Sodium Bicarbonate loading

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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby Alex on Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:10 am

Out of interest did you ever try out loading on your swimmer?
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby health4ni on Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:36 am

I did suggest it. I think she did try a bit, but not enough to get any effects.

Unfortunately I'm no longer training her. I think her swimming career is over. She didn't get the results at the Irish & British champs last month that her father was looking for, so I think he is no longer investing his money in her training :o

Her father was very happy with the training I did with her. It def made a difference. But it was the swimming training and probably her own desire to do this sport (according to her father) that were the biggest factors.
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby Alex on Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:45 am

Guess you can only take natural talent so far with a discipline like that and we know what it can be like with family and sports.
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby health4ni on Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:00 am

She got an Ulster record at the Irish (or British??) champs for her age or something. But just not good enough overall, apparently.

As a sportsperson you have to want it so much yourself. A 16 yr old girl who's been swimming for years and years and that's all she does is at a crossroads... perhaps she wants to choose a different journey??
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby Rilla on Mon Aug 31, 2009 11:46 am

Do you know of a good online source Scott?
Thinking of using it for the evolutionrace I'll be running in about a month.
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby health4ni on Mon Aug 31, 2009 2:29 pm

No, don't have one. It's dead cheap at a chemist/pharmacy mate.
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby Rilla on Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:49 pm

Standard baking soda?
Maybe be asking a really stupid question, but I gotta figure out what the shelf name in danish is. ;)

Hm, I think I've found it - supposedly it doesn't increase performance in events taking 30mins or more?
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby Dtlv74 on Mon Aug 31, 2009 5:32 pm

Rilla wrote:Standard baking soda?
Maybe be asking a really stupid question, but I gotta figure out what the shelf name in danish is. ;)

Hm, I think I've found it - supposedly it doesn't increase performance in events taking 30mins or more?


Is only going to make a significant difference in activities that pump out significant lactic acid and give a burn... which is normally when working at between 75 and 90% VO2 max. Longer duration exercises are going to use a different mix of fuel substrates and so rely less on glycogen and thus create less lactate for the bicarb to buffer. Thats my understanding anyway :)

By the way, baking soda in swedish (lol, almost danish) is apparently "backpulver"... any help? :D
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby Rilla on Mon Aug 31, 2009 8:22 pm

In danish it's either bagepulver = baking powder or natron. :)
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby health4ni on Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:49 pm

As it really helps to alkalise you then "performance" gains may be seen in the recovery. In fact, I rarely get DOMS any more, when I used to be plagued by it. I take 5g of sodium bicarb the evening after training that day (having already taken 5g in the morning and perhaps some more pre-workout).
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby Pingu on Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:59 pm

I'm actually resurrecting this thread because am looking at bringing back in the use of bicarb (damn and blast!) to aid coping with lactic acid build up. Our wonderful coach has now turned Tuesday mornings into Lactate Tolerance Training ... and this morning I wanted to cry/die, throw up and pass out all in one go. He did advise me on some nutritional things to do (which I do already) so I did some research and came across SB loading as an option. I know I'm coming late to the knowledge party (as usual!!) but thought it was an interesting one to keep going.

I stopped using it because, I have to say, I didn't really understand the use of it other than how Scott explained its use for when I was trying to lose body fat.

I will slowly build it up this week and do a bit of loading on Tuesday morning and see what happens.

If anyone has any other tips for improving lactic acid tolerance (other than the training aspect which the sod already has covered) then they will be very gratefully received!
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby Alex on Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:07 pm

Supplementing with Beta Alanine may also be a good alternative or to use in conjunction with. From personal expereince I've found it works better in smaller but more frequent doses rather than 1 larger dose before CV. I've also found swapping bicarb to Alka Clear or pHour Salts (which Scott recommends) benefitted me more as it they have a superior balance of carbonate salts more intune with the body and helped eliminate muscle cramp.
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby Pingu on Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:16 pm

Cheers Alex.

What sort of dose of BA would a 60kg person be looking at?

Have seen the Alka Clear and pHour salts before. They do look good but not sure I can afford them at the moment! It might have to be SB and Himalayan Salt for now...
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby health4ni on Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:39 pm

The research seems to suggest that you'll need about 10-15g Pingu. Getting that into you before a very early morning swim is gonna be hard if you can;t take 10-15g all at once (don't try it for the first time before a swim though, cos you may cause a bit of a mess in worst case scenario lol).

I'd say take 5g as soon as you rise. Then take another 3-5g on the way to the swimming pool or just as you arrive. Then have 2-5g in your during training drink (careful what you mix it with cos it could react like it does with lemon juice; test it first).

Beta Alanine is good but there is a cost issue (although it's not expensive compared to other supps).

If you used the better alkaline salts like pHour Salts and Alka-Clear then I'd just take 5g of that one on an empty stomach first thing and use sodium bicarb the rest of the time.
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby Alex on Tue Nov 17, 2009 4:47 pm

RE: Beta Alanine you'd find 1g doses in the morning, pre and post CV would work well as a starting point for your size, maybe working up to 1.5g. As we have halftime in Rugby I go with pre and during instead. For weights you can afford go a little higher in dose if you want to bother supplement during this time as well.
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby Pingu on Tue Nov 17, 2009 5:26 pm

Thanks for the responses guys.

health4ni wrote:The research seems to suggest that you'll need about 10-15g Pingu. Getting that into you before a very early morning swim is gonna be hard if you can;t take 10-15g all at once (don't try it for the first time before a swim though, cos you may cause a bit of a mess in worst case scenario lol).

