The relationship between exercise intensity and acid build-up
Did you know that the Journal of Clinical Investigation, showed that with both intermittent and sustained exercise, the more intense the activity, the faster acid accumulates in your muscles and other tissues? So what should you do? Should you stop exercising? Logic will tell you that that would be foolish. Instead there are steps you can take to overcome over acidity.
Using Alkalinizing Agents To Enhance Physical Performance
The role that buffering plays in supporting physical energy has primarily been studied in the area of sports performance. Researchers have focused on the use of alkalinizing agents as ergogenic aids, substances that increase the potential for accomplishing a given task and improving performance.
In these studies, volunteers are given an alkaline substance such as sodium bicarbonate and then asked to perform an intense physical exercise for a short duration of time, such as sprinting or cycling for two or three minutes. Researchers then measure the degree to which a reduction in acidity will increase the time it takes for muscle exhaustion to occur.
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Can alkalizing agents improve physical performance?
The interest in alkalinizing agents to enhance sports performance goes back many decades.
One early study, published in the German Weekly Medical Journal, found that when runners were given an acidifying agent, they became exhausted more quickly than those who were not.
In contrast, giving athletes an alkalinizing agent before endurance running or bicycling extended their performance by 30 to 100 percent and reduced their recovery time after physical exhaustion had occurred.
Three different alkalinizing agents have been researched for their beneficial effect on athletic performance: sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate, and sodium phosphate.
Does sodium bicarbonate buffer muscular acidity indirectly?
Most of the studies have been positive in their results and suggest that alkalinization is a very powerful tool in enhancing athletic performance.
Let’s take a look at a common alkalinizing agent.
Researchers have learned that sodium bicarbonate buffers muscular acidity indirectly. A study published in the Canadian Journal of Pharmacology found that sodium bicarbonate works by ‘increasing the alkalinity of the blood, rather than entering the muscle cells and directly buffering the acid contained within the muscle tissue.
The increased alkalinity of the blood creates a pH gradient between the blood and the more acidic muscle tissue. This gradient causes the acids to be drawn out of the muscle, which then allows them to be neutralized.
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Another study, published in Clinical Science, reported that muscle biopsies done on athletes also found that pH changes in the blood with alkalization reflected changes occurring within the muscle.
Studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine and Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise found bicarbonate loading to be beneficial.
These studies were done respectively, on volunteers who were doing short sprints and male varsity runners at a university in Canada. Both studies showed that the use of sodium bicarbonate as a supplement improved the exercise performance of both groups of athletes. It’s equally helpful for people doing a variety of exerting exercises.
Alkalinizing agents and its effects on athletes
A further study, published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine, studied the effect that alkalinizing with sodium bicarbonate had on volunteers both before, during, and after five 1-minute sprints on a stationary bicycle.
While the volunteers were allowed to take a 1-minute rest between the first four bouts, the final sprint was performed until the subjects became fatigued to the point that they could not maintain their cycling rate.
The use of sodium bicarbonate improved the performance time during the final bout by 42 percent in comparison to the same bout done using a placebo. This is an amazing benefit of using sodium bicarbonate to enhance energy and recovery with exercise.
If you are interested in using these wonderful and health enhancing alkalinizing supplements, you will find my great programs in my book, Acid Alkaline Balance: The Missing Link to Health.
Also look out for my new Alkaline Diet Cookbook which will arm you with more kitchen tested recipes -- soon to be out on Amazon.
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PS: Look out for my new eating program and my cookbook The Divine Alkaline Cookbook with recipes for a high alkaline-low acid diet in major e-retailers. Soon.