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Eur J Sport Sci. 2018 Apr;18(3):431-440. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2018.1424942. Epub 2018 Jan 20.

Sodium bicarbonate ingestion increases glycolytic contribution and improves performance during simulated taekwondo combat.

Author information

a Martial Arts and Combat Sports Research Group, School of Physical and Education and Sport , University of São Paulo , São Paulo , Brazil.
b Musculoskeletal Physiology Research Group, Sport, Health and Performance Enhancement (SHAPE) Research Centre, School of Science and Technology , Nottingham Trent University , Nottingham , UK.
c NAR-Nucleus of High Performance in Sport , São Paulo , Brazil.
d Centre for Exercise and Sport Science Research, School of Medical & Health Science , Edith Cowan University , Joondalup , Australia.



To investigate the effect of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) on performance and estimated energy system contribution during simulated taekwondo combat.


Nine taekwondo athletes completed two experimental sessions separated by at least 48 h. Athletes consumed 300 mg/kg body mass of NaHCO3 or placebo (CaCO3) 90 min before the combat simulation (three rounds of 2 min separated by 1 min passive recovery), in a double-blind, randomized, repeated-measures crossover design. All simulated combat was filmed to quantify the time spent fighting in each round. Lactate concentration [La-] and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured before and after each round, whereas heart rate (HR) and the estimated contribution of the oxidative (WOXI), ATP (adenosine triphosphate)-phosphocreatine (PCr) (WPCR), and glycolytic (W[La-]) systems were calculated during the combat simulation.


[La-] increased significantly after NaHCO3 ingestion, when compared with the placebo condition (+14%, P = 0.04, d = 3.70). NaHCO3 ingestion resulted in greater estimated glycolytic energy contribution in the first round when compared with the placebo condition (+31%, P = 0.01, d = 3.48). Total attack time was significantly greater after NaHCO3 when compared with placebo (+13%, P = 0.05, d = 1.15). WOXI, WPCR, VO2, HR and RPE were not different between conditions (P > 0.05).


NaHCO3 ingestion was able to increase the contribution of glycolytic metabolism and, therefore, improve performance during simulated taekwondo combat.


Alkalosis; energy system; taekwondo; time–motion and sports performance

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