Effect of sodium bicarbonate ingestion on high intensity exercise in moderately trained women

Lars R. McNaughton, Selena Ford, Christian Newbold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this research was to determine whether sodium bicarbonate would improve total work and peak power during maximal cycling ergometer performance in 10 moderately trained women. Each subject undertook 3 max tests on a cycle ergometer: control (C), placebo (P), and bicarbonate (B) trials. For 5 subjects the order was C, B, and P; for the other 5 it was C, P, and B. During all tests, 75 [micro]l of blood was drawn from each subject prior to ingestion of B or P, and again at 30-min intervals starting 90 min prior to the cycle test as well as immediately postexercise and at 1,3, and 5 min post. Samples were analyzed for blood lactate, pH, blood bicarbonate, and base excess. Subjects rated their perceived exertion on the 20-point Borg scale. Blood bicarbonate was significantly higher prior to exercise in the B trial and was still significantly higher at the end of the test. There were no significant differences in max HR between trials. The amount of work completed in C and P was not different. Peak power was significantly improved in the B trial. Blood lactate in B was significantly higher at both postexercise and 1 min postexercise. Ratings of perceived exertion were significantly greater in B. The results indicate that women athletes can use bicarbonate buffering to improve work and power output during high intensity exercise of 60 sec duration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-102
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Strength & Conditioning Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 1997


  • Buffering
  • Peak power
  • Perceived exertion
  • pH


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