|Image 1: It is unlikey that you would not benefit from sodium bicarbonate supplementation,... well, unless you are a tinman like The Sprinter by Jessy Meyer ;-)|
"Subjects were began the training [...]" - what?
I will also leave it up to you, whether or not you feel that the insufficient language skills of the five scientists from the Islamic Azad University in Iran, the University of Picardie, Jules Verne in France the Universiti Teknologi MARA in Malaysia, who published the results of a trial that was designed to invesitage effects 42 days on 0.2g/kg body weight sodium bicarbonate +15g dextrose (bicarbonate; note in week 3-6 the dosage was reduced to 0.1g/kg) or 16.5g plain dextrose (placebo) had on the VO2-uptake, the ventilatory threshold, and the time to fatigue of 36 "recreationally active college men" (age 22y; BMI 24.6kg/m²; 1-5h per weeks training before the intervention) after 6 weeks of high intensity interval training (HIIT: 5-6 bouts of 2:1 high-to-low intervals), takes away from the credibility of their data (Picardie. 2011).
|Figure 1: Relative values of maximum oxygen uptake (VO2Max) and time to exhaustion before in the middle and right after 6-weeks on 200mg/kg (weeks 3-6: 100mg/kg) sodium bicarbonate + 3x per week 4-7 high intensity intervals (data calculated based on Picardie. 2011)|
- +28% in the bicarbonate group after 3-weeks and +34% after 6 weeks;
- +8% and +10% in the placebo group
- 3x per week high intensity interval training
- 4-7 intervals, with a built in progression from week 1-6 (starting with 4, ending with 7)
- 2min all-out (90-115% VO2max), 1min pedaling casually
- conducted on an electronically braked cycle ergometer
More endurance, more power, and... more muscle!
The latter, i.e. the (over-)acidity of the muscle does not only hamper the energy transfer and the ability of the muscles to contract, it could also explain the following for most of you probably very welcome side effect the bicarbonate supplementation had on the 18 subjects in the respective group:
[...] the present study also identified a significant change in lean body mass for the SB [sodium bicarbonate] supplementing group after three weeks, with no change in the placebo group.
|Image 2: If you want to build tree-trunk legs on a spinning bike you better make sure there is enough bicarbonate in your veins, otherwise you should be glad if you are not even "spinning away" the sticks you already have|
And just in case neither the improved (high intensity) endurance performance, nor the muscle gains or the +22% increase in total work vs. placebo during a series of standardized cycling tests should be enough to invest the few bucks into a huge bag of sodium bicarbonate, maybe one of my previous blogposts on this issue will make you pull the trigger ;-)