Tennis

Add fizz to your forehand

Is there nothing that bicarbonate of soda cannot do? Apparently it will clean almost any stain from your home or clothing if used with appropriate portions of white vinegar and other unguents. Now a new study tells us that it also improves your tennis skills.

Tennis is a game of high skill but it is also an endurance test. As long matches go on the level of skill can drop away dramatically but with bicarbonate of soda (sodium bicarbonate) that may no longer be the case.

In a new study tennis players were put into two groups. The test group received 0.3grams of bicarbonate of soda per kilogram of bodyweight before playing a simulated tennis match on a “gaming” system. The control group received a placebo made of sodium chloride. Both groups received a second, although reduced, dose after three games of the first set.

Before and after the test both groups were subjected to the Loughborough Tennis Skill Test to establish their skill levels before and after exertion.

The results showed that lactate levels were significantly higher in the placebo group and that the bicarb group also had a more alkaline blood. This led to the bicarb group showing no loss of skill level on their service or forehand after the match whereas the placebo group experienced significant skill losses.

It all comes down to the alkalising effect of the bicarb which counteracts the muscle tiring that comes from the build up of lactic acid when you exercise.

If the idea of maintaining your skill for longer periods has you fizzing with enthusiasm, before you start frothing at the mouth and go trying to dose up on bicarbonate of soda: stop and think. If you are restricting sodium intake to control blood pressure for instance, then the sodium in bicarb is not for you. Excessive bicarb loading will also reduce stomach acidity and will reduce potassium levels in your body. Potassium is an important mineral for heart and muscle function.

If you really want to alkalise your body to build endurance, do it in a sustainable way. Eat plenty of vegetables, especially greens, as they alkalise your body. You can serve up the greens and keep your serve at its best.

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The WellBeing Team

The WellBeing Team

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