ATHLETE'S WANTING PERFORMANCE ENHANCEMENT: The
event can be either endurance (eg Triathalon) or anaerobic
(eg sprinting, cycling, game of squash, weight training,
football, rugby, soccer) since phosphate loading
works for both endurance and anaerobic exercise.
A bodybuilder may benefit from daily use of phosphate salt in addition to a calcium supplement and a
combination of low, med and high rep training.
has indicated that phosphate salts (sodium phosphate) can boost performance in
track athletes in events ranging in distance from the 100
metre sprint to the 26 mile marathon.
To be effective over this wide range, the phosphate
salts would have to have the potential to improve energy
production in all three human energy systems - the ATP-CP,
lactic acid, and oxygen systems - which they do.
ACID BUFFERS BOOST
BENEFITS FOR THE ATHLETE:
to the ATP-CP energy system, phosphates form high energy
bonds when attached to the organic compounds adenosine (ATP)
and creatine (CP). There
is evidence that supplemented phosphate improves the
production and use of glycogen for fuel through its
incorporation into numerous enzymes in energy production (Chasiotis
D Med Sci Sports Exer 1988;20:545-550).
Phosphates are necessary for optimal functioning of
several B Vitamins, such as B1 (thiamine), which is involved
in aerobic energy production from carbohydrates and fats.
Sodium and potassium phosphate serve as buffers in
the body and may function similarly to alkaline salts in
improving the lactic acid energy system.
Recently, Dr Richard Kreider and his colleagues at
Old Dominion University, Virginia have, in repeated studies
of phosphate supplementation, demonstrated it to buffer
lactic acid (Kreider RB, et al. Med Sci Sports Exer
GW, et al Med Sci Sports Exer 1991;23:535).
from various laboratories have repeatedly shown that
phosphate supplementation raises blood levels of 2,3 - diphosphoglycerate (2,3 - DPG), the enzyme that
deposits oxygen from haemoglobin into muscle cells (Farber
M, et al. J Lab Clin Med 1984;104:166-175.
CADE R et al. Med Sci Sports Exer 1984;16:263-268.
STEWART I, McNAUGHTON L Res Quart 1990;61:80-84).
Phosphate is a far safer but effective alternative to
erythropoietin (EPO) - the real heart stopper.
Slightly recapping, all three energy systems, ATP-CP,
Lactic Acid and Oxygen are improved.
To what extent the following studies will indicate.
IMPROVEMENTS IN POWER AND ENDURANCE
LACTIC ACID BUFFERS
LESS PERCEIVED EFFORT
Robert Cade and his group at the Department of Medicine of
the University of Florida in 1984 ran a well controlled
study (double blind, placebo, crossover design).
Ten highly trained distance runners consumed either 1
gram of sodium phosphate four times daily or a placebo for
three days. They
then ran them on a treadmill to exhaustion.
During the phosphate loading trial, lactic acid
levels were lower, 2,3 -DPG levels were higher, VO2 max
increased by 6-12%, and subjects ran 3-9 minutes longer.
(Cade R, et al Med Sci Sports Exer 1984;16:263-268).
research findings from the Florida physiology laboratory
suggest that phosphate salts will reduce the perceived
psychological stress as measured by RPE (Rating of Perceived
Exertion), of riding a bicycle for 3 hours at 75 to 80
percent VO2 max. Physiological
measurements during this study suggested that increases in
2,3 DPG improved the release of oxygen from the Red Blood
Cells and thus reduced the workload of the heart.
The findings from the Florida laboratory strongly
support an ergogenic effect of phosphate salts, and the lead
investigator in these studies has been quoted as saying that
‘phosphate salts do allow for better performance’.
Closer to home, Dr Ian Stewart and his colleagues at the Tasmanian
Institute of Technology did a study of highly trained
cyclists, giving them 3.6 grams of sodium phosphate a day or
a placebo, for three days before a maximum effort on the
ergometer bicycle. Results
showed that phosphate loading reduced lactic acid
accumulation, increased 2,3 - DPG production during
exercise, increased VO2 max by 11%, and increased time to
exhaustion by 20% (Stewart I, McNaughton L Res Quart
of the most recent and best studies (KREIDER RB, et al Int J
Sports Nutr 1992;2:20-47) which tested both anaerobic and
endurance exercise gave trained cyclists 4 grams of sodium
phosphate per day or a placebo, for 3 days prior to a
maximal exercise test and a 40km time trial on the ergometer
the anaerobic phosphate trials, maximal power output
increased by 17%. As
Dr Michael Colgin points out in his excellent book OPTIMUM
SPORTS NUTRITION, that’s the equivalent to adding 51 lbs
to a 300 lb maximum bench press!
During the aerobic phosphate trials, time for the
40km ride was reduced by 3.5 minutes.
That’s big. Despite
some contrasting findings in other studies, there is no
doubt in my mind that phosphate works big time.
I have personally confirmed similar results on a
female olympic level sprinter over 400 and 800 metre
phosphate has been used in most studies but potassium
phosphate works too.
With the high level of sodium added to our food and
the big losses of potassium in food processing, potassium
phosphate would be a lot healthier.
But don’t use calcium phosphate.
Two studies that have tried calcium phosphate found
no effect at all (Bradel D, et al J Appl Physio
E, et al Med Sci Sports Exer 1990;22:341-347).
has combined sodium
monohydrate and potassium
phosphate into a super lactic acid buffering
formula called PowerStack. Click
here to read more on PowerStack.