I tried bicarb supplements to boost my cycling performance and the results were explosive

To my surprise, using bicarb didn’t cause any gastrointestinal complaints - but it did pop an extra 17 watts on my five minute power

Female cyclist sitting down after a bike ride, having tried bicarb supplements
(Image credit: Getty Images - Sergey Mironov)

For a while now, I’ve been considering using sodium bicarbonate. Friends of mine who are professional cyclists are constantly being told to utilise its supposed powers - and I wouldn’t want to be missing out on a trick. 

Essentially, sodium bicarbonate (or ‘bicarb’) is meant to help mitigate the build up of lactic acid in your muscles, which in turn should allow you to push harder for longer. Though the current hype is quite new, the idea of using bicarb goes back a long way - I remember many years ago having had bicarb mixed into water before an individual pursuit on the track. But apart from having a gassy stomach afterwards, I can’t really remember how it felt nor did I have any hard data to quantify my performance. 

Charlotte Broughton

Charlotte Broughton is a British rider, racing for the AWOL O’Shea UCI women's cycling team, and a previous winner of the prestigious Otley Grand Prix.

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Charlotte Broughton

Charlotte Broughton is a British rider, racing for the KDM-Pack women’s cycling team. An accomplished writer, she is a regular on the pages of Cycling Weekly magazine.