HomeAnswersDoes sodium bicarbonate improve performance?

Does sodium bicarbonate improve performance?

This question is about Nutrition and Running
Sarah Achleithner, health and wellness writer
Yes, sodium bicarbonate (aka baking soda) may improve high-intensity exercise performance in some athletes [1]. Research suggests that the intake of sodium bicarbonate before high-intensity interval training can increase lactic acid clearance and delay fatigue onset [2]. It also helps to maintain pH balance because it clears lactic acid out of the muscle cells, which can help reduce fatigue [3].
Sodium bicarbonate in a white bowl on a wooden background
[1] Dalle, S., Koppo, K., & Hespel, P. (2020, September 25). Sodium bicarbonate improves sprint performance in endurance cycling. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1440244020307702
[2] Wang, J., Qiu, J., Yi, L. et al. Effect of sodium bicarbonate ingestion during 6 weeks of HIIT on anaerobic performance of college students. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 16, 18 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-019-0285-8 
[3] McNaughton, L. R., Siegler, J., & Midgley, A. (2008). Ergogenic effects of sodium bicarbonate. Current sports medicine reports, 7(4), 230–236. https://doi.org/10.1249/JSR.0b013e31817ef530