Sodium bicarbonate is an extremely popular supplement among professional endurance athletes.
It is also one of the most researched supplements in sports, and science consistently confirms its ability to improve athletic performance.
But should you supplement sodium bicarbonate?
Before we answer this question, let's talk about sodium bicarbonate.
What is sodium bicarbonate?
Commonly known as baking soda or cooking soda, sodium bicarbonate is a chemical compound composed of sodium and bicarbonate.
The pH of sodium bicarbonate is about 8.5, which classifies it as a weak base. For reference, your blood's pH is about 7.4, while your stomach's pH ranges from 1 to 3.
Sodium bicarbonate has the ability to neutralize acids, which is why it's used in a variety of different areas, from cooking and cleaning to agriculture and medicine.
As a supplement, it is used to treat several medical conditions, such as indigestion and heartburn, and it has also found its way into the world of sports due to its ability to improve athletic performance.
Sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda, is used in many areas, including sports.
Sodium bicarbonate in sports
The explanation why sodium bicarbonate improves athletic performance can be very complex. And according to Dr. Tim Podlogar, there seem to be no conclusive answers on how and why it works at all.
The simple explanation is that sodium bicarbonate reduces acidity in your muscles, which helps you exercise longer. But that's if you believe acidity causes muscle fatigue in the first place, which is not a proven fact.
What seems to be a proven fact, though, is that sodium bicarbonate improves your muscle endurance. But before you binge on baking soda, keep in mind that its effect only truly kicks in once you're at your lactate threshold. In other words, use sodium bicarbonate to boost those sprints of yours and leave your buddies in the dust.
Since sodium bicarbonate improves your muscle endurance during shorts bursts of extreme intensity, it is also useful in other sports with short intervals of extreme intensity, such as martial arts or soccer.
On the other hand, although that's another potential benefit of sodium bicarbonate, we are not sure that it really improves muscle strength. It may, but there is no conclusive evidence to support that claim.
Sodium bicarbonate improves muscle endurance during sprints.
Sodium bicarbonate dosage
The intake of sodium bicarbonate to improve athletic performance is slightly tricky.
Since sodium bicarbonate requires around 90 minutes to become effective, you need to start ingesting it already before training or race. The recommended dose is around 0.2 to 0.3 mg per kg of body mass.
If we are talking about an endurance event, you should also consume sodium bicarbonate during exercise. The recommended dose for that is 5 grams per hour.
For more information in regards to sodium bicarbonate during endurance exercise, check out the ingestion protocol provided by Dr. Tim Podlogar and Nduranz.
All in all, you're looking at doses of minimally 20 grams of sodium bicarbonate, which is a lot of sodium bicarbonate to consume.
The cheapest way to get it is buying sodium bicarbonate in your local store. Unfortunately, if you ever tried consuming baking soda, you know that's hard to swallow. Quite literally.
Luckily, you can help yourself with dietary supplements.
If you want the best effect, follow a sodium bicarbonate ingestion protocol.
The best sodium bicarbonate supplements
There are two sodium bicarbonate supplements we recommend.
Since Nduranz is a brand specialized in supporting top-level performance, it should comes as no surprise they create the best sodium bicarbonate supplements.
This product is designed to allow you to load sodium bicarbonate before training or race.
But you probably wonder, wait a minute, isn't this simply baking soda in tablets? Well, yes, it is. But at least you can actually ingest it without having nightmares. We know, being an endurance athlete is sometimes hard.
Nrgy Unit Drink Buffer
You can get baking soda everywhere, but a top-quality carbohydrate sports drink combined with a high quantity of sodium bicarbonate is something else.
If you want to supplement sodium bicarbonate during intense exercise, while also taking care of optimal fueling, Nrgy Unit Drink Buffer is the way to do it. Guaranteed.
Now that you know how to get sodium bicarbonate in your system, let's finally get to the crucial question you've been waiting for.
Should you supplement sodium bicarbonate to improve performance?
Well, to be honest, that's a difficult question to answer.
While sodium bicarbonate has several benefits in terms of health and athletic performance, the former require a different, more moderate dosing, while the latter may only apply to high-level athletes.
When consumed in excessive amounts, sodium bicarbonate may also cause some annoying side effects, such as digestive issues or water retention, which is another thing to keep in mind.
But if you aim for top performance, whether in cycling, running, or martial arts, you should definitely consider supplementing sodium bicarbonate. As one of the most researched supplements in sports, sodium bicarbonate is proven to improve muscle endurance during shorts bursts of extreme intensity.
And since sodium bicarbonate has the ability to reduce muscle acidity, something that can lead to long-term health issues, that's another benefit that speaks in its favor.
Personally, in terms of athletic performance, we recommend sodium bicarbonate to top-level athletes who normally operate above their lactate threshold.
Supplementing sodium bicarbonate to improve athletic performance makes sense, but only if you are consistently pushing your limits.
Sodium bicarbonate is an extremely popular supplement among professional endurance athletes that improves muscle endurance during sprints.
If you choose to supplement sodium bicarbonate, be sure to follow an ingestion protocol, such as the one provided by Dr. Tim Podlogar and Nduranz.
So, to answer the question. Is sodium bicarbonate the best supplement to improve performance? Depending on how you look at it, it may very well be. But only if you aim to improve your performance in short bursts of extreme intensity.