Sodium bicarbonate can boost sprint performance by three per cent, says new study

Belgian research group reveal results for a 90-second sprint after three hour simulated race in lab study

(Image credit: Daniel Gould)

Scientists in Leuven, Belgium could have proven that something you may have been regularly using a lot during lockdown to bake banana bread could actually prove useful at the sharp end of a bike race.

Sodium bicarbonate has long been discussed within nutrition and science circles around its potential to be a useful performance aid. Plenty of previous studies have shown that the correct amounts can improve physical performance, especially in middle-distance running.

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Paul Knott is a fitness and features writer, who has also presented Cycling Weekly videos as well as contributing to the print magazine as well as online articles.  In 2020 he published his first book, The Official Tour de France Road Cycling Training Guide (Welbeck), a guide designed to help readers improve their cycling performance via cherrypicking from the strategies adopted by the pros.