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Sodium phosphate: a potentially underutilized ergogenic aid

Effect of sodium phosphate supplementation on repeated high-intensity cycling efforts.

Study under review: Effect of sodium phosphate supplementation on repeated high-intensity cycling efforts

Introduction

Phosphate doesn’t get much attention in the nutrition and supplement world, but it performs many important functions during exercise and everyday life. These include acting as an intracellular buffer and enabling the release of oxygen from hemoglobin. It also plays a critical role[1] in energy production as a part of the basic structure of phosphocreatine and adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Phosphocreatine serves as an energy store that is available immediately during exercise, and can release energy without the need for oxygen. ATP contains three phosphate groups and is often referred to as the body’s energy currency.

Sodium phosphate has shown promise as an ergogenic aid for endurance athletes thanks to a growing body of research, though it is relatively unknown whether supplementation improves performance outside of a lab, in the context of the ever-changing demands of athletic competitions. Previous research has found improvements in maximal aerobic capacity[2] (VO2 max) after supplementation, though mixed[3] results[4] have been found for lower intensity endurance performance.

The purpose of the study under review was to investigate the effects of sodium phosphate supplementation in a research setting that's a more realistic reflection of real-life cycling conditions (repeated maximal sprint and short time-trial efforts), after six days of sodium phosphate supplementation, as well as four days after stopping supplementation, to determine any lasting effects.

Who and what was studied?

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What were the findings?

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What does the study really tell us?

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The big picture

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Frequently Asked Questions

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What I should know?

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