In the unfortunate case you have no idea, what I am taking about, I'd suggest you briefly go through the previous SuppVersity articles and Facebook posts (e.g. +13% increase the sprinting capacity; sorry for the → typo) about the ergogenic effects of baking soda . Once you've done that it should not really come as a surprise that scientists from the real Human Performance Laboratory at the Coventry University in the UK found that NaHCO3 will not just for cyclists, runners and rowers, but also for "bench pressers" and "squatters" ;-)
One thing after the other, though!
If you know your SuppVersity articles by heart, you are probably thinking about the Kerr study from September 2012, now - right? For the average gymrat, this was probably the most exciting paper on the ergogenic effects of sodium bicarbonate supplementation I've written about (see "22g Baking Soda 60min Before a Old-School 4 x 12RM Leg Workout Allow for a 22 Rep Volume Increase on Hypertrophy Oriented Squat + Leg Press + Leg Extension Quads Routine" | read more).
learn moreAnd while the Kerr study was among the first to demonstrate significant beneficial effects of sodium bicarbonate in a strength training scenario, it is - if you come to think of it, actually not that surprising to see that the H+ (=hydrogen ions → acidity) buffering effect works just as well during a high volume leg workout, as it does, during high intensity cycling and sprinting [just a note on the H+ buffer: contrary to beta alanine, bicarbonate buffers the acidity in the blood, not within the muscle cell and will thus have greater effects on the periphery than carnosine the histidine + beta alanine dipeptide you are actually looking for, whenever you take your beta alanine supplement.
Now while it may not have been surprising that high volume + baking soda does make a perfect match, it is, as you will hopefully agree, not exactly straight forward that we would see similar benefits on the low volume performance test, the 8 men (mean age, height and body mass → 20 ±0.9 years, 1.8 ± 0.1m and 78.4 ± 15.6kg, respectively) who had been recruited for the study at hand had to perform.
Three sets of squats and bench presses? Isn't that too little volume for NaCO3 to work?
All the participants who had at least one year of strength training experience competed in team games (rugby union, soccer, basketball) at the national level and were concomitantly training more than 10 hours per week as part of their regular preseason preparations (those included 3h of resistance training). During the testing conditions to which the subjects had been randomly assigned, all of the performed
|Learn about the best chest exercises in the SuppVersity EMG Series.|
- three sets of bench presses to failure at 80% 1RM, and
- three sets of back squats "to failure" at 80% 1RM
- 0.3g/kg NaHCO3 in 5 ml/kg of artificially sweetened water (NaHCO3), instead of
- 0.045g/kg NaCL in an artificially sweetened water drink matched for taste
|Figure 1: Back squat and bench press performance in three subsequent sets (Duncan. 2013)|
- Duncan MJ, Weldon A, Price MJ. The effect of sodium bicarbonate ingestion on back squat and bench press exercise to failure. J Strength Cond Res. 2013 Oct 11. [Epub ahead of print]
- Hobson RM, Saunders B, Ball G, Harris RC, Sale C. Effects of β-alanine supplementation on exercise performance: a meta-analysis. Amino Acids. 2012 Jul;43(1):25-37.
- Luft FC, Zemel MB, Sowers JA, Fineberg NS, Weinberger MH. Sodium bicarbonate and sodium chloride: effects on blood pressure and electrolyte homeostasis in normal and hypertensive man. J Hypertens. 1990 Jul;8(7):663-70.
- Musabayane CT, Balment RJ. Renal effects of aldosterone in the sodium bicarbonate infused rat. Ren Fail. 1991;13(2-3):71-6.