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Baking soda adds pop to performance


Believe it or not, a sodium bicarbonate beverage (baking soda to you and me) when added to an athlete’s diet increases their endurance and performance. A randomized, controlled trial reported in BioMed Central’s open access Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition confirms this. Researchers found that highly skilled tennis players who received a sodium bicarbonate supplement showed no decline in their performance during a simulated match.

Why tennis players is not explained. However, Chen-Kang Chang from the National Taiwan College of Physical Education, Taiwan, put the team together for the research study. “We found that sodium bicarbonate supplementation can prevent the fatigue-induced decline in skilled tennis performance seen during matches. The service and forehand ground stroke consistency was maintained after a simulated match in the bicarbonate trial. On the other hand, these consistency scores were decreased after the match in the placebo trial,” Chang explained. Which just begs the question, how important is tennis in Taiwan?

The highly skilled tennis players (all nine of them) in the study received either the placebo or the bicarbonate beverage. They then took a basic tennis skills test, played a simulated match, and finally took the basic skills test again. The skills test was used to measure the forehand ground stroke and the service. They were measuring the accuracy and the consistency of these particular strokes to both sides of the court. Which again begs the question: is Taiwan trying to become a tennis powerhouse and are they using baking soda to do it?

Speaking of the results, Cheng said, “To our knowledge this is the first study to show the effect of bicarbonate supplementation on skilled performance in racquet sports.” Have they actually studied the Baking Soda Effect with other sports? Bowling perhaps. It is slightly interesting to think this could become the next big sport drink: Gatorade enhanced with the power of baking soda!

Maybe, but I think practice very likely goes a little further toward ensuring success.

Source: BioMed Central, ScienceDaily


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