Mayur Deshpande
  Personal trainer in Mumbai
Nutritional Supplements Library Sodium bicarbonate

Nutritional Supplements Library

Sodium bicarbonate(baking soda)


What is Sodium bicarbonate?

Sodium bicarbonate is the chemical compound with the formula NaHCO3. Because it has long been known and is widely used, the salt has many other names including sodium hydrogen carbonate and "sodium bicarb," as well as baking soda, bread soda, or bicarbonate of soda. It is poorly soluble in water. This white solid is crystalline but often appears as a fine powder. It has a slight alkaline taste resembling that of sodium carbonate.


Why Sodium bicarbonate is used by athletes?

Anaerobic exercise (sprints, weight training, bursts of speed, like in football, upto 5 mins) requires a high turnover rate of the body's energy source ATP.During short term (anaerobic) exercise, ATP and Creatine phosphate (CP) are used up within the first 25-30 seconds of training. This signals the metabolism of glycogen (anaerobic way) to produce energy for your body. This process is known as Anaerobic glycolysis. During Anaerobic glycolysis, glycogen (muscle sugar) is broken down to produce few ATP and lactic acid. The production of more ATP allows movement of the muscle to continue. Lactic acid is a product of glycolysis created by the breaking down of pyruvate. Lactic acid is then disassociated to produce lactate. When lactic acid (C3H6O3) releases a hydrogen ion (H+), the remaining compound binds to a sodium ion (Na+) or a potassium ion (K+) to form a salt. It is this salt that is lactate. Now the cell contains a lactate compound and a free H+ for each compound of lactic acid that is produced. It is this increase in cellular H+ that causes the pH to decrease, becoming more acidic. The acid in the muscle causes the fibers' calcium-binding capacity to decrease, thus limiting muscle contraction. This is the cause of muscle fatigue or burn during exercise. Best way to decrease acid build-up is by buffering it with a base compound. Answer to delay this fatigue/burn is sodium bicarbonate. The most significant buffer compound found in human blood is sodium bicarbonate. Other buffering agents are also present, including proteins and organic acids, but they are present in much smaller concentrations. When the pH in the blood falls due to the increase of H+, the bicarbonate-carbonate acid equilibrium shifts toward more acidic. At this same time the carbonic acid loses water (H20) to become CO2. The CO2 produced is lost in the lungs through exhalation.

What is the effective dosage of Sodium bicarbonate supplementation?

The effective dosage of Sodium bicarbonate supplementation l6.6 grams of sodium bicarbonate in patients younger than 60 years of age and 8.3 grams in patients 60 years of age or older.


What are the benefits of Sodium bicarbonate supplementation?

• Sodium bicarbonate delays the fatigue/burn during anaerobic exercise (up to 5 mins).it acts as buffering agent.
• It is used as an antacid to treat acid indigestion and heartburn.
• A tub bath with sodium bicarbonate can eliminate vaginal infections caused by yeasts.
• It increases the effectiveness of sulfonamides.

What are the side effects of Sodium bicarbonate supplementation?

Sodium bicarbonate is generally well tolerated and safe. However, high doses may cause headache, nausea or irritability. If any of these effects continue or become bothersome, consult your doctor.
Cautions-
• Tell your doctor if you have: pre-existing heart disease, kidney disease, liver disease, high blood pressure, any allergies. Because this medication contains a large amount of sodium, remind your doctor if you are on a low sodium diet.
• Consult your doctor before taking sodium bicarbonate if your pregnant or breast feeding.
• Do not take any other medication within 1 to 2 hours of taking it.