Sodium Bicarbonate

Controlling the pH of the blood in the body is essential for all normal body functions. Sodium bicarbonate is one of the major substances in the body that controls the pH of the blood. During exercise the body produces excess acid. This excess acid causes the pH to drop. This drop decreases the efficiency of the muscles. By taking sodium bicarbonate, athletes try to maintain their body's pH level. Athletes take it to improve performance.

WHY ATHLETES USE IT

Athletes use sodium bicarbonate as a performance aid for events of a particular duration. Sodium bicarbonate is not effective for events that are shorter than about 20 seconds or lasting longer than about 7 minutes.

ADVERSE EFFECTS

  • Bloating.

  • Diarrhea.

  • Stomach cramps.

  • Abdominal pain.

PHARMACOLOGY

The common dosage for sodium bicarbonate is 300 mg/kg of body weight approximately 1 to 3 hours before competition. Side effects are common. Side effects may be severe.

PREVENTION

Sodium bicarbonate will only benefit athletes who have events of a particular duration. In order to help reduce side effects, it is advised that you drink large amounts of water when taking sodium bicarbonate.