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The Special Case of Iodine in Sports Medicine

Athletes or those participating in vigorous exercise can lose a considerable amount of iodine in sweat, depending on environmental factors such as temperature and humidity. In areas of lower to moderate dietary iodine intake, loss in sweat can equal that in urine. Iodine is mission critical to high levels of sports performance because “Iodine deficiency sets a cascade of energy-depleting effects in motion,” writes Dr. William Davis. Hallmarks of thyroid deficiency are fatigue and low stamina, not something you want to find yourself plagued with when looking for high performance.

Sodium Bicarbonate in Sports Medicine

report published in 2010 in “Food and Nutrition Sciences” states that athletes who participate in events taking one to seven minutes, such as 100- to 400-meter swimming and 400- to 1,500-meter running, benefit most from sodium bicarbonate. In regard to resistance training, a study published in 2014 in the “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research” demonstrated a marked improvement in performing squats and bench presses to exhaustion when participants took baking soda compared to a placebo. Studies of elite rowers doing a 2k for time, for example, tend to note no benefit or an insignificant one. Swimming is the opposite; studies using a repeated sprint protocol (either 10 sprints of 50m or 5 sprints of 100-200m) have shown that the decline in performance normally seen with repeated sprints is abolished with sodium bicarbonate.