The buffering capacity of Sodium Bicarbonate and Sodium Citrate has been well-studied for their potential to decrease the acidity of our blood during exercise, and ultimately attenuate fatigue.
In a larger effort to reevaluate the hyperhydration strategies in the lead-up to the Tokyo Olympics, Dr. Siegler and colleagues aimed to uncover if buffering agents such as Sodium Bicarbonate and Sodium Citrate have the potential to enhance performance in ways that had not been previously studied.
As I have discussed on this forum before I’m a frequent user of sodium bicarb loading and greenleaf/sims hyper hydration strategies…and in fact during one of those threads we mused that sodium bicarb might not be providing a so much of a buffering benefit as it was just working to mimic the greenleaf/sims salt loading protocol.
So interesting to see somebody take a more rigorous approach to answering that question!
I used sodium loading previous to my state TT win last year. I used sodium bicarb loading previous to my (one and only) triathlon podium finish last year. So both strategies can be used by a joe schmoe athlete…now, how much did they help? I don’t know. There is a good chance both helped but in such an uncontrolled situation, who can say for sure?
Here is what I would do. I normally mix 1.3tbsp sodium bicarb in 8oz of water…3x. Every half hour I’ll drink one. Wait 1/2hr after the last dose and race.
I would do the same thing for DK except I wouldn’t mix in the sodium bicarb. I’d just drink the water. Because nobody needs to buffer against lactate at DK. It’s a 200 mile race that’s going to take 10+ hours.
What I did not really understand: What is going on with sodium citrate? Can I use it the same way as sodium bicarb? Same amout and same ingesting protocol and expect similar results? Or is there a different effect expected in comparison with sodium bicarb?
Edit: ok, watched the results part again. If I understand correctly, Sodium citrate is almost expected to buffer as well as Sodium bicarb with less discomfort.
good catch, @Todd_Palmer! Yikes. Even when I was competing I never weighed that much. Maybe half that much.
One time I put a tsp of sodium bicarb in my smoothie and mixed it up. Bad idea. It totally exploded. I still find specs of dried blueberry smoothie on the wall from time to time. Had to paint the kitchen.
Btw i believe maurten uses sodium alginate as their thickener. This has also been used by fast food companies to make “triple thick” milkshakes in the past. Whos gonna DIY bicarb jello first? @Dr_Alex_Harrison
Edit: looks like the bicarb system uses xantham gum, a different thickener along with “bulking agents” modifed starch(corn starch?), hydroxypropyl cellulose(baking additive/thickener), magnesium stearate(emulsifier)
But couldn’t one just get a thicker capsule that can withstand the stomach that dissolves later and reduces the distress when straight baking soda is taken without the gelatin? I mean that’s what this is, using gelatin to delay absorption.
Unless it’s like the secret ingredient in my dad’s famous “Secret Ingredient Soup”
I think capsules are just not practical on the bike or maybe just the implication is bad if you saw a cyclist popping a handful of capsules. The slow release capsules contain the same Hydroxypropyl methylcellulose that is used by maurten. capsules have been used successfully for awhile now in track cycling IIRC. Maybe the maurten jello is just easier to get down