The Effect of Sodium Bicarbonate Ingestion on Back Squat and Bench Press Exercise to Failure

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    This study examined the acute effects of NaHCO3 ingestion on repetitions to failure and rating of perceived exertion in the back squat and bench press in trained men. Eight resistance-trained men took part in this double-blind, randomized crossover experimental study whereby they ingested NaHCO3 (0.3 g kg-1 body mass) or placebo (sodium chloride NaCl: 0.045 g kg-1 body mass) solution 60 minutes before completing a bout of resistance exercise (3 sets of bench press and back squat exercise to failure at an intensity of 80% 1 repetition maximum). Experimental conditions were separated by at least 48 hours. Participants completed more repetitions to failure in the back squat after NaHCO3 ingestion (p = 0.04) but not for bench press (p = 0.679). Mean ± SD of total repetitions was 31.3 ± 15.3 and 24.6 ± 16.2 for back squat and 28.7±12.2 and 26.7±10.2 for bench press in NaHCO3 and placebo conditions, respectively. Repetitions to failure decreased as set increased for the back squat and bench press (p = 0.001, both). Rating of perceived exertion significantly increased with set for the back squat and bench press (p = 0.002, both). There was no significant change in blood lactate across time or between conditions. Therewere however treatment × time interactions for blood pH (p = 0.014) and blood HCO3 concentration (p = 0.001). After ingestion, blood pH and HCO3 (p = 0.008) concentrations were greater for the NaHCO3 condition compared with the placebo condition (p
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1358–1366
    JournalJournal of Strength and Conditioning Research
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - May 2014

    Bibliographical note

    This is a non-final version of an article published in final form in Duncan, M.J. , Weldon, A. and Price, M.J. (2014) The effect of sodium bicarbonate ingestion on back squat and bench press exercise to failure. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, volume 28 (5): 1358–1366.


    • Alkalosis
    • Buffering
    • Ergogenic aid
    • Nutrition
    • PH
    • Resistance exercise to failure


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