Recent Developments in the Use of Sodium Bicarbonate as an Ergogenic Aid

Lars R. McNaughton, Lewis Gough, Sanjoy Deb, David Bentley, S. Andy Sparks

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

57 Citations (Scopus)


© 2016 by the American College of Sports Medicine.This review examines the current status of sodium bicarbonate as an ergogenic aid. It builds on previous reviews in the area. Current research would suggest that as an ergogenic aid, a 300 mg·kg -1 dose of NaHCO 3 can improve high-intensity exercise, within a range of exercise modalities, such as a single bout of supramaximal exercise, high-intensity intermittent activity, and skill-based sports. In particular, these benefits seem to be present to a greater extent within trained individuals. Despite this, there appears to exist a high intraindividual variability in response to NaHCO 3, and therefore, the ergogenic benefits may not be induced during every exercise bout. Current thinking also suggests that athletes need to individualize their ingestion timings to maximize peak pH or blood bicarbonate to effectively maximize the performance effect, and this may allow individuals to attain the ergogenic benefits of NaHCO 3 more consistently.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-244
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Sports Medicine Reports
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016


  • Sodium Bicarbonate


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