For those who have just started out on their fitness journey, we know that it can be totally overwhelming when it comes to choosing a workout supplement. What’s worse, some of these products are way overpriced and may not deliver many results to you at all. The truth no one in the fitness supplement industry ever tells you is that help for your workout may be in your pantry. Baking soda, which is an essential item in the kitchen, can actually improve your athletic performance.
What is baking soda?
Baking soda also known as sodium bicarbonate(NAHCo3), is commonly used in the kitchen as a leavening agent. Baking soda is chemically alkaline, so in our bodies, it acts as a buffer to resist pH change by neutralising any added acid or base.
How does it work?
When we start doing any vigorous activity, our bodies break down the carbohydrates storage to be used for energy. Lactic acid is a substance that is a by-product of this metabolic process. Over time, more lactic acid continue to be produced, leading to higher levels of accumulation in the blood. Lactic acid accumulation in the muscles will cause it to feel fatigued or burning during a physical activity. Too much lactic acid in the blood can lead to a serious condition called lactic acidosis. You should be aware of this condition as it can be life-threatening.
This may be surprising to you but athletes had been using baking soda as a supplement since the 1970s. It is only recently that its usage has been popularised again. Baking soda acts to neutralise the lactic acid build-up in the body during a strenuous sports activity, delaying fatigue. There are still many types of research to be done to truly measure the effectiveness of baking soda in improving athletic performance, but the general consensus is that it does improve physical endurance.
Benefits of baking soda
Long distance runners are known to practice ‘soda doping’ which is essentially taking baking soda before races to enhance their performance. Baking soda has also been used for health remedies. It may relieve the occasional heartburn or indigestion by drinking a half cup of water mixed with a teaspoon of baking soda about one or two hours after meals. It could also be used as a natural, nontoxic deodorant and as a teeth whitening agent.
British researchers have found that baking soda can soothe skin irritations from psoriasis. It may also help soothe sunburns, insect bites or rashes. Besides that, it is widely used as a household cleaning solution.
How to use baking soda
Looking to add baking soda into your fitness supplement regime? The recommended dosage is of 0.1 to 0.2 grams per kilogram of body-weight for starters. It should be taken in combination with a small carbohydrate-rich meal about two to two and a half hours before exercising.
Take note that not everyone will respond well to baking soda. Although only affecting about 10% of users, the common side effects of baking soda are gastrointestinal distress. Frequent ingestion of baking soda may lead to irregular cardiac rhythms, muscle spasms, or seizures due to electrolyte imbalance. People who are pregnant or suffering from hypertension, kidney/cardiovascular diseases should not use baking soda as a supplement. This is because baking soda actually contains sodium, which can increase the blood pressure.
There is along that indicate the usage of baking soda can indeed improve athletic performance. It is just a matter of choice whether you decide to use this simple item or not.
You don’t need to spend money on expensive fitness supplement if you are creative and persistent enough in finding ways to solve your problems. Just remember when it comes to reaching your fitness goals, there is no miracle solution. Persistence is key. The most important thing to consider changing is your overall lifestyle, habits, and diet in order to succeed in your fitness journey.