Responses To Sodium Bicarbonate Supplementation In Repeat Sprint Activity Are Individual

Document Type

Journal Article


Romanian Sports Medicine Society


Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science


School of Exercise and Health Sciences / Centre for Exercise and Sport Science Research




This article was originally published as: Haug, W., Nibali, M., Drinkwater, E. J., Zhang, A., & Chapman, D. W. (2014). Responses to sodium bicarbonate supplementation in repeat sprint activity are individual. Medicina Sportiva: Journal of Romanian Sports Medicine Society, 10(4), 2434-2440. Original article available here


The aim of this study was to determine the individual effects of acute sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) supplementation on elite short track speed skating relay race simulation. Material and Method. Double-blinded balanced, cross-over investigation required two teams of 4 athletes from the Australian National Short Track Speed Skating Program to participate in 2 simulated relay races 72 h apart. Each athlete performed 7 maximal speed skating sprints at a work:rest ratio of ~1:4. Each athlete ingested either 0.3g.kg-1 per body mass of NaHCO3 or lactose placebo (P) 75 min prior to each race. Plasma blood lactate concentration (Bla) was recorded 10min pre- and 2 min post- race simulation. Race lap times and changes in Bla were log transformed and analysed using paired sample t-tests between NaHCO3 and P. Data were also, analysed to evaluate individual response. Magnitudes of differences between conditions were interpreted using effect sizes (ES) and 90% confidence limits (CL). Results. Post-race simulation, Bla concentration demonstrated a very large increase from baseline for both groups. P demonstrated substantially faster performance for overall (ES: 0.98, CL: -0.13 to 1.82), mean lap (ES: 1.59, CL: 0.22 to 2.95), and fastest lap time (ES: 1.26, CL: 0.02 to 2.50) compared to NaHCO3. Interpretation of the individual analysis indicates that NaHCO3 results in a greater magnitude of individual variation for total (ES: 1.05, CL: -0.40 to 1.54), mean (ES: 2.04, CL: 0.71 to 2.79), and fastest lap time (ES: 1.85, CL: 0.64 to 2.54) than P. Conclusion. These findings indicate responses to acute NaHCO3 supplementation may be individual.

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