Baking Soda used to prolong lactic build up

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  • Baking Soda used to prolong lactic build up
  • Premier Icon jam bo

    why do you think gels give you so much wind…

    Link So I was watching Law and Order yesterday and baking soda was used to increase a race horses speed. Thought it might be fictional…apparetly not

    Any one heard of this?

    Premier Icon footflaps

    It’s well known in track cycling but the side affect is diarrhea, hence it’s not much used.


    Which would lead nicely to This, I guess

    Very well known of and researched. Athlete’s have been using it for a long time but as stated, you’d better be close to a Portaloo! A less ‘explosive’ answer is Beta Alanine, which does pretty much the same but without the side effects.

    I would imagine if you’re getting gas after taking energy products, Gels and the like then it’s most likely the Sorbitol in them, quite a lot in some products, especially the 0 cal hydration stuff.


    Agreed. Bicarbonate of soda is well researched and used in many shorter duration sports (800m is the classic example in athletics). It basically buffers the build up in acidity in your blood.

    From personal experience it does work very very well (noticeable improvement in a set of turbo intervals) but dosage is key. Don’t have the figures to hand but it is in the region of zero point something grams per kilo of body mass.

    Larger people (85kg+) often have worse side effects (or simply cant stand the taste/ volume) as they have to take more to gain the effects. I took it dissolved in a pint of water for example, and it tastes foul even when washed down with something else.

    Also no unwanted side effects for me at 84kg and on the minimum effective dose, but everyone is different. I am intending to try it at a few CX races this winter to see if it delays the “burn” enough to kick on in the final 10-15 mins rather than just hanging on to my position.

    Just seems…pointless. I’m skeptical that you’d get any meaningful improvement that a bit more training couldn’t trounce.

    Still, a quick google and this text says it affects blood acidity

    Sodium Bicarbonate is the active ingredient found in ordinary baking soda and is a potent, effective, and fast-acting antacid. It quickly reacts with the hydrochloric acid of the stomach to form water, sodium chloride, and the gas, carbon dioxide. Although occasional, short-term use is well tolerated, chronic, continual use of this agent can be dangerous and should be avoided. Because of the potential problems with this antacid, its use is rarely recommended by physicians. Some of the adverse actions of sodium bicarbonate include:
    Systemic alkalosis: Because bicarbonate quickly enters the blood stream, large doses can alter the normal acid/base balance that exists in the body as well as adversely affect the other aspects of the blood chemistry.
    Acid rebound: Increased output of gastric acid, that occurs several hours following the administration of sodium bicarbonate, can leave the user even more uncomfortable than the condition for which the antacid is being used.

    Aggravation of high blood pressure: Sodium has been implicated as a factor in high blood pressure; thus, hypertension might be aggravated in patients who consume products with high sodium content (e.g., sodium bicarbonate).

    Gas-related discomfort: The formation of carbon dioxide gas from the interaction of sodium bicarbonate and hydrochloric acid causes distension of the stomach resulting in a bloated feeling, belching, and flatulence. In severe overdosing, this distension can lead to perforation of the gut and even death.

    Interaction with milk: If sodium bicarbonate is used with milk for an extended period of time a disease called the milk-alkali syndrome can result. Symptoms associated with this malady include nausea, vomiting, headache, mental confusion, and constipation. This combination can also lead to the formation of kidney stones.

    @alwillis ‘minimum effective dose’? I’d be interested in how you determined this for you. Pharmacokinetic & pharmacodynamic analysis? or an empirical approach?


    There was a bit of a trend of using Sodium Phosphate for the same reason in the late 90s. I tried it, and didn’t suffer from any of the digestive issues reported above, but can’t objectively confirm whether it actually improved my performance. I think, as suggested above, it may be more relevant to short distance, high intensity events.


    Prolong or delay?


    prettygreenparrot you are correct, very little calculation on my part, simply followed the guidelines presented in the sports science literature (which makes them neither wrong or right in my experience!). What I meant was that a range of doses was reccomended based on body weight, so as a tester I took the very lowest dose on that scale

    Also you are quite right- a good block of training should easily increase performance in these sorts of events to a greater degree than sodium bicarb does- but its a quick and supposedly effective way of boosting performance on a race day if you can stomach it.

    I wouldn’t think it was a good idea to use it even weekly so there would be few risks associated with heavy use, e.g. the hypertension mentioned above


    Yeah it’s just a race-day thing not a way to short-cut training, tried it once years ago for a hill climb (as well as borrowing a mate’s inhaler), I was still shit (although not literally) so didn’t bother again.

    @alwillis thanks, just wondering and it seems like there is a bunch of sports science stuff about bicarb.

    … if you can stomach it.


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