guarantee, so what have you got to lose?


Speaking of losing, I need to go warm up for a Zwift KISS race. ☺ I rarely podium, but PR Lotion helps me push hard every time. See you out there!