How Bicarbonate of Soda increases athletic performance
This common baking ingredient has been widely researched and appears to also help our muscles during intense workouts.
Bicarbonate of Soda for Athletic Performance
Bicarbonate of soda is actually a popular workout supplement. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, sodium bicarbonate is among the leading ergogenic aids. Athletes and individuals participating in vigorous exercise are using bicarbonate of soda to help delay muscle fatigue and improve performance.
Short bouts of high-intensity exercise
Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO₃) supplementation is especially popular during short bouts of high-intensity exercise. Sprinters, swimmers, and rowers have improved performance by taking bicarbonate of soda prior to their competitive sport. Additional research has indicated bicarb may be beneficial during challenging workouts lasting 30 to 60 minutes.
During high-intensity workouts, our body releases chemicals into the muscle tissue. Metabolic by-products like lactic acid and hydrogen form in the muscle cells. While most of the by-products are buffered, some do remain in the muscle cells, creating an acidic environment. Acidity is causally related to pH levels in our bodies. Increased acidity alters pH levels causing our muscles to burn and feel fatigued.
Bicarb before exercise
According to research, taking sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO₃) before exercise helps to flush metabolic by-products from the muscle tissue.
Published in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, “NaHCO3 ingestion has been proposed to enhance performance by increasing extracellular buffering capacity.” This means taking bicarbonate of soda works on a cellular level in our body creating a better chemical environment for our muscles.
Balanced pH Levels
Hydrion Paper indicates the pH of various acidic and basic solutions. pH paper shows that pH of salt solutions can vary depending on the strength of their acids and bases.
Body functioning is optimal when our pH is balanced or neutral.6 Body acidity and alkalinity are measured using pH, a scale running from 0 to 14. Our body is most acidic at zero and most alkaline at 14. The body works hard to maintain a neutral pH of 7. Bicarbonate of soda ingestion is believed to have the ability to reduce the acidic environment caused by high-intensity exercise.
Why a high acidic environment is harmful to your body
When the environment in our body becomes too acidic, we can experience adverse health effects. The heart, liver, and kidneys can be overworked which can lead to chronic health conditions. Too much acidity can also contribute to muscle impairment and atrophy (wasting).
Baking soda has become well-known for balancing acidity in the body and serving as good preventative medicine. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts appreciate the health benefits and use it often to power their workouts.
High-intensity exercise signals our body to release hydrogen ions. Hydrogen is a metabolic waste product causing an acidic environment and decreased athletic performance. Research indicates sodium bicarbonate buffers the acids by binding to them. This binding allows for enhanced energy output during challenging workouts.
When acid levels are maintained at neutral levels, our muscles operate more efficiently. Energy metabolism is increased, and studies indicate our muscles can sustain longer workouts. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, bicarbonate of soda is an effective buffering agent to maintain healthy pH and improve athletic performance.
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Special thanks to: https://www.verywellfit.com/