Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda is not only used in cookery, but also in sports nutrition. Early studies have indicated benefits (Wilkes, et al 1983; Costill, et al 1984), but more recent ones have shown none (Parkhouse & McKenzie 1984; Kozak-Collins, et al 1994). Sodium bicarbonate supposedly acts as a buffering agent neutralising bi-products of exercise, helping muscles to function at optimum levels for longer. The side effect of using it is stomach-ache and gastric disturbances, obviously bad for working out on.
As far as bodybuilders go, I don't know anyone who uses sodium bicarbonate as a supplement, and I certainly wouldn't bother.
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