As you may have seen, Maurten has a new product that lets you consume a large amount of sodium bicarbonate before your workout, race, or event. Why is this important? It dramatically reduces the burning and limiting sensation you get during hard, anaerobic efforts. In fact, it's one of the few proven and legal performance enhancers.
Using bicarb is not new, but taking it the old way made most athletes sick or suffer from GI issues. Maurten has solved this problem with its hydrogel technology, the same tech employed with their gels.
You can use it for your most demanding weekly workout and, of course, whenever you have a training session or race where you aim to perform at your absolute best.
Here are some of the top questions we have received from athletes wanting to learn more:
Q: What does it do for me?
A: It will let you push max efforts (anaerobic) for longer with less pain. Technically, sodium bicarbonate buffers the acidity that causes the burning in your legs, leading to reduced push and power.
Q: Do I use it while training?
A: Yes, you use it before training or a race. You take it 90 minutes to 2 hours before your workout or race. However, you will want to train a few times before racing with it.
Q: Why can't I take a spoonful of regular bicarb from my fridge?
A: You wouldn't be the first to try this. Most athletes would have major stomach issues if they were to try that approach (hint: you likely spend more time on the side of the road than you will be racing).
Q: What does it taste like?
A: It tastes a lot like Maurten's gel with big salt chunks. Eating it is straightforward (you eat with a spoon, like soup). Just be sure not to bite into the mini bicarb tablets, but swallow them whole (it's easy).
Q: What comes in the box?
A: You get 4 servings. This includes a bowl you use for mixing—four packets of Hydrogel and four packets of bicarb.
Q: How do I know which version I want?
A: There are 4 dosages, 15g, 19g, 22g, and 25g. Take this quiz and you will see the ideal recommendation for your body weight and experience using it.
Make the most of Maurten's Bicarb:
In terms of using Maurten’s Bicarb System, there are some intricacies that the pros know to make the most of it. Here are our suggestions for getting the most out of Bicarb and the most out of yourself.
- Try out the lower relative dosage first, then work your way up to the next Maurten Bicarb dosage. Here is the calculator, if you are interested, too.
- No more than 2 servings of Maurten's Bicarb in a 7-day period. Twice every week during the hardest training sessions is ideal. This keeps any potential for GI issues at all to a minimum.
- Aim to have the Bicarb 1-1.5hr prior to your training or event, with the last meal closer to 3 hours out from your training session if you can. This should give you enough time to digest a bit and get your body ready for the session with Bicarb later.
- Note the need for additional water/fluid intake. Bicarb can have a significant amount of sodium that many don’t account for. Their sodium content range from 4.1g (4100mg) to 6.9g (6900mg) depending on dosage.
Other fun facts from Maurten about Bicarb:
- Maurten noted that they have seen the buffering benefits of their bicarb last for 9+ hours(!!!).
- Regarding electrolyte imbalances and concerns with the dosage of sodium, Maurten noted: "Regarding electrolyte imbalance, I expect no major imbalances – the body is a fantastic regulator and will regulate any temporary imbalance. I based this from numerous (several thousands) of blood samples. Sodium levels in blood are not very affected despite a substantial sodium load. However, caution should be taken, and sodium bicarbonate should not be over consumed since one 15 gram dose contains ~4 grams of sodium corresponding to ~10 grams of table salt, i.e. sodium chloride."