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The aim of the present study was to investigate whether pre exercise sodium-bicarbonate ingestion improves judo-related performance. The study used 2 different protocols to evaluate performance: 3 bouts of a specific judo test (n = 9) and 4 bouts of the Wingate test for upper limbs (n = 14). In both protocols athletes ingested 0.3 g/kg of sodium bicarbonate or placebo 2 h before the tests. Blood samples were collected to determine lactate level, and levels of perceived exertion were measured throughout the trials. The study used a double-blind, counterbalanced, crossover design. Ingestion of sodium bicarbonate improved performance in Bouts 2 and 3 of Protocol 1 (P < 0.05), mean power in Bouts 3 and 4 of Protocol 2 (P < 0.05), and peak power in Bout 4 of Protocol 2 (P < 0.05). Ingestion of bicarbonate increased lactate concentration in Protocol 1 (P < 0.05) but not in Protocol 2. Ratings of perceived exertion did not differ between treatments. In conclusion, sodium bicarbonate improves judo-related performance and increases blood lactate concentration but has no effect on perceived exertion.

The authors are with the School of Physical Education and Sport, University of São Paulo, São Paulo 05508-900 Brazil.