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Alkalinity and Hydration for Athletics

by Amanda DeAmicis on March 24, 2018

It is the position of the American College of Sports Medicine that adequate fluid replacement helps maintain hydration and, therefore, promotes the health, safety, and optimal physical performance of individuals participating in regular physical activity.

A significant difference in whole blood viscosity was detected in recent studies when assessing a high-pH, water versus an acceptable standard purified water during the recovery phase following strenuous exercise-induced dehydration.

After using an alkalizing supplement trained Nordic skiers experienced significant changes in cardiorespiratory, blood lactate, and upper body power output measures. Studies also indicate that drinking alkaline water can enhance the body’s buffering capacity and temper the acidity, thus improving performance.

Source:Daniel P Heil, Erik A Jacobson, and Stephanie M Howe, Influence of an alkalizing supplement on markers of endurance performance using a double-blind placebo-controlled design, J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2012; 9: 8. Published online 2012 Mar 20. doi: 10.1186/1550-2783-9-8.

In other studies the hypothesis tested was that an acute (7 days) intake of an alkaline negative oxidative reduction potential formulation (NORP) drink would reduce the rate of blood lactate accumulation during and after exercise. It was also assessed to see any impacts on the increase time to exhaustion, increase serum buffering capacity and not increase prevalence of adverse effects as compared to the control drink.

11 participants (9 men and 2 women) met the criteria to take part in the intial study. Randomisation was done to the participants by a double-blind, cross-over design to receive the control and the NORP drinks within two single-week periods. This monitored the efficacy of the NORP drink (at a dose of 1 L per day by oral administration).

The NORP drink was supplied in bottles containing 2 g NORP, 6 g sucrose, 1-2 mg sodium per dose. The control drink was identically supplied and formulated except that it contained no NORP. Exercise testing was performed using a treadmill based ramp protocol. Blood glucose or total antioxidant capacity were not affected by supplementation (p > 0.05) while serum bicarbonates were significantly higher after the NORP trial (p < 0.05). Critical HR at the velocity of 8.1 mph during the test was significantly lower in NORP as compared to the control drink trial (p < 0.05). Blood lactate sampled at velocity 8.1 mph during the test was significantly lower in the NORP group (p < 0.05).

No athletes reported any vexatious side effects of supplementation. It seems that NORP supplementation could have a beneficial effect on human performance during maximal exercise.

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