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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2018 Mar;118(3):607-615. doi: 10.1007/s00421-018-3801-7. Epub 2018 Jan 17.

Sodium bicarbonate supplementation improves severe-intensity intermittent exercise under moderate acute hypoxic conditions.

Author information

1
Sports Nutrition and Performance Research Group, Department of Sport and Physical Activity, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, Lancashire, L39 4QP, UK. debs@edgehill.ac.uk.
2
Sports Nutrition and Performance Research Group, Department of Sport and Physical Activity, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, Lancashire, L39 4QP, UK.
3
Department of Sport and Movement Studies, Faculty of Health Science, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Abstract

Acute moderate hypoxic exposure can substantially impair exercise performance, which occurs with a concurrent exacerbated rise in hydrogen cation (H+) production. The purpose of this study was therefore, to alleviate this acidic stress through sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) supplementation and determine the corresponding effects on severe-intensity intermittent exercise performance. Eleven recreationally active individuals participated in this randomised, double-blind, crossover study performed under acute normobaric hypoxic conditions (FiO2% = 14.5%). Pre-experimental trials involved the determination of time to attain peak bicarbonate anion concentrations ([HCO3-]) following NaHCO3 ingestion. The intermittent exercise tests involved repeated 60-s work in their severe-intensity domain and 30-s recovery at 20 W to exhaustion. Participants ingested either 0.3 g kg bm-1 of NaHCO3 or a matched placebo of 0.21 g kg bm-1 of sodium chloride prior to exercise. Exercise tolerance (+ 110.9 ± 100.6 s; 95% CI 43.3-178 s; g = 1.0) and work performed in the severe-intensity domain (+ 5.8 ± 6.6 kJ; 95% CI 1.3-9.9 kJ; g = 0.8) were enhanced with NaHCO3 supplementation. Furthermore, a larger post-exercise blood lactate concentration was reported in the experimental group (+ 4 ± 2.4 mmol l-1; 95% CI 2.2-5.9; g = 1.8), while blood [HCO3-] and pH remained elevated in the NaHCO3 condition throughout experimentation. In conclusion, this study reported a positive effect of NaHCO3 under acute moderate hypoxic conditions during intermittent exercise and therefore, may offer an ergogenic strategy to mitigate hypoxic induced declines in exercise performance.

KEYWORDS:

Alkalosis; Altitude; Critical power; Extreme environments; Intermittent hypoxic exercise; Severe-intensity domain

PMID:
29344729
PMCID:
PMC5805802
DOI:
10.1007/s00421-018-3801-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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