Baking Soda Becomes Popular in Top Sports

Baking Soda Becomes Popular in Top Sports

Members of the Finnish national ski team have been encouraged to experiment with a new trend that has recently emerged. The substance at the center of this trend is baking soda, a common kitchen ingredient that has been found to potentially enhance athletic performance.

Baking soda, otherwise known as sodium bicarbonate, is said to decrease acidification in the body, which could potentially help athletes perform better. Some members of the Finnish national ski team have already begun experimenting with this substance. However, Olympic champion Iivo Niskanen is not among them. He has heard of baking soda’s potential benefits for endurance performance but prefers not to follow trends.

According to Johanna Matintalo, athletes don’t consume baking soda straight from the can. Instead, they use baking soda that has been incorporated into various supplement formulations, such as capsules or energy gels. Matintalo had planned to use baking soda in competitions this season but decided to stick to familiar methods due to early-season illnesses.

Although the use of baking soda is legal in sports, there seems to be some secrecy surrounding its use within skiing circles. Some skiers are reluctant to disclose their baking soda usage, preferring to keep it their own business.

Kaisa Hall, a nutrition expert working with the Olympic Committee and the cross-country team, recommends that skiers try baking soda. She explains that baking soda is a strongly alkaline substance that can neutralize the hydrogen ions produced during high-intensity performance, which can disrupt metabolism and the functioning of the neuromuscular system. This means that athletes may be able to handle high-intensity performance better with the help of baking soda.

The use of baking soda in sports re-emerged about a year ago when Swedish supplement company Maurten introduced a gel containing baking soda. Several Finnish national team skiers have since tried different baking soda products, with mixed results. Some have noticed performance improvements, while others have experienced stomach symptoms.

However, baking soda may not be beneficial for everyone. It can easily cause stomach upsets and would need to be consumed in specific quantities to enhance performance. Additionally, the potential benefits may not outweigh the risk of stomach problems for all athletes. Nonetheless, those who can tolerate it may improve their performance by consuming a few tablespoons of baking soda from their kitchen cupboard before their sports performance.

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