People use baking soda for all types of things. It’s an excellent scrub to clean tubs and sinks. It’s also one of my favorite home remedies. The versatility of baking is amazing. It’s often used as a low abrasive tooth cleaner and drinking baking soda has long been a home remedy for an upset stomach. More recently, athletes are adopting the practice of drinking baking soda water to boost their energy. Does it work? Is it dangerous? Since baking soda is used in baking and many products, you know a little is okay, but can you ingest too much? Most of all, does it really give you an energy boost?
Athletes turn to baking soda to increase their performance.
When you’re doing a high-intensity workout, your body releases hydrogen ions that cause the body to become more acidic. That can cause athletic performance to decline. Baking soda is a potent alkaline substance. Taking a bit of baking soda in water can help counteract the acidic condition created by the hydrogen by binding to the acids. By doing this, it can boost your energy and allow you to perform better when the workout is challenging. The neutral environment allows your muscles to work better and the metabolism of energy is increased.
Studies show it can help muscles perform better.
One study showed that taking baking soda—sodium bicarbonate—while doing CrossFit increased performance and increases the point when you start to breath faster. That’s also the point where the body starts the accumulation of lactate and the rate of getting oxygen to the muscles limits how far you can push yourself. Other research showed it might increase power. A study in Taiwan showed that it helped prevent the decline in performance from fatigue in skilled tennis players.
How much baking soda is necessary for the boost?
The research continues to point out that taking a small amount of baking soda before an athletic event can help. Another study showed that baking soda capsules taken before an 800-meter run improved performance by 2.2 seconds. How much should you take? One research study found that taking 20 grams of baking soda in water 90 minutes before competition may help.
- Taking too much baking soda can be toxic due to high sodium levels. It also mixes with stomach acid, causing a large amount of gas and stomach issues, such as causing the stomach to rupture.
- The good news is that you can use baking soda to serve double duty. You can take a bit to enhance performance and sprinkle the rest in your shoes to prevent odor from forming.
- Another study of tennis players taking baking soda before working out showed it helped keep heart rate lower and improved accuracy when facing a ball-serving machine.
- Limit taking baking soda for more than two weeks at a time and keep the dose to a ½ tsp with a ½ cup of water or more. Avoid giving it to children. When pregnant, have health conditions or take medications, always talk with your doctor first.
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