Originally Posted by DemonJumper
1.5 seconds in the 200 m is huge, though! Although they probably didn't do enough research. The better time could be a combination of the athlete just naturally getting a PR plus the placebo effect from the baking soda. I don't really know though. 1.5 seconds is a really big decrease in time.
It was placebo controlled - you can see the main details at http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18004687
They'd have to have got 9 athletes getting 9 personal bests in the right one of 3 swims.
It's obviously a small trial, but they got a statistically significant result in it, and it's from a very well known sports science department, so they probably didn't do things too wrong.