Four groups of male subjects participated in anaerobic testing on a Repco EX 10 cycle ergometer to determine the effectiveness of sodium bicarbonate (0.3 g kg‐1 body mass) as an ergogenic aid during exercise of 10, 30, 120 and 240 s duration. Blood was collected 90 min prior to ingestion of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3), after ingestion of NaHCO3 and immediately post‐exercise from a heated (43–46°C) fingertip and analysed immediately post‐collection for pH, base excess, bicarbonate and lactate. The total work undertaken (kj) and peak power achieved during the tests were also obtained via a Repco Work Monitor Unit. Blood bicarbonate levels were again increased above the control and placebo conditions (P< 0.001) and blood lactate levels were also increased following the bicarbonate trials. The pH levels fell significantly (P<0.05) below the control and placebo conditions in all trials. The results indicate that NaHCO3 at this dosage has no ergogenic benefit for work of either 10 or 30 s duration, even though blood bicarbonate levels were significantly increased (P<0.05) following ingestion of NaHCO3. For work periods of 120 and 240 s, performance was significantly increased (P<0.05) above the control and placebo conditions following NaHCO3 ingestion.