Extracellular buffer choice influences acid-base responses and gastrointestinal symptoms: Buffers and GI responses

J. Peacock, S.A. Sparks, I. Middlebrook, N.P. Hilton, D. Tinnion, N. Leach, Bryan Saunders, L.R. McNaughton

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

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Aim: To compare the pharmokinetic and gastrointestinal (GI) symptom responses between an equal dose of sodium bicarbonate and sodium citrate using delayed-release capsules. Methods: Thirteen active males (age 20.5 ± 2.1 y, height 1.82 ± 0.1 m and body mass 76.5 ± 9.6 kg) consumed either 0.3 g.kg1 BM sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate or a placebo, using a double-blind, randomised crossover design. Blood bicarbonate [HCO3–]) concentration, pH and GI symptoms were measured pre-ingestion and every 10 min for 180 min post-consumption. Results: [HCO3–] concentration (P < 0.001) and pH (P = 0.040) were significantly higher in the sodium bicarbonate condition compared with sodium citrate condition up to 3 h post-consumption. Peak blood HCO3–concentration was significantly higher with sodium bicarbonate compared with citrate (P < 0.001). Mean GI symptom scores were lower (P = 0.037) for sodium citrate (1.5 ± 1.8 AU) than bicarbonate (2.6 ± 3.1 AU), with considerable inter individual variability. No GI symptoms were reported following consumption of the placebo. Conclusion: Both substances alter [HCO] values significantly, with sodium bicarbonate causing significantly higher pH and [HCO3-] values than the same dose of sodium citrate, but results in slightly more severe GI symptom
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)505-516
Number of pages12
JournalResearch in Sports Medicine: An International Journal
Issue number6
Early online date9 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2021


  • Alkalosis
  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Sodium citrate
  • Alkalosis, Sodium bicarbdelayed-release capsules


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