The influence of sodium bicarbonate on maximal force and rates of force development in the triceps surae and brachii during fatiguing exercise

Jason C. Siegler, Kurt Mudie, Paul Marshall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

New Findings: What is the central question of this study? Does metabolic alkalosis in humans, induced by sodium bicarbonate, affect rates of skeletal muscle fatigue differentially in muscle groups composed predominately of slow- and fast-twitch fibres? What is the main finding and its importance? Sodium bicarbonate exhibited no effect on the fatigue profile observed between triceps surae and brachii muscle groups during and after 2 min of tetanic stimulation. For the first time in exercising humans, we have profiled the effect of sodium bicarbonate on the voluntary and involuntary contractile characteristics of muscle groups representative of predominately slow- and fast-twitch fibres. The effect of metabolic alkalosis on fibre-specific maximal force production and rates of force development (RFD) has been investigated previously in animal models, with evidence suggesting an improved capacity to develop force rapidly in fast- compared with slow-twitch muscle. We have attempted to model in vivo the fatigue profile of voluntary and involuntary maximal force and RFD in the triceps surae and brachii after sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) ingestion. In a double-blind, three-way repeated-measures design, participants (n = 10) ingested either 0.3 g kg−1 NaHCO3 (ALK) or equivalent calcium carbonate (PLA) prior to 2 min of continuous (1 Hz) supramaximal stimulation (300 ms at 40 Hz) of the triceps surae or brachii, with maximal voluntary efforts (maximal voluntary torque) coupled with direct muscle stimulation also measured at baseline, 1 and 2 min. Metabolic alkalosis was achieved in both ALK trials but was not different between muscle groups. Regardless of the conditions, involuntary torque declined nearly 60% in the triceps brachii (P < 0.001) and ∼30% in the triceps surae (P < 0.001). In all trials, there was a significant decline in normalized involuntary RFD (P < 0.05). Maximal voluntary torque declined nearly 28% but was not different between conditions (P < 0.01), and although declining nearly 21% in voluntary RFD (P < 0.05) there was no difference between PLA and ALK in either muscle group (P = 0.93). Sodium bicarbonate exhibited no effect on the fatigue observed between representative fibre-type muscle groups on maximal voluntary and involuntary torque or rates of torque development during and after 2 min of tetanic stimulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1383-1391
Number of pages9
JournalExperimental Physiology
Volume101
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physiology (medical)

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