A lotion from US company Amp Human that's said to deliver the electrolyte sodium bicarbonate to working muscles in order to support hard training and fast recovery is now available in the UK. The idea is that PR Lotion is applied before each workout to neutralise lactic acid in muscles, allowing you to push harder and train for longer.
Taking sodium bicarbonate – also called bicarb – orally has a common side effect of causing gastrointestinal distress, making it impractical for many athletes to use regularly, but Amp Human says, “The PR Lotion unlocks bicarb by delivering it directly to the working muscles via the skin, making it effective and practical for athletes to use in sport.”
The brand says athletes will benefit from an increase in the number of intervals completed before exhaustion, a reduction in delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), an increase in blood lactate levels to fuel muscles, and an increase in total pounds of weight lifted in resistance training.
"PR Lotion can help an athlete be more physically capable of performing the intended training session, which will allow for overall superior adaptations to the prescribed training," Amp Human says.
There are two important benefits of increased buffering with sodium bicarbonate delivery through PR Lotion, according to Amp Human.
"First, enhanced buffering capacity to limit the negative impact of rapid acid production in the muscle. This can diminish the progression of fatigue during high intensity training session and competitions, thereby enabling high quality training and maintenance of performance during competition.
"Second, PR Lotion can reduce the sensation of post-exercise or delayed onset muscle soreness. That is, sodium bicarbonate may alleviate post-exercise inflammation and edema or swelling following intense training, allowing athletes to recover more effectively and increase 'readiness' for subsequent sessions."
The US performance brand asserts that, for these reasons, applying the PR Lotion is able to "enhance the quality of training loads, allow effective recovery between training sessions, and enable the maintenance of desired performance outcomes".
PR Lotion is legal under World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) rules and is used by the likes of pro cyclist Lawson Craddock of EF Pro cycling and pro triathlete Lucy Charles Barclay (two time runner-up at the Kona World Championships).
Available for £35 for a 300g bottle at www.vielosports.com. Amp Human says to "use a heavy coat, more is better", but the bottle is still said to last around 10 to 15 uses.
More information about the scientific grounding of the product can be found at www.amphuman.co.uk.
Anna has been hooked on bikes ever since her youthful beginnings at Hillingdon Cycle Circuit. As an avid road and track racer, she reached the heady heights of a ProCyclingStats profile before leaving for university. Having now completed an MA in Multimedia Journalism, she’s hoping to add some (more successful) results. Although her greatest wish is for the broader acceptance of wearing funky cycling socks over the top of leg warmers.