Pre-exercise alkalosis and acid-base recovery

Jason C. Siegler, S. Keatley, A. W. Midgley, A. M. Nevill, L. R. McNaughton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to observe the influence of pre-exercise sodium bicarbonate (NaH-CO3) ingestion and varying recovery modes on acid-base recovery from a single bout of supramaximal exercise. Nine male subjects completed four separate, randomized cycle ergometer exercise trials to volitional fatigue at 120% maximum power output, under the following conditions: 0.3 g·kg-1 BW NaHCO3 ingestion with passive recovery (BICARB P), 0.3 g·kg-1 BW NaHCO3 ingestion with active recovery (BICARB A), placebo ingestion with passive recovery (PLAC P) and placebo ingestion with active recovery (PLAC A). Capillary blood samples were obtained every minute for 15 min during recovery. Significant main effects for pH were observed for time (F = 42.1, p < 0.001), intervention (BICARB and PLAC) (F = 1117.3, p < 0.001) and recovery condition (F = 150.0, p < 0.001), as the BICARB condition reduced acid-base perturbation. Significant interaction effects were observed between conditions (BICARB and PLAC) for active and passive recovery modes (F = 29.1, p < 0.001) as the active recovery facilitated H+ removal better than the passive condition. Pre-exercise alkalosis attenuates blood acid-base perturbations from supramaximal exercise to exhaustion, regardless of whether the recovery mode is active or passive. These findings suggest that individuals may benefit from introducing a pre-exercise alkalotic condition while including passive recovery during high-intensity training protocols.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)545-551
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Active recovery
  • Sodium bicarbonate
  • Supramaximal exercise
  • pH recovery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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