Saturday, August 16, 2008

Performance Research for July: Ergogenic exercise

Ergogenic effects of sodium bicarbonate.

McNaughton LR, Siegler J, Midgley A. University of Hull, Department of Sport, Health and Exercise Science, Hull, England.

Athletes use many different strategies to enhance their performance, including clothing and footwear, training regimes, diets, and ergogenic aids. The use of ergogenic aids is believed to be widespread, with a variety of legal as well as illegal substances being used previously and currently. Among the more popular ergogenic aids is the use of sodium bicarbonate or sodium citrate, collectively recognized as "buffers." These substances potentially provide the body with added resistance against fatigue caused by deleterious changes in acid-base balance brought about by a variety of exercise modes and durations. The popularity of buffering has generated a plethora of research dating back to the 1930s, which continues to date.

Conclusion: The issues surrounding buffering revolve around the dosage size, timing of ingestion, and the type of exercise to benefit from the use of buffers. We hope this review addresses these pertinent issues.

My Notes: One of the newest on the market is Beta Alanine. Some cool info from Dr. John Berardi is that since bicarbonate and Beta Alanine work by 2 different mechanisms, you may be able to combine them for an increased effect. As always, try one at a time and assess your results before adding in anything else. See this link HERE for a previous blog post on beta-alanine

The latest on carbohydrate loading: a practical approach.

Sedlock DA. Wastl Human Performance Laboratory, Purdue University, Department of Health and Kinesiology, W. Lafayette, Indiana 47907-2046, USA.

High dietary carbohydrate (CHO) intake for several days before competition (CHO loading) is known to increase muscle glycogen stores, with subsequent ergogenic performance benefits often seen in events longer than 90 min in duration. CHO-loading strategies vary in characteristics such as type and duration of dietary manipulation and the accompanying exercise/training activities. Additionally, glycogen concentration may remain elevated for up to 5 d. This versatility in CHO-loading strategies allows the athlete greater flexibility in tailoring pre-event preparation. Women who attempt to CHO load should be particularly attentive to both total energy intake and relative CHO intake; dietary CHO should exceed 8 g x kg body mass(-1) x d(-1) or 10 g x kg lean body mass(-1) x d(-1).

Conclusion: As long as the amount ingested is adequate for loading, the type of CHO is less important, with the exception of 1-d loading protocols where the glycemic index may be an important consideration.

My Notes: If you do this, be sure to try it in practice FIRST and NOT on the day of competition or right before!