Enhancement on Wingate Anaerobic Test Performance With Hyperventilation

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Relatively long-lasting metabolic alkalizing procedures such as bicarbonate ingestion have potential for improving performance in long-sprint to middle-distance events. Within a few minutes, hyperventilation can induce respiratory alkalosis. However, corresponding performance effects are missing or equivocal at best.

Purpose:

To test a potential performance-enhancing effect of respiratory alkalosis in a 30-s Wingate Anaerobic Test (WAnT).

Methods:

10 men (mean ± SD age 26.6 ± 4.9 y, height 184.4 ± 6.1 cm, body-mass test 1 80.7 ± 7.7 kg, body-mass test 2 80.4 ± 7.2 kg, peak oxygen uptake 3.95 ± 0.43 L/min) performed 2 WAnTs, 1 with and 1 without a standardized 15-min hyperventilation program pre-WAnT in randomized order separated by 1 wk.

Results:

Compared with the control condition, hyperventilation reduced (all P < .01) pCO2 (40.5 ± 2.8 vs 22.5 ± 1.6 mm Hg) and HCO3 (25.5 ± 1.7 vs 22.7 ± 1.6 mmol/L) and increased (all P < .01) pH (7.41 ± 0.01 vs 7.61 ± 0.03) and actual base excess (1.4 ± 1.4 vs 3.2 ± 1.6 mmol/L) pre-WAnT with an ergogenic effect on WAnT average power (681 ± 41 vs 714 ± 44 W) and total metabolic energy (138 ± 12 vs. 144 ± 13 kJ) based on an increase in glycolytic energy (81 ± 13 vs 88 ± 13 kJ).

Conclusion:

Hyperventilation-induced respiratory alkalosis can enhance WAnT cycling sprint performance well in the magnitude of what is seen after successful bicarbonate ingestion.

Leithäuser and Beneke are with the Inst of Sport Science and Motology, Philipps-University Marburg, Marburg, Germany. Böning is with the Physiology Inst, Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany. Hütler is with the Dept of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Haukeland University Hospital, Bergen, Norway.

Address author correspondence to Ralph Beneke at ralph.beneke@staff.uni-marburg.de.
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance