News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search


Raising Kiwi chances of success at the Commonwealth Games

Raising Kiwi chances of success at the Commonwealth Games

Sodium bicarbonate, more commonly known as baking soda, is one of the most commonly used performance-enhancing substances by athletes. It is used by those performing repeated high-intensity/ maximal efforts lasting less than one minute (e.g. sprinting 100 – 400 metres) as it “soaks” up some of the acid produced by the muscle, thereby delaying fatigue.

However, no previous research has questioned whether this is effective when exercise is performed in a hot environment, such as will likely be happening to those competing at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast next month.

Now, new research from Dr Toby Mündel from Massey University’s School of Sport, Exercise and Nutrition, has identified that sodium bicarbonate ingestion improves repeated sprint performance in the heat by the same magnitude it does in cooler environments.

“These findings should be of particular interest to some of the travelling New Zealand team, such as our track cyclists and paddlers [kayakers and canoeists] who often compete in multiple heats on a daily basis, each requiring maximal effort,” Dr Mündel says.

One frequent problem with sodium bicarbonate ingestion is that it can cause gastro-intestinal (GI) issues such as cramping, bloating and diarrhoea. However, Dr Mündel trialled a dosing regimen that overcame this issue.

“Instead of providing one large dose of sodium bicarbonate, we provided athletes with a much lower dose that was taken at regular intervals with meals throughout a whole day. None of the athletes complained of GI problems but all displayed the improved buffering capacity due to the sodium bicarbonate in their blood, making this an athlete-friendly method of consumption,” Dr Mündel says.

Sodium bicarbonate ingestion improves repeated high-intensity cycling performance in the heat was recently published in the journal Temperature

© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Book cover: New Zealand's Backyard BeastsScoop Review Of Books: Bug Report

You might be forgiven for being a little uncertain about what this non-fiction work is all about based just on its title, but the cover illustration steers you straight, and the content inside leaves you in no doubt about the purpose of this lovely book More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Best Music Tracks Of 2018

Oliver Godji, who records as Octavian, is a French/British/Angolan rapper based in London. As someone born in Lille, France, he didn’t qualify for welfare in Britain... More>>

Programme Launch: Pussy Riot Leads The Auckland Fringe

The full programme for Auckland Fringe arts festival 2019 has landed with a giant international announcement for the blockbuster programme which features Russian protest art collective Pussy Riot. They are set to make their New Zealand debut, coming to Auckland for one night only. More>>

Howard Davis: Three Reasons for Film Fans to Get Netflix

The past two months have finally seen Netflix come into its own, providing the financing for three films that will warm the hearts of cinephiles everywhere - Orson Welles' The Other Side of The Wind, The Coen Brothers' The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, and Alfonso Cuarón's Roma. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: The Rift by Rachael Craw

Rachael Craw's first series, Spark has been extremely well received by the YA community in both Australia and New Zealand (it has a hashtag, #SparkArmy), and The Rift looks like it’s going to be just as popular. More>>



  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland