Effects of Sodium Bicarbonate Ingestion on Prolonged Intermittent Exercise


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Abstract

PRICE, M., P. MOSS, and S. RANCE. Effects of Sodium Bicarbonate Ingestion on Prolonged Intermittent Exercise. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 35, No. 8, pp. 1303–1308, 2003.PurposeThe aim of this study was to determine the effects of sodium bicarbonate ingestion on prolonged intermittent exercise and performance.MethodsEight healthy male subjects (mean ± SD: age 25.4 ± 6.4 yr, mass 70.9 ± 5.1 kg, height 179 ± 7 cm, V̇O2max 4.21 ± 0.51 L·min−1) volunteered for the study, which had received ethical approval. Subjects undertook two 30-min intermittent cycling trials (repeated 3-min blocks; 90 s at 40% V̇O2max, 60 s at 60% V̇O2max, 14-s maximal sprint, 16-s rest) after ingestion of either sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3; 0.3 g·kg−1) or sodium chloride (NaCl; 0.045 g·kg−1). Expired air, blood lactate (BLa), bicarbonate (HCO3), and pH were measured at rest, 30 and 60 min postingestion, and during the 40% V̇O2max component of exercise (4, 10, 16, and 29 min).ResultsAfter ingestion, pH increased from rest to 7.46 ± 0.03 and 7.40 ± 0.01 for NaHCO3 and NaCl, respectively (main effect for time and trial; P < 0.05). Values decreased at 15 min of exercise to 7.30 ± 0.07 and 7.21 ± 0.06, respectively, remaining at similar levels until the end of exercise. BLa peaked at 15 min (12.03 ± 4.31 and 10.00 ± 2.58 mmol·L−1, for NaHCO3 and NaCl, respectively; P > 0.05) remaining elevated until the end of exercise (P < 0.05). Peak power expressed relative to sprint 1 demonstrated a significant main effect between trials (P < 0.05). Sprint 2 increased by 11.5 ± 5% and 1.8 ± 9.5% for NaHCO3 and NaCl, respectively. During NaHCO3, sprint 8 remained similar to sprint 1 (0.2 ± 17%), whereas a decrease was observed during NaCl (−10.0 ± 16.0%).ConclusionThe results of this study suggest that ingestion of NaHCO3 improves sprint performance during prolonged intermittent cycling.

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