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Renate M. Leithäuser, Dieter Böning, Matthias Hütler and Ralph Beneke

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.


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


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.


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).


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

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Ralph Beneke, Volker Schwarz, Renate Leithäuser, Matthias Hütler and Serge P. von Duvillard

Maximal lactate steady state (MLSS) corresponds to the prolonged constant workload whereby the kinetics of blood lactate concentration clearly increases from steady state. Different results of MLSS in children may reflect specific test protocols or definitions. Three methods corresponding to lactate time courses during 20 min (MLSS I), 16 min (MLSS II), and 8 min (MLSS III) of constant submaximal workload were intraindividually compared in 10 boys. At MLSS I, lactate, V̇O2peak, heart rate, and workload were higher (p < .05) than at MLSS II and at MLSS III. The differences between MLSS I, MLSS II, and MLSS III reflect insufficient contribution to lactate kinetics by testing procedures, strongly depending on the lactate time courses during the initial 10 min of constant workload. Previously published divergent results of MLSS in children seem to reflect a methodological effect more than a metabolic change.