Hi, Z-Health community, Dr. Cobb back with you, hope you’re having a great week.
In my last blog I talked to you about the Z approach to building stamina, and we talked about the intensity of exercise and I shared with you why a lot of people need to change their focus a little bit away from what’s called the Tabata protocol to some new research about how to most efficiently, if you will, increase your endurance and energy.
Now, I’m going to share with you another crazy biochemistry approach to helping yourself improve your endurance, and it’s using something as common and cheap as baking soda.
This has actually been looked at in a lot of research and this is a pretty incredible what’s called ergogenic aid. Most stuff in the vitamin world that’s out there has very little true research behind it that shows that it works.
There are few things in strength training and we also have baking soda in the endurance world. This is something I’ve used with a lot of athletes and it has been very, very effective. I’m going to take you through the basic protocol and then I’m going to tell you some very important warnings before you go out and try this. OK?
Here’s the basic idea. Whenever we take basic baking soda and we ingest it, just dissolve it in liquid and drink it, it serves as a buffer, if you will, to some of the byproducts that are created whenever we’re exercising. That exercise could be aerobic in nature, it could be anaerobic in nature because we’re now seeing baking soda being tested in strength training, not just in cycling and running, and it’s also showing some really positive signs.
Most of the research shows that if you use baking soda before training, your endurance levels will go up. Over the time period in a lot of these trials what we see is that people using the baking soda usually improve by 40% to 50% over people who were using placebo.
It’s actually a pretty powerful tool, especially in you’re in a strict time period where you’re trying to increase your stamina and energy.
I’m going to take you through the basic protocol, like I said, and then I’m going to talk you through some warnings. Most of the studies use .3 grams per kilo of body weight and they’ll have the athletes drink that usually twice before they train. Usually 90 minutes away from training and 30 minutes away from training.
Now, I will tell you from personal experience and working with a lot of athletes that that’s a lot of baking soda to drink at once. I normally start people much lower than that. I start people down in the .1 gram per kilo and have them work their way up because especially if you have any kind of health issues, it’s going to be a little bit intense.
You have to go to tolerance and I’ll tell you what the tolerance factors are here in just a second, so let’s keep working through this. Like I said, they normally would have people take .2 to .3 grams per kilo of body weight and they took it twice, 90 minutes and 30 minutes ahead of exercise.
If you’re like me and you’re slightly metrically challenge, let’s go over how to convert this to measures that you actually have in your kitchen. We know that to get our body weight in kilos, we’re going to take whatever we way in pounds and divide it by 2.2.
I give you a little example here. If I weigh 180 pounds and then I divide 2.2, that’s going to give me roughly 81 kilos, that’s my body weight. Then if I go down, I’m going to take 81 kilos and in this example, I’m going to take .2 grams per kilo, which means 16.2 grams.
Here’s where this gets really practical. 5 grams is roughly a teaspoon. OK? 5 grams is roughly a teaspoon. If I were following this particular protocol myself before training, this would basically mean taking three teaspoons or one tablespoon of baking soda and dissolving it in fluid and then drinking that.
Like I said, that’s a lot of baking soda. Here’s the deal about this. OK? The number one complaint of athletes is that if you take too much of it, it can really upset your stomach.
As I said, you want to go really slow and probably cut everything that I’m showing you here at least in half, if not in quarters, when you first start trying and build up your tolerance slowly because you don’t want to get out maybe on a walk or a run or cycle event or swimming or weightlifting and suddenly get stomach cramps, not very fun and that does happen to some people.
Build up very, very slowly. Like I said, if my initial work here was… I need to take three teaspoons, I’m going to probably take one. Again, 30 minutes and 90 minutes ahead of time and see how it goes from there. The other thing that I’ll tell you about using baking soda as an endurance aid is you need to be very, very careful about taking it usually on an empty stomach.
If you take it with food, it will decrease the ability of the acid in your stomach to digest food, and once again, you can have problems. You want to basically take this on an empty stomach, dissolve it in something that tastes relatively good, and give this a shot.
The reason I’m going over this, like I said, is one of the most common questions I get is how can I most quickly improve my stamina, improve my energy for my training because all of us have these busy lives, we’re going into the holiday season, and it’s hard sometimes to work up the energy to have a really successful training session.
This is a very well known way to do it. I’ve used it with a tremendous amount of success personally and with a lot of athletes.
As long as you clear this with your health care provider and you’re safe about it, I’d love for you to give this a shot and let me know the results.
If you have any questions, let us know.