Baking soda gives tennis players fizz

Published on September 6th, 2011
Baking soda gives tennis players fizz

Drinking sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) on the morning of a tennis match can help athletes to maintain their edge. Seriously.

According to a study conducted by the International Society of Sports Nutrition, players who received the supplement showed no decline in skilled tennis performance after a simulated (fake) match.

Chen-Kang Chang from the National Taiwan College of Physical Education worked with a team of researchers to carry out the study. He said, “We found that sodium bicarbonate supplementation can prevent the fatigue-induced decline in skilled tennis performance seen during matches.”

The nine players in the study were randomly assigned to receive either bicarbonate or placebo drinks. They then took part in a tennis skills test before and after a simulated match. The skills test measured the accuracy and consistency of service, forehand and backhand ground-stroke to both sides of the court. Speaking about the results, Chang said, “To our knowledge, this is the first study to show the effect of bicarbonate supplementation on skilled performance in racquet sports. Future research may include other tennis skills, such as volleys and drop shots with the measurement of stroke velocity and running speed.”

The moral of the story: knowing your way around the kitchen could make you a better athlete.

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-ShareAlike 2.5 South Africa License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/za/ or send a letter to Creative Commons, 171 Second Street, Suite 300, San Francisco, California 94105, USA.