Sodium Bicarbonate Ingestion Improves Time-to-Exhaustion Cycling Performance and Alters Estimated Energy System Contribution: A Dose-Response Investigation

William H. Gurton, Lewis A. Gough*, S. Andy Sparks, Mark A. Faghy, Katharine E. Reed

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

This study investigated the effects of two sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) doses on estimated energy system contribution and performance during an intermittent high-intensity cycling test (HICT), and time-to-exhaustion (TTE) exercise. Twelve healthy males (stature: 1.75 ± 0.08 m; body mass: 67.5 ± 6.3 kg; age: 21.0 ± 1.4 years; maximal oxygen consumption: 45.1 ± 7.0 ml.kg.min−1) attended four separate laboratory visits. Maximal aerobic power (MAP) was identified from an incremental exercise test. During the three experimental visits, participants ingested either 0.2 g.kg−1 BM NaHCO3 (SBC2), 0.3 g.kg−1 BM NaHCO3 (SBC3), or 0.07 g.kg−1 BM sodium chloride (placebo; PLA) at 60 min pre-exercise. The HICT involved 3 × 60 s cycling bouts (90, 95, 100% MAP) interspersed with 90 s recovery, followed by TTE cycling at 105% MAP. Blood lactate was measured after each cycling bout to calculate estimates for glycolytic contribution to exercise. Gastrointestinal (GI) upset was quantified at baseline, 30 and 60 min post-ingestion, and 5 min post-exercise. Cycling TTE increased for SBC2 (+20.2 s; p = 0.045) and SBC3 (+31.9 s; p = 0.004) compared to PLA. Glycolytic contribution increased, albeit non-significantly, during the TTE protocol for SBC2 (+7.77 kJ; p = 0.10) and SBC3 (+7.95 kJ; p = 0.07) compared to PLA. GI upset was exacerbated post-exercise after SBC3 for nausea compared to SBC2 and PLA (p < 0.05), whilst SBC2 was not significantly different to PLA for any symptom (p > 0.05). Both NaHCO3 doses enhanced cycling performance and glycolytic contribution, however, higher doses may maximize ergogenic benefits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number154
JournalFrontiers in Nutrition
Volume7
Early online date8 Sep 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • alkalosis
  • anaerobic
  • ergogenic aid
  • extracellular buffer
  • fatigue
  • high-intensity exercise

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