Effects of bicarbonate ingestion on leg strength and power during isokinetic knee flexion and extension

Jeff Coombes, Lars R. McNaughton

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

21 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this experiment was to determine whether sodium bicarbonate ingestion of a 300 mg.kg-1 body mass dose improved either total work or peak torque values during isokinetic leg ext/flex exercise in 9 healthy male subjects using a Cybex 340 isokinetic dynamometer under control, alkalotic, and placebo conditions. Basal and pre- and post-exercise arterialized venous blood samples were collected and analyzed for lactate, pH, partial pressure of O2 and CO2, base excess, and blood bicarbonate. Preexercise, the bicarbonate increased the blood pH levels, indicating a state of induced metabolic alkalosis. Postexercise in all conditions, blood pH was significantly lower than preexercise values, indicating that metabolic acidosis had occurred. The amount of work and peak torque completed in the control and placebo trials was not significantly different. During the experimental trial, however, more work was completed than in either the control or placebo conditions, and peak torque also increased. This suggests that bicarbonate could be used as an ergogenic aid during isokinetic work and enables the athlete to become more powerful.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-249
Number of pages9
JournalStrength and Conditioning Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Acid-base
  • Alkalosis
  • Ergogenic aid
  • PH


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