Sodium citrate and anaerobic performance: implications of dosage

Lars R. McNaughton

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

64 Citations (Scopus)


The use of sodium bicarbonate to improve anaerobic performance is well known but other buffering agents have been used with some success. Sodium citrate is one such substance which has been used but without the normal gastro-intestinal discomfort usually associated with sodium bicarbonate ingestion. The effects of five doses of sodium citrate (0.1 g·kg–1 body mass, 0.2 g·kg–1 body mass, 0.3 g·kg–1 body mass, 0.4 g·kg–1 body mass and 0.5 g·kg–1 body mass) on anaerobic performance were studied in order to determine the minimal and most productive dose required for performance enhancement. A maximal test was performed for 1–1, min on a cycle ergometer. Total work and peak power were measured at the end of the exercise period. Blood was drawn 1.5 h prior to the test session and measured for pH, partial pressure of carbon dioxide and concentrations of bicarbonate, base excess and lactate. In all but the control and placebo trials subjects then ingested one of five doses of sodium citrate which was contained in 400 ml of flavoured drink. Blood was again taken 90 min later and this was repeated after the completion of the exercise test. The greatest amount of work was completed in the trial with citrate given at 0.5 g·kg–1 body mass (44.63 kJ, SD 1.5) and this was also true for peak power (1306 W, SD 75). The post-exercise blood lactate concentration was also highest during this trial 15.9 mmol·1–1, SD 1.1. Post-exercise pH decreased significantly in all trials (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-397
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 1990


  • Anaerobic work
  • Blood bicarbonate
  • Blood gas analysis
  • Blood lactate
  • Sodium citrate
  • pH


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