JackedPack Blog - Epic Fitness & Nutrition Tips
How to Use Arm & Hammer to Turn Your Arm Into a Hammer
By Alex Lewis
By now we are all aware that protein, creatine, BCAAs, beta alanine, and arginine are proven ingredients to help you in your never ending quest for HUGEness. We know these ingredients are the diesels of the supplement world and help you crank out ridiculous workouts. The only problem is that these badboys can often be expensive and there’s an endless assortment of products each promising to be better than the next. It can be as confusing to choose a product as figuring out how Kate Upton’s boobs defy gravity so magnificently. Turns out there is a simple and super cheap household item that can help boost your endurance and power significantly. It’s baking soda. No, that’s not a typo, I’m serious. That baking soda sitting in your fridge to make it smell less rank also doubles as a legit, safe, and effective performance enhancer.
You are probably thinking I’ve chugged too many pre-workouts and lost my mind at this point, but that’s only partially true. So forget my nonsense and listen to the science that backs me up. The wicked smat folks at Functional Performance Systems put together an awesome compilation of studies showing baking soda’s effectiveness across a number of sports: lifting – YEAH BUDDY!, swimming – whatup Phelps, track – Bolt’s veins course with Baking Soda, and cycling – this German cyclist must crush Baking Soda like normal Germans crush beers). If you don’t feel like getting too scientific lemme break it down for you: lifters, swimmers, cyclists, and runners who took baking soda or baking soda + creatine prior to exercise all improved performance and the creatine + baking soda group showed the best results.
Scientists don’t know the exact mechanism through which this stuff works, but most think it has something to do with increasing your buffering capacity (helps prevent pH levels from dropping too low and therefore delays muscle fatigue). Bottom line, baking soda (or sodium bicarbonate to be a nerd) improves performance when ingested prior to exercise and it works even better when stacked with creatine. Which leads me to my next point…
How to Use Baking Soda to Get HUGE!
Studies suggest taking 300 mg of baking soda per kg of bodyweight + 5-10 grams of creatine monohydrate up to 2 ½ hours before exercise is the most effective way to boost power and endurance. So for a roughly 200 lb. (90 kg) diesel that means taking down 27 grams (or approximately 2 tablespoons) of this stuff. I live for getting HUGE as much as any other meathead and I’ve taken down some seriously nasty stuff in my quest to be a diesel, but there’s almost no way you can put down that amount of baking soda without wanting to puke. It’s literally like drinking saltwater. Instead I’d suggest stirring (NOT shaking – it’ll explode like your quads after a 20 rep set of squats) 1 tablespoon of baking soda + 5 grams of creatine monohydrate mixed with something sweet like OJ 30-45 minutes prior to exercise. OJ is a great mixer not only because it cuts the horrible taste, but also because the sugar in it will help create a small insulin spike to help drive the creatine into the muscle cells (where it belongs!). If 1 Tbsp. is no problem, slowly build up to 2 Tbsps.
Note that studies found no additional performance benefits above 300mg/kg of bodyweight, so no need to take down tubs of this stuff. Consuming too much baking soda may cause diarrhea or indigestion in certain people and we know you can’t get swole if you are sitting on the toilet all day, so start slow and see how your body reacts to it.
Legend has it that Zeus wreaked of manliness from being too diesel and his wife Hera had enough. She gave him some baking soda to fix his stench, but instead of using it to fix his B.O. he dumped it in his pre-workout shake and crushed it in 1 gulp. Thirty minutes later he threw his first lightning bolt at an unfortunate soul he saw curling in the squat rack.
I’m not promising you that downing some baking soda will turn you into the next Ronnie Coleman, but it is definitely worth a shot to help you get HUGE. Give it a try for a few weeks and see if you notice improved performance. It worked for me and many others and I’m hoping it does the same for you!