Journal Title (Medline/Pubmed accepted abbreviation): J Strength Cond Res
Page numbers: 2551- 2557
doi (if applicable):
Background:Although much research has investigated the types of exercise that are enhanced with sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) ingestion, to date there has been limited research on the dosage and timing of ingestion that optimizes the associated ergogenic effects.
Hypothesis: Ingestion of NaHCO3 may attenuate metabolic alkalosis from exercise and enhance performance
Subjects: Male volunteers
Experimental design:Randomized, counter-balanced, single-blind study
Treatments and protocol:
Part A, measures of alkalosis throughout 120 min after ingestion of various single NaHCO3
dosages and placebo (0.3 g/kg, 0.2 g/kg, 0.1 g/kg, and placebo); and
Part B, similar profiles after alternative NaHCO3 loading protocols (single morning dosage [SMD], single evening dosage [SED], and dosages ingested on 3 consecutive evenings [CED]). Within parts A and B, loading protocols were implemented in a randomized (counterbalanced), single-blind manner, with each test condition separated by 1 week. Blood pH, bicarbonate, and base excess were assessed at baseline and every 20 min post-ingestion up to 120 min post-ingestion.
This article did not address actual performance effects of these increases in pH and it would have been interesting to see how blood pH would have been affected during exercise as opposed to rest. However, there are several studies demonstrating efficacy of bicarbonate loading for performance under certain exercise conditions. The single 0.2-g/kg and 0.3-g/kg NaHCO3 dosages appeared to be the most effective for increasing blood-buffering capacity. There was no significant difference between the 0.2-g/kg and 0.3-g/kg NaHCO3 dosages. The 0.2-g/kg dosage is best ingested 40 to 50 min before exercise and the 0.3-g/kg dosage 60 min before exercise. Because NaHCO3 loading may cause dehydration, it is important to monitor hydration by plasma/urine osmolality or the specific gravity of urine. Single doses exceeding 0.3 g/kg are not recommended because the risk of side effects increases.