Supercharging Creatine With Baking Soda: Study Shows Increased Peak Power and Endurance - Plus: How Bicarbonate Could Help You Lose Fat & Build Muscle
|The pH of your urine is not a reliable measure of your bodies acid base-status|
The complete results of a follow up investigation by Barber, who now works at the Human Performance Laboratory at the California Polytech State University, are going to be published in the next issue of the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (Barber. 2012); and they underline what you, as a diligent student of the SuppVersity, knew all along: Baking soda is not only cheaper than 99% of the commercially available supplements, it is also more ergogenic than the average junk the guy at GNC is trying to sell to you.
Soda? But that must be bad for you?! False!
For their study, the researchers recruited a group of 13 healthy previously trained (>5h of aerobic and >2h of HIT per week) young men (age 21.1 ± 0.6 yrs, BMI 23.5 ± 0.5 kg/m²; VO2Max 66.7 ± 5.7 ml/kg-min). In a double-blinded crossover fashion (meaning that each participant had to complete every condition, i.e. "crossover", and neither he, nor the researchers knew whether he had been given the active or the placebo treatment, i.e. "double-blinded"), the men had to consume a supplement containing either
- placebo: 20g maltodextrin + 0.5g/kg maltodextrin,
- creatine (only): 20g creatine + 0.5g/kg maltodextrin, or
- creatine + NaHCO3: 20g creatine + 0.5g/kg baking soda*
* for all supplement the total dosage was divided into four smaller doses, which were to be taken at 9:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m., and 10:00 p.m.; the subjects also completed a 48h dietary recall and were asked to consume identical foods during each condition
|Figure 1: Total and relative peak power output (left) and relative peak power output in the individual trials (right; data adapted from Barber. 2012)|
Creatine + baking soda: Additive or synergistic effects
An interesting question the scientists probably ignored, because their GNC guy did not yet tell them about the "extraordinary superiority of buffered creatine", is whether the ~37g of sodium bicarbonate the subjects ingested simply added to the beneficial effects the 20g of creatine had on the repeated sprint performance of the athletes, or whether the baking soda also decreased the breakdown and facilitated the uptake of creatine (cf. figure 2)
|Figure 2: Relative increase in creatine in dry muscle mass of horses, after supplementation with creatine monohydrate, Kre-Alkalyn or Gastner's patented creatine + sodium carbonate +sodium hydrogen carbonate formula (posted first in "The Pharmacokinetics of Creatine: Part 1/2" based on Gastner. 2010)|
|"Cholesterol is the devil and sodium is his little brother!" Everyone who still believes everything the medical orthodoxy says, please raise your hands!|
- +34% time to exhaustion and +91% total work during HIIT (Feb 29, 2012)
- synergistic and superior effects compared to beta alanine (Feb 20, 2012)
- protection against stress induced oxidative damage to white blood cells (Nov 28, 2011)
- increased performance in tennis players (Nov 4, 2010)
Latent metabolic acidosis hampers weight loss and muscle gains
|Figure 3: The contribution of latent acidoses to the obesity epidemic and maybe even your inability to build muscle and/or lose weight |
(based on Berkemeyer. 2009)
In view of the fact that even a latent H+ surplus could apparently compromise your efforts to lose fat and build muscle, it should be obvious that you better make sure to have enough alkalizing greens (and optional supplemental bicarbonate; not necessarily 30g, though ;-) in your diet - no matter if the whole acid/base balance issue, esp. the role of a high protein intake, is still very controversial.