Effects of acute and multi-day low-dose sodium bicarbonate intake on high-intensity endurance exercise performance in male recreational cyclists

Aktitiz S., KOŞAR Ş., TURNAGÖL H. H.

European Journal of Applied Physiology, 2024 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00421-024-05434-1
  • Journal Name: European Journal of Applied Physiology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Abstracts in Social Gerontology, BIOSIS, CAB Abstracts, CINAHL, EMBASE, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, SportDiscus, Veterinary Science Database
  • Keywords: Alkalinizing, Anaerobic threshold, Buffering system, Ergogenic aids, Time-to-exhaustion
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Purpose: This study aimed to compare the effects of acute and multi-day low-dose sodium bicarbonate (SB) intake on high-intensity endurance exercise performance. Methods: In a randomized, double-blind, cross-over design, twelve recreational male cyclists (age: 31.17 ± 4.91 years; V˙O2peak: 47.98 ± 7.68 ml·kg−1·min−1) completed three endurance performance tests following acute SB (ASB, 0.2 g·kg−1 SB), multi-day SB (MSB, 0.2 g·kg−1·day−1 SB for four days), and placebo (PLA) intake. The high-intensity endurance performance was assessed with a cycling exercise test, wherein participants cycled on a bicycle ergometer at 95% of the predetermined anaerobic threshold for 30 min, followed by a time-to-exhaustion test at 110% of the anaerobic threshold. Data were analyzed using one-way and two-way repeated-measures ANOVA. Results: Significant main effects of supplementation protocol were evident in pre-exercise bicarbonate concentrations (F = 27.93; p < 0.01; partial eta squared (η2) = 0.72; false discovery rate (FDR)-adjusted p value = 0.001). Prior to performance test, blood bicarbonate concentrations were significantly higher in MSB (25.78 ± 1.63 mmol·L−1[95% CI 26.55–28.44] (p < 0.001; FDR-adjusted p value = 0.001)) and ASB (27.49 ± 1.49 mmol·L−1 [95% CI 24.75–26.81] (p < 0.001; FDR-adjusted p value = 0.007)) compared to PLA (23.75 ± 1.40 mmol·L−1 [95% CI 22.86 to 24.64]). Time-to-exhaustion increased in MSB (54.27 ± 9.20 min [95% CI 48.43–60.12]) compared to PLA (49.75 ± 10.80 min [95% CI 42.89–56.62]) (p = 0.048); however, this increase in MSB did not reach the significance threshold of 1% FDR (FDR-adjusted p value = 0.040). No significant difference was noted in exhaustion times between ASB (51.15 ± 8.39 min [95% CI 45.82–56.48]) and PLA (p > 0.05). Conclusion: Both acute and multi-day administration of low-dose SB improves buffering system in cyclists; nevertheless, neither intervention demonstrates sufficient efficacy in enhancing high-intensity endurance performance.