Metabolic alkalosis, recovery and sprint performance

J. C. Siegler, L. R. McNaughton, A. W. Midgley, S. Keatley, A. Hillman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Pre-exercise alkalosis and an active recovery improve the physiological state of recovery through slightly different mechanisms (e.g. directly increasing extracellular bicarbonate (HCO3-) vs. increasing blood flow), and combining the two conditions may provide even greater influence on blood acid-base recovery from high-intensity exercise. Nine subjects completed four trials (Placebo Active (PLAC A), sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) Active (BICARB A), Placebo Passive (PLAC P) and NaHCO3 Passive (BICARB P)), each consisting of three, 30-s maximal efforts with athree min recovery between each effort. Pre-exercisealkalosis was evident in both NaHCO3 conditions, as pH and HCO3- were significantly higher than both Placebo conditions (pH: 7.46-0.04 vs. 7.39-0.02; HCO3-: 28.8-1.9 vs. 23.2-1.4mmol-L1; p<0.001). In terms of performance, significant interactions were observed for average speed (p<0.05), with higher speeds evident in the BICARB A condition (3.9-0.3 vs. 3.7-0.4m-s1). Total distance covered was different (p=0.05), with post hoc differences evident between the BICARB A and PLAC P conditions (368-33 vs. 364-35m). These data suggest that successive 30-s high intensity performance may be improved when coupled with NaHCO3 supplementation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)797-802
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • active recovery
  • performance
  • pH recovery
  • sodium bicarbonate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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