Baking Soda: What are the side effects?

Tempo de Leitura: 2 minutos

Baking soda is used as an ergogenic aid and as an ingredient in prescription and over-the-counter medications. Many studies have explored the effects of baking soda on performance in various modes of exercise, including unique and repeated combat sports tasks, resistance and cycling exercises, running, swimming and high-intensity rowing.

Basically, during a high-intensity muscle contraction, ATP hydrolysis occurs, which leads to the release of H+ ions, the accumulation of these ions contributes to muscle fatigue, decreasing intracellular and extracellular pH, in addition to inhibiting several glycolytic enzymes. Bicarbonate acts by buffering these ions in the extracellular medium and delaying fatigue.

Side Effects of Baking Soda

Although it is a very effective supplement, concern regarding your gastrointestinal symptoms is very eminent. Thus, it is important to note that the Accumulation of CO2 in the intestine, resulting from supplementation with baking soda, can cause bloating, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In addition, the incidence and severity of these side effects increase linearly according to the dose ingested, and this should be thought of in terms of their overall effect on performance.

Thus, it should be mentioned that chronic supplementation at commonly employed doses (0.3 g/kg) will lead to an increase in the usual sodium load for the body, which may contribute to exceeding the Maximum Tolerable Level of Sodium Intake specified in the dietary guidelines.

Clinical practice

In order to avoid these gastrointestinal disorders, some care was taken to deal with this problem. These precautions are, the fractionation of bicarbonate intake or consumption of lower doses (0.2 or 0.3 g/kg), adjust the timing of bicarbonate intake (before 180 minutes of the test or modulate according to the individual response of each athlete), a co-ingestion of baking soda with carbohydrate-rich meals and the use of enteric-coated capsules (avoiding interaction with stomach acid), these strategies are intended to reduce the prevalence and incidence of these symptoms.

Bibliographic references

Article: GRGIC, Jozo et al. International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: sodium bicarbonate and exercise performance. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition , v. 18, n. 1, p. 61, 2021.

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Baking soda

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