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Here is a fantastic article that was sent to me on the effects of Magnesium and Sodium Bicarbonate. This is one of the reasons why we are testing Sodium Bicarbonate in our latest product that is near the end of its dedelopment.

Sports Medicine
Magnesium & Sodium Bicarbonate

There are many things that you can do to improve your athletic performance.  One of the most basic ways to improve your performance is through proper  diet and dietary supplements, which can, when used appropriately add  rocket fuel to your  mitochondria and help reduce acid buildup thus  reducing fatigue. When it comes  to game day, you want to make sure that  your body has the access to all of the  nutrients and energy it needs  to perform as efficiently as possible and this  can be accomplished in  the most proficient way with certain key nutrients.

Magnesium and bicarbonate are the most important minerals to sports nutrition.  Their use for athletic performance can make the difference between  winning and losing and  between sickness and health thus no serious  athlete or sports medicine practitioner can  afford to overlook these  mineral salts. When magnesium is deficient things begin to die but when  our body’s  magnesium levels are topped off our body physiology tends to  hum along like a  race car yielding higher performance along many  physiological parameters.

In reality one cannot take a breath, move a muscle, or think a thought  without enough magnesium in our cells. Magnesium deficiency reduces  metabolic efficiency, increases oxygen consumption and heart rate  required to perform  work, all things that would take the edge off of  athletic performance.

During vigorous exercise, people lose critical minerals through their sweat,  the most important being magnesium. Adequate magnesium levels will help your body combat fatigue, heat exhaustion, and provide some measure of blood sugar control. Despite magnesium’s  pivotal role in energy  production and sports performance many coaches and  athletes remain  critically unaware of its critical importance in maintaining  health and performance. Research suggests that even small shortfalls in  magnesium  intake can seriously impair athletic performance.[1]

Athletes, who might be expected to take greater care with their  diets, are not  immune from magnesium deficiency. Studies carried out in 1986/87  revealed that gymnasts, football and basketball players were consuming  only around 70% of the RDA,[2] while the intake of female track and  field athletes was even lower, as low as  59% of the RDA.[3] Evidence  shows that a magnesium shortfall boosts the energy cost, and hence  oxygen use, of exercise during  activities like running or cycling.[4]  One study of male athletes supplemented with 390 mg of magnesium per day for 25  days resulted in an increased peak oxygen uptake and total work  output during  work capacity tests.[5]

Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) facilitates the removal of hydrogen ions from  the muscle cell so as to help maintain the muscle cell near its optimal  pH for enzyme functions and energy production. The pH in the muscle  cells is slightly alkaline while at rest.  Normally, it is at  this  level that enzymes that produce energy via the lactic acid and oxygen   energy systems perform at their optimum. As the concentration of  hydrogen  ions and acidity increases in the muscle cells optimal  functioning of enzymes  will be disturbed and energy production will  decrease.

Fatigue results  because of increased acid production within the muscle cell  when the lactic  acid energy system is used during high intensity  exercise. During rest and  exercise, proteins within the muscle cell  help to buffer metabolic acids.   But beyond the initial buffering in  the cell, during exercise, the lactic acid  produced appears to be  buffered almost entirely by the sodium bicarbonate in  the blood. Our  body produces and uses plain old baking soda to protect its  blood from  acidity.[6]

Only a few top coaches and sports doctors have understood and mastered the  use of  magnesium, bicarbonate and other minerals like potassium and  calcium. The word  few is used literally here for we are staking  entirely new ground in sports  medicine introducing not only Transdermal  Magnesium Therapy but bicarbonate bath therapy, which bypasses all the   gastrointestinal problems some athletes have when ingesting  bicarbonate orally.

The last thing any trainer or sports doctor wants to see is their athletes lose their competitive edge. Not performing to full capacity because of  the lack of vital minerals like magnesium and  bicarbonate is simply not  an option for winners. Athletic endurance and  strength performance  increases significantly when a large amount of magnesium  is  supplemented transdermally and orally and when bicarbonate levels are  high enough to temper  acid buildup.

In reality a quartet of electrolytes play a critical role in muscle  function and  other biochemical processes. The loss of sodium is by far  the most substantial  and well-studied but the loss of and replacement  of potassium, calcium and  magnesium are also of supreme importance  because over time all are lost through  sweat.

Dr. Jonathan Toker, an elite-level  runner-triathlete writes, “Extended  periods  of exercise at even moderate intensity can cause significant  losses of fluid  through sweating. Electrolytes, including sodium,  potassium, magnesium and  calcium, are present in this sweat at levels  that over time will cause your  body to become depleted. Muscle  cramping, loss of performance, heat stress and  other symptoms can  result from reduced electrolyte levels and dehydration.  Consumption of  water will act to further dilute remaining electrolyte reserves  and can  exacerbate symptoms, even to the point of death. Common approaches by   athletes to deal with these very real nutritional issues include  consuming  sports drinks and/or solid electrolyte supplementation  (capsules). The  following table illustrates the function of critical  electrolytes and provides  a target dose during fluid intake and overall daily intake range for active  individuals".
Dr. Toker continues, “Both fluid and electrolyte supplementation are  necessary during longer training and racing, depending on the athlete  and conditions. Two  competing factors, dehydration and hyponatremia,  necessitate the balance  between proper fluid intake and electrolyte  intake. The key term here,  “balance”, means that there is an ideal  athlete- and condition-specific plan to  optimize performance and  minimize health risks. Whether the supplementation is  a solid  electrolyte and water or a sports drink, athletes ignoring one or both   of these aspects do so with the peril at best of limited performance,  or at  worst, at a danger to their health.”

[1] In a very tightly controlled 3-month US  study the effects of magnesium  depletion on  exercise performance in 10 women were observed – and the  results make  fascinating reading. In the first month, the women  received a  magnesium-deficient diet (112mgs per day), which was  supplemented with 200mgs  per day of magnesium to bring the total  magnesium content up to the RDA of  310mgs per day. In the second month, the supplement was withdrawn to make the  diet magnesium-deficient, but  in the third month it was reintroduced to  replenish magnesium levels.  At the end of each month, the women were asked to  cycle at increasing  intensities until they reached 80% of their maximum heart rate, at which  time a large number of  measurements were taken, including blood tests,  ECG and respiratory gas  analysis. The researchers found that, for a  given workload, peak oxygen uptake, total and cumulative net oxygen   utilization and heart rate all increased significantly during the  period of  magnesium restriction, with the amount of the increase  directly related to the  extent of magnesium depletion. In plain  English, a magnesium deficiency reduced metabolic efficiency, increasing  the oxygen consumption  and heart rate required to perform work –  exactly what an athlete doesn’t want!
[2] J Am Diet Assoc;86: 251–3 (1986) and  Nutr Res;7:27–34 (1987).
[3] Med Sci Sports Exerc; 18(suppl):S55–6 (1986).
[4] J Appl Physiol 65:1500-1505 (1988).
[5] Endocrinol Metab Clin N Am 22:377-395 (1993).
[6] Danforth WH. Control of Energy Metabolism, New York:  Academic Press, 1965:287-298



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