This thesis examined four key areas considered to contribute to why the efficacy of sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) as an ergogenic aid remains equivocal. Firstly, familiarisation to and test re-test reliability of continuous constant load cycling to exhaustion (TLIM) at 110% peak power output (WPEAK) were investigated. Results indicated two trials are required before participants become fully familiarised and reliable data are obtained and that daily biological variation was 6 ± 11% (16 ± 28 s). The primary aim of study two was to determine the most appropriate exercise intensity for future studies in this thesis. A secondary aim was to elucidate why certain participants appear to respond to NaHCO3 ingestion and others do not (Price and Simons 2010, Saunders et al. 2011). Therefore, we evaluated cycling TLIM at 100%, 110% and 120% WPEAK in the same participants. NaHCO3 ingestion increased TLIM by 17% compared to placebo (PLA) at 100% WPEAK. This was due, at least in part, to attenuated localised ratings of perceived exertion (RPEL). No difference in group level data was observed between treatments at 110% WPEAK or 120% WPEAK although there was marked inter and intra individual variance. Thirdly, in order to evaluate the efficacy of NaHCO3 at a tissue level we examined the effects of NaHCO3 on dynamic isolated muscle performance undergoing cyclical length changes. Acute power output (PO) was on average 7.0% greater for NaHCO3 treated extensor digitorum longus (EDL) muscles and 3.6% greater for NaHCO3treated soleus (SOL) muscles compared to control (CON). Increases in PO were due to greater force production throughout shortening. Treatment of EDL and SOL did not alter the pattern of fatigue at a group level although similar to study 2 there was marked inter individual variation. Finally, to determine the effects of training status we evaluated the effects of 6 weeks high-intensity cycling training on the efficacy of NaHCO3. Overall, pre-training TLIM was 10% greater with NaHCO3 compared to PLA with a benefit to harm odds ratio of 571. Overall, post-training TLIM was 6% greater with NaHCO3 compared to PLA with a benefit to harm odds ratio of 17. Similar to studies 2 and 3 individual variation was observed. Based on daily biological variation for TLIM of 6% (as determined in study 1) and a recommended benefit to harm odds ratio threshold of > 66, NaHCO3 improved TLIM before training only. We concluded that 6 weeks high-intensity cycling training reduces the effectiveness of NaHCO3 in previously non-cycling trained males. The change in efficacy is likely due to, at least in part, training induced changes in intracellular buffering capacity.
In summary, NaHCO3 is an effective ergogenic aid for TLIM cycling at 100% WPEAK in non-cycling trained males. This is due, at least in part, to attenuated localised ratings of perceived exertion (RPEL). In contrast, 6-weeks high-intensity cycling training reduces the efficacy of NaHCO3 for TLIM cycling at 100% WPEAK in previously non-cycling trained males. The change in efficacy is likely due to, at least in part, training induced changes in intracellular buffering capacity. At a skeletal muscle level, NaHCO3 increases acute PO in both predominantly fast (EDL) and predominantly slow (SOL) twitch muscle fibres, due to greater force production throughout shortening.
|Date of Award||2013|
|Supervisor||Mike Price (Supervisor) & Rob James (Supervisor)|