Posted by: renssuperawesomepage | February 9, 2012

Bicarbonate soda, a performance enhancer for runners

Scientists have officially proven what athletes have been claiming for years that bicarbonate of soda, can have a significant effect on the endurance and speed of an athlete.

A study at Loughborough University found that of nine swimmers who took baking soda before an event, eight reduced their times, the Times reports. (

How does it work?

The pH level in  muscle cells is slightly alkaline while at rest meaning there’s a  relatively low concentration of hydrogen ions.  Normally, it is at this level that enzymes that produce energy via the lactic acid and oxygen energy systems perform at their peak.  Experts believe that if the concentration of hydrogen ions and acidity increases in the muscle cell, then the optimal functioning of these enzymes will be disturbed and energy production will decrease.  Fatigue and decreased performance may result because of increased acid production within the muscle cell when the lactic acid energy system is used during high intensity exercise such as running or swimming.

Your body produces and uses baking soda to protect its blood from acidity,keeping this in mind coaches have been using bicarbonate supplements to reduce muscle acidity and improve performance.

Only a few top coaches have mastered its use through trial and error – and kept the results to themselves.  Only in the last decade has intensive research put this information into scientific journals.  The secrets of bicarbonate loading – how much to take, when to take, and what kinds of performance benefit are now available.

Muscle biopsy’s on athletes HAVE shown that after bicarbonate loading, the less acidic your blood pH, the less acidic your muscle.

Athletes who mainly rely on the use of the lactic acid energy system, such as bodybuilders, during exercise get the most benefits from alkaline salts compared to endurance athletes who find them not beneficial as aerobic athletic events do not produce lactate rapidly in the muscle cell.


Are there side effects?

Athletes in the past have abandoned using bicarbonate of soda to aid their running as they experience side effects of indigestion and diarrhoea, which would clearly inhibit performance. This may happen if the wrong dosage is taken. NEVER try this for the first time on race day!

There are no known long-term side effects of taking bicarbonate of soda but keep in mind, baking soda is a cooking product that helps batter to rise.


300mg per kg of their mass if they are male and 250mg per kg if they are female. This should be split into 5 parts, starting 3 hours before running and then each dose being at 30 minutes intervals with the last one 1 hour before the event or match.

Note; please understand that every athlete is different and results or side effects may vary.

resources used for this article

for more information contact

Renai La Rocca





  1. Thanks awfully for having written this. I absolutely agree with your opinion.

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