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The effect of sodium bicarbonate and sodium citrate ingestion on anaerobic power during intermittent exercise.


The effect of sodium bicarbonate and sodium citrate ingestion on cycling performance in three 30 s Wingate Anaerobic Tests separated by 6 min recovery periods has been studied using 6 male subjects. Subjects ingested either sodium bicarbonate (B), sodium bicarbonate plus sodium citrate (BC), sodium citrate (C) or sodium chloride (P) 2.5 h prior to exercise in a dose of 0.3 g kg-1 body weight. Pre-exercise blood pH was 7.44 +/- 0.06, 7.42 +/- 0.05, 7.41 +/- 0.05 and 7.38 +/- 0.04 in the C, BC, B and P conditions respectively. Mean and peak power output were significantly reduced by successive Wingate tests but not significantly affected by the treatments. Performance in the second and third tests was highest following C, BC and B ingestion. The total work done in the 3 tests was 103%, 102% and 101% of that achieved in the P condition after C, BC and B ingestion respectively. The increased alkali reserve recorded subsequent to bicarbonate and citrate treatment reduced mean post-exercise acidosis, although pH was significantly higher only in the C condition (p less than 0.05) compared to P after each exercise bout. No significant differences in plasma lactate concentration were recorded at any time. Citrate ingestion appears to be most effective in elevating blood pH and [HCO3-], and in enhancing performance in short-term intermittent exercise. This study demonstrates that alkali ingestion results in significant shifts in the acid-base balance of the blood and has a small, but non-significant, effect on anaerobic power and capacity as measured in a series of 3 Wingate Anaerobic Tests.

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