Sodium bicarbonate supplementation and ingestion timing: Does it matter?

Jason C. Siegler, Paul W.M. Marshall, James Bray, Chris Towlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Although a considerable amount of literature exists on the ergogenic potential of ingesting sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) before short-term, high-intensity exercise, very little exists on optimal loading times before exercise. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of NaHCO supplementation timing on repeated sprint ability (RSA). Eight men completed 3 (randomized and counterbalanced) trials of ten 10-second sprints separated by 50 seconds of active recovery (1:5 work-to-rest) on a nonmotorized treadmill. Before each trial, the subjects ingested 0.3 g•kg-1 3 body weight of NaHCO at 60 (H1), 120 (H2), or 180 (H3) minutes before exercise. Additionally, the subjects were assessed for any side effects (gastrointestinal [GI] discomfort) from the NaHCO ingestion via a visual analog scale (VAS). Blood buffering was assessed using a 2-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) with repeated measures, whereas repeated sprint performance and GI discomfort were assessed via a 1-way ANOVA with repeated measures. Blood-buffering capacity was not different at preexercise times (HCO-3 [millimoles per liter] H1: 30.2 ± 0.4, H2: 30.9 ± 0.6, H3: 31.2 ± 0.6; p > 0.74). Average speed, average power, and total distance covered progressively declined over the 10 sprints; however, there was no difference between conditions (p > 0.22). The incidence of GI discomfort was significantly higher (p < 0.05) from preingestion at all time points with the exception of 180 minutes, whereas severity was only different between 90 and 180 minutes. Ingestion times (between 60 and 180 minutes) did not influence the blood buffering or the ergogenic potential of NaHCO as assessed by RSA. However, VAS scores indicated that at 180 minutes postingestion, an individual is less prone to experiencing significant GI discomfort.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1953-1958
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Volume26
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Blood buffering
  • Ergogenic
  • Loading protocols
  • Metabolic alkalosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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