Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) is a well-established nutritional ergogenic aid, though gastrointestinal (GI) distress is a common side-effect. Delayed-release NaHCO3 may alleviate GI symptoms and enhance bicarbonate bioavailability following oral ingestion, although this has yet to be confirmed. Pharmacokinetic responses and acid-base status were compared following two forms of NaHCO3, as were GI symptoms. Twelve active healthy males (mean ± SD: age 25.8 ± 4.5 y; maximal oxygen uptake ("V" ̇O2max) 58.9 ± 10.9 mL∙kg∙min–1; height 1.8 ± 0.1 m; body mass 82.3 ± 11.1 kg; fat-free mass 72.3 ± 10.0 kg) underwent a control (CON) condition and two experimental conditions: 300 mg∙kg–1 body mass NaHCO3 ingested as an aqueous solution (SOL) and encased in delayed-release capsules (CAP). Blood bicarbonate concentration, pH and base excess (BE) were measured in all conditions over 180 min, as were subjective GI symptom scores. Incidences of GI symptoms and overall severity were significantly lower (mean difference = 45.1%, P < 0.0005 and 47.5%, P < 0.0005 for incidences and severity, respectively) with the CAP than with SOL. Symptoms displayed increases at 40 to 80 min post-ingestion with the SOL that were negated with CAP (P < 0.05). Time to reach peak bicarbonate concentration, pH and BE were significantly longer with CAP than with the SOL. In summary, CAP can mitigate GI symptoms induced with SOL and should be ingested earlier to induce similar acid-base changes. Furthermore, CAP may be more ergogenic in those who experience severe GI distress, although this warrants further investigation.
- acid-base balance
- extracellular buffer
- exercise-induced fatigue.
Hilton, N. P., Leach, N. K., Sparks, S. A., Gough, L. A., Craig, M. M., Deb, S. K., & McNaughton, L. (2019). A novel ingestion strategy for sodium bicarbonate supplementation in a delayed-release form: a randomised crossover study in trained males. Sports Medicine Open, 5(4), 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40798-019-0177-0