HomeAnswersDoes sodium bicarbonate improve performance?

Does sodium bicarbonate improve performance?

This question is about Nutrition and Running
Sarah Achleithner
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