We examined the effects of sodium bicarbonate ingestion on the VO2 slow component during constant-load exercise. Twelve physically active males performed two 30-min cycling trials at an intensity above the lactate threshold. Subjects ingested either sodium bicarbonate (BIC) or placebo (PLC) in a randomized. counterbalanced order. Arterialized capillary blood samples were analyzed for pH, bicarbonate concentration ([HCO3−), and lactate concentration ([La]). Expired gas samples were analyzed for oxygen consumption (VO2). The VO2 slow component was defined as the change in VO2 from Minutes 3 and 4 to Minutes 28 and 29. Values for pH and [HCO3−] were significantly higher for BIC compared to PLC. There was no significant difference in [La] between conditions. For both conditions there was a significant time effect for VO2 during exercise: however, no significant difference was observed between BIC and PLC. While extracellular acid-base measures were altered during the BIC trial, sodium bicarbonate ingestion did not attenuate the VO2 slow component during constant-load exercise.
The authors are with the Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Department of Health, Sport, and Exercise Sciences, University of Kansas, Direct correspondence to Jeffrey A. Potteiger, 101 Robinson Center, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045.