The effects of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) ingestion on high intensity cycling capacity

M.F. Higgins, Rob S. James, Mike Price

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    37 Citations (Scopus)


    Ten healthy, non-cycling trained males (age: 21.2 ± 2.2 years, body mass: 75.9 ± 13.4 kg, height: 178 ± 6 cm, VO2PEAK: 46 ± 10 ml · kg-1 · min-1) performed a graded incremental exercise test, two familiarisation trials and six experimental trials. Experimental trials consisted of cycling to volitional exhaustion at 100%, 110% and 120% WPEAK, 60 min after ingesting either 0.3 g · kg-1 body mass sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) or 0.1 g · kg-1 body mass sodium chloride (placebo). NaHCO3 ingestion increased cycling capacity by 17% at 100% WPEAK (327 vs. 383 s; P = 0.02) although not at 110% WPEAK (249 vs. 254 s; P = 0.66) or 120% WPEAK (170 vs. 175 s; P = 0.60; placebo and NaHCO3 respectively). Heart rate (P = 0.02), blood lactate (P = 0.001), pH (P < 0.001), [HCO3 -], (P < 0.001), and base excess (P < 0.001) were greater in all NaHCO3 trials. NaHCO3 attenuated localised ratings of perceived exertion (RPEL) to a greater extent than placebo only at 100% WPEAK (P < 0.02). Ratings of abdominal discomfort and gut fullness were mild but higher for NaHCO3. NaHCO3 ingestion significantly improves continuous constant load cycling at 100% WPEAK due to, in part, attenuation of RPEL.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)972-981
    JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
    Issue number9
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

    Bibliographical note

    The full text of this item is not available from the repository.
    This is an electronic version of an article published in the Journal of Sports Sciences, 31 (9), pp. 972-981. The Journal of Sports Sciences is available online at:


    • alkalosis
    • ergogenic aids
    • metabolic buffers
    • pH
    • RPE


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