I'd say take 5g as soon as you rise. Then take another 3-5g on the way to the swimming pool or just as you arrive. Then have 2-5g in your during training drink (careful what you mix it with cos it could react like it does with lemon juice; test it first).


I was wondering how I was going to do it with how little time I have in the morning. Will give this a go, plus it will mean I don't have to suffer a really heavy dose in one go! :o It will go fine in my during training drink - that's just water, him salts and palatinose.

(and yes, I will test it first! :lol: )

Alex wrote:RE: Beta Alanine you'd find 1g doses in the morning, pre and post CV would work well as a starting point for your size, maybe working up to 1.5g. As we have halftime in Rugby I go with pre and during instead. For weights you can afford go a little higher in dose if you want to bother supplement during this time as well.


Great, thanks Alex. If I can afford it at any point will look at doing it this way.

Will report back next week!
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby julesm on Tue Nov 17, 2009 11:37 pm

isnt bicarb on an olympic watched list as a p.e.a.?
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby Pingu on Wed Nov 18, 2009 8:13 am

I know the WADA have issued the following for their 2010 Monitoring, SB not there...

THE 2010 MONITORING PROGRAM*

The following substances are placed on the 2010 Monitoring Program:

1. Stimulants: In-Competition Only: Bupropion, caffeine, phenylephrine, phenylpropanolamine, pipradrol, pseudoephedrine (< 150 micrograms per milliliter), synephrine.

2. Narcotics: In-Competition Only: Morphine/codeine ratio.

* The World Anti-Doping Code (Article 4.5) states: “WADA, in consultation with Signatories and governments, shall establish a monitoring program regarding substances which are not on the Prohibited List, but which WADA wishes to monitor in order to detect patterns of misuse in sport.”


If there is another list then I am missing it, and SB wasn't anywhere in the WADA banned substances list or on their watched list (above). Is there another source of substances allowed etc? I got to this one from my own governing body's website (FINA) but whether or not that applies for other sports I don't know.
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby Alex on Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:03 pm

Caffeine seems like a strange inclusion.
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby Pingu on Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:17 pm

I did think that myself... plus I know if I take a lot of that it is detrimental to performance anyway... very hard to swim while you are shaking like you are standing on a tumble drier! :lol:
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby health4ni on Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:55 pm

caffeine is a proven performance enhancer. Difficult to ban as it's in a lot of drinks.

Some swimming results:
1500 m swim time
– 23 seconds faster if you take caffeine
MacIntosh and Wright, 1995
100 m sprint swimming
– 250 mg of caffeine increased max anaerobic power by 7%
Anselme et al. 1992

Sodium bicarbonate would also be difficult to ban and tbh it would be stupid. Just like creatine that is found in high doses in steak and salmon, sodium bicarb is found in nearly all vegetables in (relatively) high doses.
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby Pingu on Wed Nov 18, 2009 1:58 pm

health4ni wrote:caffeine is a proven performance enhancer. Difficult to ban as it's in a lot of drinks.

Some swimming results:
1500 m swim time
– 23 seconds faster if you take caffeine
MacIntosh and Wright, 1995
100 m sprint swimming
– 250 mg of caffeine increased max anaerobic power by 7%
Anselme et al. 1992

Sodium bicarbonate would also be difficult to ban and tbh it would be stupid. Just like creatine that is found in high doses in steak and salmon, sodium bicarb is found in nearly all vegetables in (relatively) high doses.


Now this is interesting... how do you gauge the amount of caffeine you/me/A N Other should take? Is there a "formula" or is it all depending on the individual? I ask because if I can shave time off without doing anything 'illegal' (although they don't test us old farts because a lot of the meds the older ones take just to stay together enough to walk let alone swim are banned!! :lol: ) then I'm all for it!
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby health4ni on Wed Nov 18, 2009 2:04 pm

btw it also increases pain tolerance (as does sodium bicarb from the buffering of lactic acid).

Most studies use somewhere between 250-300mg. Also, usually looking at 5mg per KG of lean mass.

Why not give 250mg a crack next time you're swimming comp distance.
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby Pingu on Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:06 pm

health4ni wrote:btw it also increases pain tolerance (as does sodium bicarb from the buffering of lactic acid).

Most studies use somewhere between 250-300mg. Also, usually looking at 5mg per KG of lean mass.

Why not give 250mg a crack next time you're swimming comp distance.


Reckon I will Scott! Got to wait til January (bugger :x ) but will try it then! How long before the race should you usually take it for optimal effect?
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Re: Sodium Bicarbonate loading

Postby health4ni on Wed Nov 18, 2009 3:09 pm

Firstly, have a go a couple of times before the race; a tough training session. Just to make sure you don't go mental on it! lol

I'd say at least 30mins. It is personal though as supps affect me really quickly, esp on an emptyish stomach. My quickest "reaction time" to Beta Alanine is 6 minutes! hehe
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