Thursday, November 4, 2010

Baking Soda for Tennis Players

Regular visitors of the suppversity might ask themselves "What the hell does the Prof have with his baking soda?" - well, I guess I just like it ;-) Jokes aside, a recent study (Wu. 2010) examining the effect of 0.3 g/kg sodium bicarbonate (=baking soda) before a simulated tennis match confirms that this cheap powder from the kitchen cupboard has its value even for professional athletes:

The Loughborough Tennis Skill Test was performed before and after the simulated match. Post-match [HCO3-] and base excess were significantly higher in the bicarbonate trial than those in the placebo trial. Blood [lactate] was significantly increased in the placebo (pre: 1.22+/-0.54; post: 2.17+/-1.46 mM) and bicarbonate (pre: 1.23+/-0.41; post: 3.21+/-1.89 mM) trials. The match-induced change in blood [lactate] was significantly higher in the bicarbonate trial. Blood pH remained unchanged in the placebo trial (pre: 7.37+/-0.32; post: 7.37+/-0.14) but was significantly increased in the bicarbonate trial (pre: 7.37+/-0.26; post: 7.45+/-0.63), indicating a more alkaline environment. The service and forehand ground stroke consistency scores were declined significantly after the simulated match in the placebo trial, while they were maintained in the bicarbonate trial. The match-induced declines in the consistency scores were significantly larger in the placebo trial than those in the bicarbonate trial.
 So, if your stomach can tolerate it, do not hesitate and grab yourself some baking soda!